So many businesses these days figure that they don’t need to worry about talking to us or providing customer service because we don’t expect it any more. They are wrong! Think about your best experience in business and invariably it was because of great service. Sure, it’s nice when an ongoing booking sheet works, but if you have a query and someone picks up the phone, talks to you and resolves your problem, it’s far better service than just having to scour a FAQ page. While yes, some customers don’t want to talk to you and are happy to use a quick and efficient online system, not all your customers are like this. All customers and generations are different. You don’t want to cut out a huge chunk of the market because you don’t meet the majority’s wants.
Here are some different tips for customer service for businesses which do have an online presence:
- Ensure your online system is efficient and works – if its screens take more than a second or two to load, people are often too impatient to wait.
- Regularly test it yourself. I tried to ring a number from a website last week only to find the number faulty – and the correct number, almost impossible to find.
- Even if you are online, have a customer service contact number– and don’t hide it so no one can use it. Apple is one of the largest computer companies in the world (and yes, I do love my iProducts), but goodness, try ringing them and it’s near impossible. It feels as though if you don’t have one of their accounts and interact electronically, you don’t exist.
- Have staff on phones who can think – not just work to scripts, but have the ability to work beyond a set script.
- Rotate phone staff so they don’t become ‘worn’ by being on the phone all day. Particularly in a situation where someone is unhappy, the outcome really does depend on how the call is handled. Staff need to listen, be patient, be friendly, offer help and if they can’t resolve the situation, have a means to start a process on how it can be resolved as best as possible.
Yes, it may be the e-era, and so much is digital, but when it comes to business, nothing goes beyond the personal touch, customer service and the great people relationships.