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Monthly Mash: Death of Newsweek & Preparing for Digital Change

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Welcome to the Monthly Mash, a mashup of tools, tales and tips on customer service and the customer experience from around the blogosphere.

Volume 12: October 2012

Customer Experience Resource: The Digital World

I can hear you now: So Adam, you are supposed be providing us with useful tools and resources to help us better our customer service. This month you give us “the world.” Seriously, were you just too tired to write something useful?

Yes, I freely admit, the Digital World is a bit broad to be a “resource,” but considering the news this past month about Newsweek, I thought it was a good time to speak about the 50,000 foot view of the changing digital landscape that is affecting all businesses, regardless of industry.

In case you missed the news, starting in 2013, Newsweek, an American print icon, will cease to produce the paper version of its magazine. Newsweek is moving to a purely digital, paid subscription model. Only time will tell if their brand and partnership with the Daily Beast will allow this model to be profitable.

Preparing for the Digital World | Globe with NumbersOf course, print publications have been bleeding readers for a decade or more now, and all print publications have undergone massive changes in attempting to adapt to the changing media landscape.

Many have died, many have mutated to shells of their former selves, and many have tried to slowly embrace a digital/hybrid model, a model that will no doubt end as the WWII generation passes and the Baby Boom generation slips into decrepitude.

But the changes are not just for publications, they are for everyone. How you interact with your customers, how your customers view you and talk about you — all of these dynamics are being shaped by the rapidly shifting digital landscape.

Business is changing and, with it, customer service.

You see, I can recommend all of the books, software, and training programs that I want, but unless I work with you directly, I will never know exactly what your business needs, now or in the future. Predicting the future with accuracy is an impossible endeavor. However, failure to try is even worse.

To that end, I will leave you with a few questions:

  • What will your industry look like in 5-10 years?
  • Which aspects will change, which will not?
  • What digital resources are available now that can help you gain competitive advantage and manage the transition from today to tomorrow?

The Digital World is full of resources; try to figure out what change for your business is going to look like and start adopting the tools you are going to need to thrive in the evolving future.

The Month in Customer Service Blogging

A collection of the best posts about customer service and the customer experience I read this past month.

  • Big Data’s Biggest Obstacles – Can we really find what we’re looking for in big data?
  • Infographic: Loyalty Rewards – A great reminder for customer service teams to always do the best they can with new and existing customers. Also, see our post on loyalty programs.
  • 3 Things To Keep In Mind When Dealing With Negativity – Preparation is key when providing appropriate customer service in the social environment.
  • Is Your Customer Service Experience a Long Line to Customer Loyalty? – A little fun. Check out this animated customer experience scenario; I am sure we can all relate to it. Enjoy!
  • Loyalty Programs Must Go Mobile – Loyalty programs need to adapt to the digital environment and take advantage of the potential reach that smartphones hand-deliver.

Someone Was Listening

Sometimes the most popular post from the previous month; sometimes just the one I liked best.

We got a lot of traction this month with the post 5 Lessons Salespeople Can Teach Customer Service Professionals. No one likes a pushy salesperson, but sales techniques, when used well, are methods to help customers get out of their own way to find the value we are offering. Good salespeople have valuable lessons to teach us about creating an amazing customer experience.

About the Author Adam Toporek

By Adam Toporek. Adam Toporek is an internationally recognized customer service expert, keynote speaker, and workshop leader. He is the author of Be Your Customer's Hero: Real-World Tips & Techniques for the Service Front Lines (2015), as well as the founder of the popular Customers That Stick® blog and co-host of the Crack the Customer Code podcast.

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