With growing enthusiasm and eager anticipation, I predict that 2011 will be the year of The Customer.
I say this for two reasons, one being selfish (customer service is my thing) and the other being strictly observation. Have you noticed an increase in:
- Human beings responding to customer service inquiries opposed to machines or voice-activated prompts?
- More smiling faces and audible greetings at your local retailers?
- A return to domestic-based customer service centers?
- Feedback mechanisms, surveys (both online and via phone/in person) and "How can we serve you better?"'s?
- TEDsters focusing on customer- and people-centric topics?
- Non-fiction writers focusing on how to grow your business through the customer channel?
- Hollywood focusing on the story and not just the razzle-dazzle?
- Sales training experts steering students toward experiential and relationship-based selling instead of hard closing techniques?
This list is not exhaustive, but the signs are there. Start looking and while you're looking, see how you're being served better as well as how you are serving others.
Oh yeah, baby. This is the year.