2020 put the spotlight on customer service as businesses dealt with spikes in service demand and dramatically different consumer patterns. After a tumultuous year, what are the customer service trends to watch in 2021?
In a CX Minute…
Welcome to the inaugural (hopefully) weekly posting of my findings, crazy ideas, and summarized discussions on what’s going on around CX.
The title of the series is based on the amazing, incredibly poignant song by Don Henley called in a New York Minute.
Of course, as everything online there are 52,361 versions of what this song means (and they are all right at the same time, of course, and each one deserves unyielding loyalty from a small group of followers, etc., etc., etc.) but to me is a far simpler interpretation: anything can happen in a New York minute (the idea is that time moves faster in New York city and more stuff happens in one minute there that in most places, etc.).
There was also another influence to talk about a minute: I may have a problem binging Netflix – not something I want to discuss now. Worse, I find myself binging millennials shows (The Magicians and How To Get Away With Murder are the current ones), and I am picking up “cool” (my daughter told me to make sure I put quotes around that; she doesn’t think how I talk is actually cool) phrases from them. One of them is the use of “been a minute” to refer to any length of time.
Therefore, In a CX Minute is not just one minute, rather… well, you get the idea. Back to being an old, boring “dude” (daughter quotes, again) now.
Time does not move fast in CX-land, I mean – we’ve been at it for 20+ years and we are still trying to nail a common definition…seriously, but there is a lot happening – too much to summarize and gives me plenty of material to work with – and would love to share with you, on a weekly basis, what the past week has brought to my addled brain.
In a CX Minute will share a weekly overview of thoughts, conversations, ideas, and models I’m working on, and readings or discussions of note for CX.
How rude of me; assuming you know who I am – allow me to briefly introduce myself and what I do.
I’ve been an analyst, researcher, and practitioner of customer experience and customer strategies for over 25 years. I’ve done most jobs related to interactions with customers, helping, advising, and working with myriad of organizations around the world – both vendors and end users. Today, I’m privileged to be the Chief Evangelist for CX for SAP, focusing on building conversations to amplify the concept and adoption of CX in the world.
We’ll see how the weekly encounter goes – and will try to keep them brief – but let’s start with this first one (feedback always welcome).
In A CX Minute: What’s happening in the world of customer experience this week
Here’s what happened this last minute in CX (See what I did there? Clever, non?)
Before anything else, a shameless self-promo: CXBuzz interviewed me for some comments around where CX is today and where it’s going – link here if you cannot sleep tonight. It’s a short, good little chat that also helps frame the next few items.
First up:, A great chat with the gentlemen who run CRMKonvos, discussing ecosystems all around. This stemmed because “it had been a minute” (3 weeks in my timeline – again, daughter quotes) since I wrote a LinkedIn post that simply said “Ecosystems, that’s all I have. Ecosystems” which generated some discussion around customer ecosystems (no such thing, says me) and that Thomas wanted to explore further.
It was a truly fantastic conversation. If you’re interested in the concept of customer ecosystems – or overall ecosystems, partake and let me know what you think.
Designing customer experiences: An overview
Second, Matt Watkinson (LinkedIn) is a cool thinker with whom I align on many things (sometimes I disagree, but more or less, he’s always eager to engage with people on those matters). If you don’t follow him on LinkedIn, you should (I am going to guess he is also on Twitter and other friendly social nightmares – I mean, networks, which I don’t frequent – so, do your research).
He drops good stuff on LinkedIn a couple of times a week, give or take, and makes me think. Earlier this week he shared this nugget on designing experiences that I share ¾ of the way, so wanted to share with you. Of course, the discussion that followed is equally as good as the post – so reading through the comments is actually advised. I’m finishing the first article in a series (which was going to be one article, but I made a booboo and shared it with #CommunityDudeForever and #AwesomeFriend Alan Berkson, and he spotted at least 5-6 more articles that would address the simple issue Matt addressed in his original post).
Look for my stuff to drop soon, but in the interim – please read this post by Matt – and feel free to comment. I’m sure one of us will reply.
Marketing trends: Complexity must be reigned in
Finally, I spent some time working on a way to represent the trends in the marketing market for our marketing cloud team. One of the things that the research uncovered was how much marketing has evolved over the last decade from being a “simple solution” to becoming a very complex – ecosystem.
My thoughts: Marketing today can no longer afford to simply create and qualify leads only; it’s so much more.
But – and this is the key question – what’s the framework that you use to do that? Over the last few years, the market chose a very complex morass of solutions called MarTech and built stacks (yes, plural) around them so no two are alike. I’m finding more and more organizations saying that this is not sustainable – it’s impossible to have millions of different stacks out there – minimally, they must have something in common.
In customer service, the something that consolidates all the pieces into unique solutions while keeping a consistent purpose is a framework…could we define a better framework for marketing than a collection of odd stacks?
Stay tuned…I think we can.
Hmmm…looking back, it’s interesting how all of these concepts correlate to each other…almost as if – wait, wait, don’t tell me – almost as if ecosystems were something to note in this market. Almost…
What do you think?
Engage in this conversation – email me, find me on LinkedIn (never on Twitter or Facebook) or figure some other way to try to convince me I’m wrong.
If you don’t, see you next week here.