In my last blog I explored the idea that companies across all industries are starting to focus their attention on customer service as being central to the structure of their organization. This is not just a case of companies taking customer service more seriously as a department within their company; it is a fundamental reshaping of how any business operates today.
In the long-term this may completely change what we think of as a ‘company’ today, but what are the immediate consequences of this changing approach to corporate structure? I believe there are three changes that we are already seeing and that will progress faster in the next year or two:
1. A career in customer service is going to be a lot more exciting and will be more tightly integrated with operations, marketing, and sales. For this reason, companies are seeing executives with an operations background and/or Six Sigma credentials playing a bigger role within the customer service department. This reshaping of company structures and the anticipated expansion of customer service across all facets of the company may soon foster a different career path for many in marketing, sales, operations and customer experience. We may soon start to see new hires either spending a portion of their career in a customer service role at your contact center. With a broader variety of disciplines anticipated to be directly involved with your company’s contact center, it’s not a far stretch to think that your future CEO may have started in your contact center.
2. More CEOs will have been working in the contact center earlier in their career. Forget about all those number-crunching finance graduates, there will be many more CEOs in future who started out working directly with customers and worked their way up. Companies are going to need executives who understand how to relate directly to their customers.
3. Customer service is going to get a lot better. One of our clients in Brazil recently reported that over 99% of messages about them on Facebook are responded to within minutes. Think back just 5 years – that kind of interaction with customers was hardly imagined. Brands are not just answering customer complaints now; they are engaging and building lasting relationships.
As we see the corporate world change and take the role of customer service more seriously and centrally to the function of their business, I believe there will be a shift from thinking of it as ‘customer service’. Perhaps we will start thinking more about lifetime engagement with customers, or relationship management, but however this develops in future one thing is clear, customer service is one of the most exciting areas to be in right now – in any business.
What do you think? Have you observed any of these changes in the business you work for or those you deal with? Leave a comment here or Tweet @Teleperformance.