One of the best ways to stay abreast in the customer service industry is by joining professional groups on LinkedIn. This simple step allows you to gain insights from industry experts, share best practice-related standards with peers, and network with professionals belonging in the same circles as you do. Also, you get support from individuals speaking the same language/jargon as you, especially when you’re stumped and seeking for solutions on issues—which only your peers understand.
For the preeminent customer service outsourcing companies, establishing a network is one of their secrets in prevailing, with relation to their capability to meet clients’ needs, staying on top of the curve, and providing good analysis to certain issues.
Here, we’ve gathered some of the major groups on LinkedIn. However, some private groups require you to request membership from the group manager, while others are public, allowing you to jump right in and join discussions immediately. Figure out which ones are most relevant to you, so you can decide which ones to join.
Customer Service Professionals
An informal networking group discussing topics on customer service, focusing on warranty management and field service. Created in 2008, Customer Service Professionals already has 116,827 members and is headed by Steven Zannos, the Director of Market Development for the Husqvarna Group.
Customer Service Champions
Members of this group believe that customer service is the core driver of all organizations. Their discussions contain relevant information regarding those that excel in service, and at the same time offer support to those struggling. It has 73,476 members and is affiliated with the Belding Group of Companies, an organization that helps companies create, drive, and measure employee performance and customer service.
Customer Service Handling
A knowledge-based platform that facilitates sharing of tools and techniques for improved skills and active interaction and participation among members are encouraged in this affiliation. Created in 2010, it has 43,736 participants and is affiliated with globat.com, a company that offers web hosting solutions.
Making Excellent Customer Service the Standard
The group name says it all: they believe that nothing less than excellent customer service is the order of the day. Recognizing today’s tight economic conditions and slower consumer spending, excellent customer service is the real competitive advantage. Created in 2009, it has 36,878 members and is owned by Abraham Venismach, who also hosts a podcast on the website excellentcustomerservice365.com.
Customer Experience Management Professionals
An extension of their Facebook group, this LinkedIn group created in 2008 has 19,260 members comprised of professionals aiming to become a networking venue, where best practices are shared among customer experience managers in all fields and levels.
Customer Services Management Professionals
This group has come together with a straightforward goal: to network and exchange ideas for improving the value of their service practices. Established in 2008, it currently has 36,504 members and is an extension of their website CSM (http://www.customerservicemanager.com), an e-magazine for customer service professionals.
Customer Experience, Customer Feedback & Voice of the Customer Excellence
Established in 2008, this 5,089-member group was set up with the aim of maximizing experience and loyalty of the customer by continuous focus on innovation, care, and proactive approaches.
Customer Experience Professionals
This book was created in 2008 with 19,074 members at present. Composed of professionals in the customer experience field, their goal is to share the best industry practices. Topics include collecting customer feedback, measuring customer value, and driving change at critical customer touch points, among others.
Customer Care Network
Established in 2008, the purpose of this group is to offer maximum services at minimal costs for its 10,018 members to share knowledge and know-how on topics covering customer care strategies, tactics, and operations.
Customer Analytics Group
Customer Data and Analytics – Marketing and Big Data Group
A relatively new LinkedIn group having only been created in 2013, a forum and information exchange platform containing the best practices and issue solving methods related to customer/marketing analytics and Big Data. It covers customer insight, pricing strategies, and marketing analytics challenges as well as Data Warehousing and Technological Infrastructure issues with 1,347 members.
Customer Lifecycle Management (CLM)
This group is composed of professionals, specifically those within the CLM niche. Discussions transpiring include topics related to creating customer lifetime value acquisition, development, and retention of clients. Those belonging to direct marketing or inbound marketing industries will find this group useful. With 9,073 members, it also has a website filled with valuable information: http://www.2organize.com/en/.
Customer Service Innovation Group
A private networking group where its 27,969 members exchange ideas on innovative approaches to customer service and support. This includes the application of customer service, contact center, self-service, analytics, knowledge management technologies, as well as social networking and web 2.0 technologies.
Customer Service for Service Professionals
For those in the call center industry, this group can help you in training service professionals on how to book more calls, what to say or not to say over the phone, and how to handle customers, among others. It’s a group that started in 2012, with 19,998 members. Take a look at their website as well: http://www.powersellingpros.com.
Where Social Media Meets Customer Service
A professional group that began in 2009, with the aim of providing an online forum to share ideas, observations, insights, and opinions regarding issues related to social media. It seeks to find out how social media affects online customer service and support.
Social Media for Customer Service & Call Centers
This is a private group that also calls itself the Call Center IQ. It’s a great resource for finding articles, podcasts, video presentations, and live online events on topics such as call center management, customer experience, customer loyalty, customer management, first call resolution (FCR), average handle time (AHT), interactive voice response (IVR), and others.
It’s also a place to discuss ideas & best practices and interact with other call center and customer service practitioners. It was created in 2009, and has 18,177 members. Its website is http://www.callcenter-iq.com.
Customer Service Executives & Professionals
This group has been around since 2008, with 17,771 members at this time. It discusses customer service topics across various sectors, such as retail, utilities, insurance, financial services, housing associations, outsourcing, automotive, charity, travel, and the service sector. Its content targets professionals holding director or managerial positions within the customer service industry, containing tips, discussions, links, and opportunities. The website is http://www.douglas-jackson.com.
International Customer Service Association (ICSA)
The ICSA is a non-profit professional association and has several regional chapters. They are committed to the education, development, promotion, and recognition of customer service professionals. Created in 2008, it already has 13,324 members with a website that is http://www.icsatoday.org.
Customer Service Representative Development
A networking group with 10,862 members that started in 2010, they welcome all customer service professionals—from entry level to executive management. Their main focus is to increase their knowledge through discussions, articles, news, and Q&A conversations, as well as to learn new technologies within their industry. Job ads are even encouraged.
Customer Service in Insurance
This group recognizes the fact that customer acquisition in the insurance industry is a difficult task that doesn’t enjoy high reputation within customer service parameters. They aim to change this mindset by sharing ideas and experience on best practices for improvement. It is open to insurers, regulators, customers, and other professionals within the industry such as agents, brokers, claim handlers, banks, etc. It has 10,585 members and was created in 2011.
The Future of Customer Service
This group targets senior customer service practitioners with the aim to provide an online forum for members to establish connections, exchange ideas, and provide professional advice and suggestions. It’s a place to gain insights from thought leaders and join discussions on the current and future state of customer service. It has 8,332 members and was created in 2010.
Institute of Customer Service
This is a professional goody for customer service, with the purpose of leading customer service performance and professionalism. Created in 2009, it has over 350 organizational members, with 6,131 members, and two subgroups.
Joining an online group will help keep your finger on the pulse of all things related to the customer service industry. Some are highly specialized with niche topics like Big Data, while others are specific to those belonging to certain groups, such as the financial services industry or the call center niche.
It’s worthwhile to take the time to seek which ones resonate with you and actively participate in discussions with other members. This way, you’ll gain credibility and be seen as an expert worth listening to and consulting with.
Nowadays, the traditional landline phone customer service that businesses have may not serve your customers well—considering that we’re living in the technology era. Having customer support in other types of network such as through online and mobile are some of the customer assistance services we have, which can take your entire customer service to a whole new level. Learn more!