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December 31, 2010 / jasonpinto

2011 – The Year of the Customer


I’ve had a lot of fun reading “Predictions for 2011” and “Trends to Look out for in 2011” articles over the past month. Looking back at how much fun I’ve had in 2010, I am absolutely thrilled to see what will happen in the worlds of marketing and technology over the next 12 months.

Paying attention to forecasted trends can certainly benefit a business. It may help them to adjust their strategies and plans before they fail, especially if they had been overlooking the growth of a communication channel.

But after consuming three specific items over the past month, I think I see one thing that companies should spend a lot more of their resources on in 2011. It may truly be the most important thing they need to do in order to grow their business.

That one thing? Focus on improving customer service.

It may seem obvious… but it’s not necessarily trendy or easy to implement. However, delivering amazing customer service truly can be the “thing” that lifts our company above our competition.

Here were the three items that have recently inspired and encouraged me on this topic:

BOOK: Flip The Funnel by Joseph Jaffe

I must thank @mBossed for alerting me about this book. It’s an excellent read. It contains a number of compelling case studies and other points to help businesses see the benefits of spending more resources focusing on their existing customers.

One of my favorite takeaways from the book: create a blog that is specifically devoted to providing customer service to your clients.

(Link to buy it on Amazon)

BOOK: Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh

The inspirational story about Zappos is mentioned in Flip the Funnel. But here, Tony Hsieh provides a first-hand account of all of the steps (both positive and negative) that they took to achieve their success. He discusses how things such as creating a positive culture inside their company and taking control of their inventory & warehouse management system all helped to contribute to a better experience for their customers.

Not only will this book motivate you, but it also will make you smile and laugh. I absolutely loved the stories regarding Red Bull and raves.

(Link to buy it on Amazon)

#CustServ on Twitter

I have not contributed enough to this discussion, but simply following tweets with the #custserv hashtag has taught me two things: there are a whole lot of people out there committed to improving customer service, and they are more than willing to share great ideas.

I look forward to participating in and learning a lot more from this community for a long time.

(Search for #CustServ on Twitter)

 

Photo Credit (from a customer service zealot, @HouseOfBrew): http://twitpic.com/3labzb

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3 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. Ryan McAbee / Dec 31 2010 10:36 am

    Happy to share Flip the Funnel and glad you now have a few ideas to implement. Thanks for the #Custserv that will soon be added to Tweetdeck.

    For businesses, the most two powerful ways to use social media are as a communication platform for employees and, more importantly, a way to over deliver to your customers. Marketing should be a far third. Unfortunately, marketing is where most companies try to start.

    PS: You should order the free Zappos Culture book.

  2. jasonpinto / Jan 3 2011 9:07 am

    Ryan, thanks again for another tip… Just ordered the Zappos Culture book.

    Also, I absolutely love the items you listed as the two most powerful ways to use social media. You rock, man!

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