Do you recall your last customer “service” experience? Did it leave you pleased and pleasantly surprised or angry and frustrated? The subject of good versus bad customer service is an issue that every business must be aware of. In the age of “Social Media Justice”, it is important to remember that information travels fast, and in this day and age, it’s only a click away for the person researching your company for their next purchase.
Think of changes in our access to information about a company just in the last 10 years. And with the rise in social media, your service interactions with your customers can be screen captured, chat copied, browser recorded, phone tapped and email forwarded in the blink of an eye. Your customer service is now “content” for sites like YouTube, Yelp, FourSquare, Facebook and ScamReport.
So, how do we develop a system in which we use all relevant mediums and tools to deliver excellent customer service? First, we must use all points of customer engagement to increase convergence and provide care. Quality customer care and responsiveness equals priceless credibility. Second, relate and get to know your customers as individuals. Stay engaged with who your customers are, get to know their behaviors and find a common-ground. Lastly, empower your employees with knowledge and direction. A well-trained employee will have the skills necessary to provide positive, productive communication with clients.
It’s important to remember that technology is enabling better customer service experiences, but can work against you when a bad experience happens. Meet your customers on their turf – so to speak. If they are using social platforms like Facebook or Twitter, learn how you can utilize these touch points to improve your relationship and service (or to avoid customer care calls). For a business, using tools like social media platforms can be a win-win situation. It has given businesses a variety of channels to respond to and engage with customers quickly and individually. Social media platforms allow for you to stay engaged in the behavior, activity and responsiveness of your audience.
Aside from the immediacy and interactivity of emerging technology that can support this, what it all boils down to is the human interaction between business and customer. Great customer service is a reflection of how well a company values their customer. And remember – “honesty is the best policy.” Addressing customer concerns in both a timely and honest fashion is of critical importance and priority. Otherwise you may have thousands of potential customers reading about it in the “reviews” written by the people who really matter – your customers.