Are You Going To Be Doing Customer Service In 2014?

I think I know the answer to that…

The better question then is not if you are going to do it, but how.  And that is where i can help.

Earlier this year with my friends at KANA and I conducted a survey of the trends and momentum of the Customer Service market.  I asked you to participate and we got a tad over 400 responses.  Now it’s time to share the results.

Would you like to know who owns Customer Experience initiatives (hint: it is not marketing)? Or whether it is a good idea to deploy mobile as an interface for customer service? How about learning from the people who are working in omni-channel implementations?

Would you like to know what omni-channel is and how you can tackle its challenges? I promise to keep the discussion on omni family-friend – even try to define it (if you know me, this is a sacrifice!)

Do you know how to integrate social and customer service through mobile interfaces and via agents desktops?  Would you like to?

All this is yours, for the taking, just for registering for the free webinar where we will introduce the results of the research and give you a chance to access the full report as well.

Did you know, for example, that just 40% of customer service department have budgeting and political power over their operations? (if you want to find out who has the rest, join us).

You probably know that email and phone are the most widely used channels (96% and 93% respectively), but which channels are the fastest growing in adoption? How are social channels (Twitter and Facebook) faring in adoption now that we found out how well they can work?

Join us for this webinar and get the answers – and get your planning for 2014 done in time.

See you there!

disclaimer: I know this will be a shock, but KANA is a customer.  I have been working with them for many, many years (even when back at Gartner) and was hired by them for about a year in a too-soon-to-date-other-people stage of our relationship.  I have a retainer contract that includes the study we conducted, strategic consulting, and even the webinar you are attending.  Alas, since 400+ of you answered the survey, it is unlikely that I made up the answers or twisted the findings (as you will find out if you attend, a couple of areas are not what they would like to see advertised – will let you know if you join us).  So, yeah, i got paid to do this – but as always i retain my independence – which anyone at KANA would love to discuss in detail considering how stubborn i can be about it.

Customer Service, Mobile “Stuff”, All Your Questions Answered

If you are like most people out there are you are terrified right now.

I mean, after all mobile is eating the world!


I mean what is going to happen after we are all mobilified? after we all got mobile devices and wearable and embedded computers and — what… is ESP next? What’s going on here?!?!?!?!

OK, if you are like most people out there that is not your reaction, but FUD(*) has always been a good tool to sell hype and “bright, shiny new stuff” you did not even know you needed.  Unfortunately, just like it was Social’s turn five years ago, it is Mobility’s turn this time around.

At this point you have three choices:

  1. Plunge your head in the sand, ignore everything and come up for air in about two-three years when we have some answers (you may lose your competitive advantage, but you will also miss the “buy now or forever lose your business” stage).
  2. Buy into the hype and noise and — well, just do something already!  Buy a new mobile gateway, or a mobile development platform, or hire a mobile development studio, or send all your developers and IT people to mobile-U (I did not find it, but I am sure it exists; Social-U still exists).
  3. Take the rational approach and find out what others in your position have done, what is available, and what you can do about it.

If you are like me, you would choose #2 — I mean, number three.  And in doing so, you will have to sign up for my session at DreamForce 13 where we will cover mobility and the future of customer service (I don’t make the titles, sorry).  In spite of the title, I am doing something different at this session.  You don’t get to see me spout for 45 minutes on what mobile could become — but instead you get to hear it directly from eight practitioners who have done and continue to work with mobility on a daily basis.

Register (yes, that’s a link) for my session and come listen to:

  • Stephen Barrett – he spends his time helping Salesforce customers embrace and deploy mobile solutions for – well, Salesforce (including ServiceCloud)
  • Brendan Callum- he is a independent Service Cloud Certified Consultant helping customers deploy mobile solutions
  • Lawrence Coburn –  you probably already know of his app; he is the CEO of DoubleDutch – one of the premier custom-built mobile applications for business
  • Dave Hart – he Implemented a massive, global field-service solution for Pitney Bowes using mobile devices
  • Sheryl Kingstone – she is the coolest analyst with Yankee Group and one of the very early analysts covering mobility (I mean, from the beginning)
  • Aaron McElroy – he and his team  from Kabam deployed one of the earliest solutions to help their mobile users
  • Tim Rondeau – he is a veteran of customer service and and Activision Customer Care Expert (can you imagine the efforts when dealing with gamers and mobility?)
  • Abinash Tripathy – CEO of HelpShift – probably the coolest mobile toolset for organizations to provide support to devices

I picked these people to be on stage with me so they can tell you directly what mobile is, where it is going, and what you can do about it.  Each of them will have about five minutes to tell their story in an interview, and then we will have time to take your questions.

This is not your standard, hour-long, boring session – this is “hear it directly from the mouth of people who have done it and have the t-shirt” session.  You cannot miss it, but you will if you don’t register early.  As with most sessions at DreamForce, space is limited.  Please register so we can save you a spot, and come armed with your questions on mobliity for customers.

We will have the answers.

(*) FUD refers to Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt – a secret weapon of analysts and consultants to convince people to act; oops! there goes my union card for the analysts guild…

disclaimer:  SalesForce is a retainer customer, I am doing this session as part of the contract I have with them; I sit on the board of Advisers for HelpShift.  I have no commercial relationship with DoubleDutch, ServiceMax, Activision, Kabam, Yankee Group / 451 Research, or Perficient (nor do I expect one as a result of this panel – although it would be fun to have the YG/451 convo).  And, in spite of that – they all get to come up on stage and talk about their experiences – why? because they have something important to say and to tell you – so there is no implied pay-for-play, or tit-for-tat in this session, just honest people who have done the work and want to share their expertise.  If you still think this is a pay-for-play, well – choose another session and miss out on their wisdom and expertise – you certainly got me figured out!