The end of a year and – amazing coincidence – the beginning of a new year for many is a time to look back and feel a mix of joy, regrets, pain, gratitude and much more in a highly individual way.
It’s also a time to look forward and think about the future, the unknown, again with probably mixed feelings. For brands, bloggers, analysts and many others it’s the moment to make lists of top things in 2014, top predictions for 2015 and a bunch of content that’s related with the end/start of a year. There is some great stuff out there so some searching is worth the while (you can find one on customer service below but there are more and if all is well you can expect some in other blog posts).
We wish you a year in which you can enjoy health, precious moments with your loved ones, great days and lots of strength in tougher times. We also wish you the guts and opportunity to grow, evolve, learn and realize your dreams, while enabling others to do the same.
Make it a great journey with many fellow travelers and looking more at the customer experience and customer journey in your business life. Bon voyage!
Time for some top lists, predictions and more
Top five experts to follow in 2015
- Your customers and their customers because they will define the future of your business. People-centric becomes customer-centric here and remember the transformational impact of the customer experience.
- Your employees and business partners, especially those that don’t speak out often but are smart and honest.
- Your most honest friends that have the guts to show and tell you what they genuinely believe, also when it hurts.
- Your loved ones, knowing that sometimes what they tell you is not always right but also that often they’re not the ones we pay enough attention to (and we should, really).
- Your gut feeling, those ‘aha’ moments and the little voices in your head telling you what you need to know. But that means you have to give your mind the space to do so by disconnecting now and then (saying “no” when needed and breathing helps too).
We wish you the guts and opportunity to grow, evolve, learn and realize your dreams, while enabling others to do the same in a mindset of ubiquitous optimization.
Top blog posts 2014 AND 2015
- For 2014: the posts that really made a change for the better in the lives of whomever read them. Unfortunately, your analytics tool won’t tell you which ones they are. Having been of service probably was key in those posts.
- For 2015: the posts that really will make a change in the lives of whomever read them. Unfortunately, your analytics tool won’t tell you which ones they are. However, being more people-centric will increase the chance they can help someone and having a service mindset (and processes and business approach) won’t hurt either.
Good service — whether it’s to answer a customer’s question prior to purchase, or help a customer resolve an issue post-purchase should be pain-free, proactive at a minimum and preemptive at best, deeply personalized, and delivered with maximum productivity. (Kate Leggett in Forrester’s Top Trends For Customer Service In 2015).
Top marketing, technology and business predictions
- There will be many marketing, technology and business predictions but it’s really important to understand the individual context of your business and customers, while knowing which evolutions and predictions will matter now, tomorrow and in the long run. A mix of optimizing what is, changing and even transforming what is because of what was, is and will come (digital transformation comes into play here indeed), and, last but not least, keeping an eye on what matters in a timeless way,…matters.
- Many of us will make mistakes by looking too much at the predictions instead of at the actual situation and the stuff that doesn’t work now and can be improved. Probably looking at the individual context of your business and customers will be where you find many opportunities. Do it thoroughly all you’ll find an amazing number of ‘leaks’ and optimization opportunities, promised.
- The marketing, technology and business predictions will peak at the beginning and at the end of 2015.
- Most content that will be produced after New year will most likely be related with Valentine’s Day. If you want to do something out of the box, you can skip some of these content marketing “must moments in time”. Be bold and make a stand as Doug Kessler says, with the customer and brand in mind when thinking about your content marketing goals and plans.
- There will be lots of data but what matters most is how they benefit your customers and business. Go beyond big data and think actionable data, while avoiding a data-centric or data-only view (just as we need to avoid content-centricity, channel-centricity, etc.). Gut feeling matters and people-centric business (and processes) are about more than data-driven actions (emotions!).
Your customers and their customers will define the future of your business. Looking at the individual context of your business and customers will be where you find many opportunities in the here and now (while looking at what’s coming and turning it into actionable insights).
What you certainly will do in 2015
- Believe it’s 2014 at least once and even write down it’s 2014 on some document. This will most probably happen in the beginning of 2015.
- Make mistakes without realizing it and make mistakes and realize it. Mistakes are ok, the latter category is cooler because you can act upon the insights gained as a result of seeing those mistakes – if you really want to.
- Confuse the value of your work – and what others say or don’t say about it – with your value as a human being.
- Enjoy the sun, most probably in Spring, Summer and with some luck early Fall. If it’s out today, take a moment to enjoy it and create some space for your inner voices or the top experts to follow mentioned earlier.
- Get wet because it rains and you forgot your umbrella. Showers, baths, swimming pools and maybe even champaign bottles opened in the first hours of 2015 or at other festive moments throughout the year can also make you wet.
- Finally, you will face some tough choices. Realize you’re not alone and don’t be too proud to seek some advice. We all need relationships, friends and advisors.
Happy 2015. Value yourself and value the people you might not have valued enough in 2014. Such as those who love you, your employees, maybe yourself and very probably your customers. Thanks for existing, you make all the difference.
No goats (2015 is the year of the goat for the Chinese New Year, don’t forget the Chinese) or people were hurt writing this blog post and the pictures in them come from shutterstock: the goat, the ‘bon voyage‘, the ‘pulling people‘.