2012 Trends

29 Dec 2012 Social Business and Customer Service Trends

We get contemplative at the end of every year. Did we do everything we set out to do? Did we meet our goals? What were the best movies we’ve seen or books we’ve read?

Maybe our year-in-review helps us predict what’s coming in the new year, or at least think about how we’ll approach things differently.

Social business and customer service have certainly seen lots of moving and shaking in 2012. Here are some of the trends that may be foreshadowing the year to come.

Social business grows up: quantifying social

Remember back in 2009 when “social” was the new business buzzword? The world knew this was a revolution and everyone wanted to be a part of it. The only problem was that people didn’t quite know how to fit it into their budgets, how to track investments – how to measure it.

This year marks major improvements toward wrapping numbers around social business. McKinsey’s study of the social economy exploded last summer, with predictions that the industry will add $1.3 TRILLION in annual revenue.

After years of trial and error, companies are learning where money is being wasted in social media and are modifying their course.

Stop blocking social media at work! Studies are proving the benefits of social, such as how collaboration tools are boosting productivity.

It’s safe to say that social business has grown up and, most likely, will continue to mature as technology laggards catch up.

Mobile explodes, putting new pressures on business

With the variety of mobile devices (both smartphones and tablets) now available, the ubiquity of data access, and increasing reliance on information anywhere, mobile sales are exploding with no end in sight.

That means more online business, sales, and customer service is being tapped, adding extra pressure to operations internally and externally.

Businesses are scrambling to tap the benefits of mobile, but not without encountering challenges. IT professionals are learning the role of mobile within the enterprise – no overnight task.  When it comes to customer experience, move it or lose it: 73% of mobile users feel companies don’t deserve their loyalty if their needs aren’t being met. Ouch.

When it comes to the future of mobile, it’s looking more and more interactive.

Customer service gets way more social

If a customer complains about a product or service and the business isn’t around to hear it… everyone else will be. Studies show that nearly half of all social media users (and that’s a lot) look to social media for customer service. This year has been all about gearing up on the strategies, tactics, and tools to give better customer experiences through social.

Analysts are predicting that internal collaboration tools will be essential to keeping up with customers in 2013. Many businesses are adopting social customer experience management software.

What’s more, we’re seeing more traditional CRM giants acquiring or integrating agile social capabilities from third parties into their software. Perhaps this is the beginning of making all business more social in 2013 and beyond!

What trends have you seen in 2012? What do you think 2013 has in store for social business?