What is a business that you patronize where you want the service to be REALLY, REALLY…slow?  Come on…think…tough question, huh?  Maybe if the business is a collection agency, that would make sense…

The point is, people don’t want much in business nowadays done slowly.  They want it on time or early – often as fast as possible.  Small businesses used to always have speed as an advantage over larger competitors because the smaller businesses were “more nimble” and “could make decisions more quickly.”

But the reality is that you can order a part for your washing machine today, and get Amazon to deliver it to your door tomorrow (if not today!).  So people want the product as well as the service that surrounds the product faster than ever.

We address all 4 Key Trends for 2013 in our Stepping Up Service Podcast, but here’s Trend #4 for 2013…

Trend #4 – Customers’ desire for speed becomes huge priority for customer service organizations

In the world of customer service, there is too much energy  spent discussing employee smiles and tone of voice (which are important) without addressing processes.  Organizations of all sizes will be challenged to compete with the web-based businesses in particular.

The competitive advantage that local businesses have had in convenience and ease/speed of purchase will be challenged by web-based organizations and others that have streamlined their supply chain and service processes to the point that the tea maker in Topeka can get you the item you want easier and faster than your local grocery store.

What’s the Answer?

Organizations will invest more and more in process experts (such as Industrial Engineers, Quality Management experts, and even Six Sigma black belts) in the design and improvement of the customer experience in 2013.  Customer service improvement won’t be all about the motivational speaker or the communications expert.  Businesses will realize the process-impact on being able to differentiate themselves from a customer service perspective, and they’ll strive to adhere to the maxims of simplicity and speed in doing business with customers.

Thanks for following the 2013 Customer Service Trends!