The quality, or lack thereof, of customer services can have a huge impact on determining whether we use a product or service again. It varies from country to country, but fundamentally, in the UK, it never hurts to smile.
What is Good Customer Service?
As stated above, customer service can vary from place to place, but in layman’s terms, it simply involves being friendly and personable. The somewhat archaic view of customer services is a nice big smile, some helpful information and advice and a pleasant “cheerio”. In the modern world, however, the art of good customer services is changing.
Modern Day Customer Services
First and foremost, these days, the vast majority of our consuming, at least for many of us, is done online. There is no longer a familiar smiley face at the other side of a checkout, but rather some generic computerised text. This doesn’t, however, signal the end of customer services, in fact, some would say, it is just the beginning.
With Smartphones and Tablets gradually taking over the world, we are increasingly communicating through technology. The consumer experience has changed massively. As important as digital marketing has become, however, digital customer services is also now imperative.
Creating a Personal Feel
One, perhaps slightly complex, approach is to attempt to garner a shopping experience towards a specific customer. Now, computers have got rather clever, and so it is possible to enter an online store these days and have suggestions thrown your way; this is just part of the story, however.
In addition to helping to improve the user-experience of online stores, it is also crucial that customers feel welcome and appreciated, and that some sense of personal interaction still exists. This can easily be done by having ‘live chat’ support-where customers direct questions or queries to a real person (via text).
Appreciation and after-sales communication is also a vital aspect of this. One wonderful idea, which I recently came across, was sending handwritten thank you notes with goods ordered online. It helps to give people a sense of belonging and inspires loyalty.
Advise, Don’t Bombard
One accepted practice of ‘real life’ customer services that took a while to translate across to the online marketplace, is to suggest and advise, but not to bombard.
Some early attempts at internet marketing were akin to stepping into a supermarket and having multiple staff members gluing themselves to your side like vicious commission-paid Piranhas. It was neither helpful or appealing. Indeed, it only served the purpose of forcing the customer to virtually run out of the store, never to return again.
Luckily, people have now learnt how to approach internet marketing and this too has spread to online customer services. Google has helped in this respect, with the development of algorithm tools that punish users who don’t conduct a helpful and thoughtful business approach online.
Technology Improving Customer Services in the Real World
In addition to technology helping to improve the customer services of online stores, it has also been used to improve the consumer experience in the real world. Multiple apps are now being developed by many leading high street stores, in order to improve their communications with customers and enhance the consumer experience.
For anyone running a business, customer services training courses, can be of great benefit. Not only can they teach people, who may often come from different cultures, the basics, but too they can help you to keep up with the technology that can assist you in developing positive customer services for the modern world.