Customer Service – How Has Technology Changed It?

Does your business specialize and focus on customer service?  As a business owner, you know and understand that your survival depends on customers buying your product or using your service.

With the onset of technology over the past few years, customer service has changed dramatically.  Customers today can place orders and get technical help right from their own homes.  This brings with it a whole new set of advantages:

  • business owners can cost effectively deliver services faster and in a shorter amount of time;
  • customers have the choice of how they want to interact and contact the business, be it by phone, email, online chat or automated voice mail.

But there is a downside.  Customers can easily become frustrated if they aren’t able to reach a real person, push a wrong key and end up having to repeat the process, or find they’ve been directed to a broken web link. With search engines and social networking, it is easy for customers to share their experiences.  One mouse click and a bad experience can be shared with a long list of friends and associates.  As Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com, said: “If you make customers unhappy in the physical world, they might each tell 6 friends. If you make customers unhappy on the Internet, they can each tell 6,000 friends.”

How do you avoid losing business?  The whole key is forming a relationship with your customer. Customer service is not something you offer once in a while.  Everyone you deal with deserves the best service.  A lot of companies today are staying close to their customers by asking their opinions.  Good customer service is about bringing the customer back.  Successful companies take the time to find out what their customers want.. They are using today’s technology to their advantage to deepen their relationships with customers, by making it easier for consumers to connect with them and communicate their needs. Successful companies also use insights gained in the process to ensure they are meeting or exceeding, customer expectations.

Here are a few tips for developing good customer service:

  • Listen to your customers and get their view point
  • Keep in contact with them and build that relationship
  • Deal with complaints quickly and efficiently
  • Train your staff well so they reflect the true image of the company
  • Recognize customer service as a “core competency” and make sure all staff receive training and understand expectations
  • Go the extra mile and make sure the customer is happy

We live in a technology driven world.  That doesn’t mean we abandon the basic principles of customer service. Technology has given us more options. Just make sure you use these new tools strategically!

Note: Interested in using Internet technology to do business? Register for our e-Business seminar on November 24!  Tell us your best customer service tip and you could attend the session for free!  Once a month we’ll enter all entries into a draw for a chance to win a voucher for an upcoming seminar.

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