Connections, Customer Service and Other Business Forecasts for 2016

January 4, 2016

[blend images/corbis]
[blend images/corbis]

In 2016, the top-performing companies will be those that connect customers with providers — such as Uber, Airbnb and Kickstarter, Forbes predicts.

Merely delivering a product or service will not be enough. Instead, top companies will differentiate themselves based on expertise, skills, convenience and customer experience. The best companies will integrate content marketing into their sales processes, providing impartial information that supports the customer’s own research.

In addition, the role of the salesperson will move away from the backslapping, boisterous stereotype to more trustworthy “subject matter experts,” whose advice customers are willing to pay more to receive.

To grow revenue, leaders will invest in corporate cultures of customer service — which some are calling the “new marketing,” in an era where online customer complaints can quickly spread.

Workplaces will continue to evolve in 2016, Forbes says, with smart businesses embracing millennials; young people who want to work for organizations they can feel proud of and who buy products from companies that care about the same things they do.

Innovative organizations will invest in mentoring and engaging the growing number of employees who work remotely, using electronic tools to teach, monitor and mentor team members regardless of their physical location. And top businesses will focus on matching work to employees’ innate strengths, rather than trying to overcome their weaknesses.

Greg Beaubien

Greg Beaubien is a frequent contributor to PRSA’s publications.

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