Providing Excellent Customer Service in the Shifting Online Landscape
A little over 20 years ago customer service was all about making people happy by providing the best service that a brick and mortar building could. This included keeping shelves stocked, friendly customer service reps and catering to the customer. While the basics of customer service have not changed recently, the finer points of customer service have, due to the growing reliance upon the Internet to conduct business.
Businesses are making the switch from physical stores to the Internet and that involves implementing a whole new customer service approach. Here are some elements of customer service to keep in mind in order to stay with the changing world of the Internet and still be able to provide quality, excellent customer service.
Personality Goes a Long Way
Internet users like to put faces to the businesses that they are using. Personality goes a long way in developing brand loyalty and even encouraging customers to come back to your business. Old impersonal customer messages are out of style and instead personalized messages and interactions are the new wave of customer service on the Internet. Companies have even started using online survey software that allows them to interact personally with customers and get their opinions on the business.
The Instant Response Factor
One of the benefits of the Internet is that it provides instant gratification. This carries over to customer service because customers expect prompt service in a timely fashion. Prompt responses or action are a top concern of customers for customer service. Businesses need to keep that in mind when handling any side of customer service from inquiries of the business, orders or complaints. Every interaction needs to be followed up quickly or it could result in one less customer.
The web is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. That means that online businesses need to remember that customers will be online at all hours of the day and need to have access to the business’ website. It would do no good to have an online business that was only open nine to five and blocked access to potential customers. To keep up excellent customer service, stay available and accessible for customers who are just looking to browse your shop or purchase items.
Customers want their concerns, questions and interactions handled in a professional, yet personal fashion. It is easy to let professionalism go astray when your business is interacting online. However, remembering to maintain a level of professionalism in every business aspect from the way that your company’s employees interact with each other or customers online to the way that the businesses communicates in emails and forum postings will give off a high level of professionalism and keep those customers coming back.
Customers are the cornerstone that keeps your business running. To keep the customers happy and returning to your business you need to have excellent customer service through every aspect. Keeping some of these factors in mind can help your company gain a reputation for excellent customer service.