Customer service used to be about interacting with customers and finding out why they were visiting your store or contacting your company. Now that online customer service is an option, many companies are providing customer service on a mass scale instead of on a one-on-one basis. Technology also makes it possible to resolve customer service problems in a matter of minutes, saving customers time and helping ease their frustrations. These are just two of the major ways online customer service has improved in the past five years.
Barry Dalton of Salesforce.com says customer service is at a tipping point because customers are demanding better service from retailers, service providers, and other businesses. Social media is making it possible to deliver better online customer service and turn your customer service department into a revenue-producing business unit. The use of social media has completely changed the online customer service landscape, making it more important that customer service reps solve problems quickly instead of spending time building personal relationships with customers.
As an added bonus, using social media to power your online customer service efforts is also a good way to attract new customers. When potential clients see that your online service team solves problems quickly and treats customers with respect, they are more likely to try your products and services. If improving customer service is one of your top priorities, try using new forms of social media to connect with customers and solve their problems. People who shop online already benefit from easier checkout processes and a bigger selection of items, so play to these strengths when delivering customer service.
The second major change in online customer service is the focus on mobile service solutions. If you don't have a mobile customer service app or a responsive website that works just as well on smartphones as it does on a laptop or desktop, you're missing out on an opportunity to provide better customer service. The proliferation of mobile technology makes it possible to reduce response times, open a direct channel of communication with customers, and increase the lifetime value of every customer you serve. If your company has its own online customer service app, you can even chat with customers in real time, improving customer service for everyone who does business with you.
The goals of the customer service department have not changed much during the past thirty years, but the way we deliver service has changed drastically. Social media and mobile technology have changed the way businesses interact with customers, resolve customer service issues, and increase the lifetime value of every customer. If you aren't using these tools to power your online customer service efforts, you're missing out on the opportunity to increase customer engagement and attract new business to your company.
(Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net)