Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Customer Service Online

There has been plenty of talk recently, and in some cases tears, about online business taking custom away from the retail store. But here's something to consider. How long will the party last if these online retailers fail to deliver on customer service?

If like many, you are an online purchaser, chances are the customer service experience has been either poor or non existent. There are notable exceptions, but they are rare.

The big danger nowadays is that the ticked off shopper can instantaneously tell hundreds, sometimes thousands, of their online friends an inflamed account of their experience, worsened by the fact that it is near impossible to have it disappear.

The flip side is to make the customer experience exceptional. It's the simple things that make a difference so start there. Here are some suggestions.

Address concerns and complaints with personal phone calls and people who can speak firsthand about orders. Don't put people on hold 'forever', it's incredibly annoying. And don't transfer them around departments, get them to the right person sooner. Keep customers up-to-date with their orders and address them by name with all correspondence. Make sure your contact details are current, easily located, and that there are people on the other end who are available to help.

Good customer service does not need to cost the earth but it can pay you back ten fold in more ways than one.


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