by Ashley Verrill

Today's customers increasingly prefer digital communication when it comes to seeking customer service. They would rather email, chat, or even tweet their questions – instead of actually picking up the phone, sitting on hold, and explaining their issue. This trend has started to expand the kind of talent companies need for support beyond the typical call center job.

Recently, I interviewed experts from several of the top staffing agencies (including Monster.com, CareerBuilder and SimplyHired) and HR software providers to get their thoughts on what skills they see becoming more important in the future. These touched a variety of talent pools, from mobile to social media. Here's four specific skills they identified as being crucial to the customer service team of the future...

Last week, at GetSatisfaction’s inaugural Customer Success Summit (May 2, 2013) in San Francisco, I received my regular reminder that I live in this tech bubble called the Bay Area. I was speaking with a gentleman about why I was attending and how I understood the importance of building a brand around a community. His response? “Yeah, I’m here because I still need to be convinced.” After slyly picking my jaw up off the ground, I realized that perhaps this concept hasn’t proliferated far beyond the borders of tech savvy regions. Perhaps it hasn’t spread far beyond community managers and startup founders. Though I can’t confirm personally, I would like to think that the gentleman was thoroughly convinced by the end of the day that a community can drive your whole business. The conference was incredibly inspiring, GetSatisfaction seems to be a great company, and I look forward to next year’s event. Below, I’ll summarize my take-aways by describing the three ways you can build your brand around a community...

There is something very appealing about joining a small or early-stage team. Sure, it’s not for everyone, but I know a lot of you have thought about it. Getting in at ground zero with the hopes that you can be an integral part of helping it grow.  Influencing strategy, product, and hires; or just being knowledgeable of every facet of the business. It’s very different from joining a large company where you may feel like a single cog. I have learned firsthand what it means to join a small team and have made it a point to absorb as much as I can about the dynamics of a small team.

As indicated in one of my earlier posts, the Hire Smart Small Business Event took place this past Saturday (April 27, 2013)...

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AuthorBen Larson