Technology has done an awful lot to help make it easier for people to run businesses, big and small, these days but it has also helped create a few problems along the way, especially where customer service is concerned.
One area that you might have noticed becoming a little bit trickier to navigate is the customer service side of your business. Thanks to technology and the advent of the smartphone, people can now leave feedback across a wide variety of different platforms, whether that’s email, social media, over the phone or as a review of your business on something like Google+.
Closing the loop on customer feedback has never been more important and unfortunately, it’s never been harder to achieve, especially for bigger companies. What you should do is set out a defined way for everyone to act so that no customer gets left out in the cold. Of course, some feedback will be more important than others so make sure that anything like a legal threat or safety issue is dealt with as a matter of urgency.
You should also always make sure that you take the time to thank customers who do get in touch to leave feedback. The bigger your company, the less likely you’ll be able to do so individually but a group message will still have much the same effect. Let them know what you’re doing with the feedback they’ve sent in, whether that’s sorting out an individual problem or making a change to the way that you operate based on criticisms that people have left. The worst thing you can do is ignore any given situation – people love to complain from behind their keyboards and don’t think they won’t let you have it if they think you deserve it.
Other top tips include being personal in your responses with consumers. People can tell a mile off these days whether it’s a person on the end of that email chain or just an automated response. Automation can be a useful tool but there’s no substitute for that human touch in the end. If someone gets in touch with you over social media in particular, make sure you reply in a timely fashion… if you leave it too late, they might think they’re being ignored and they could easily disappear off to shop with your competition if you’re not careful.
You should also be as proactive as you can. If you know there’s a situation bubbling that people are likely to complain about, try to sort it out first. Or put out a message on your social media channels to say you’re aware that there is a problem and you’re all doing all you can to fix it, asking for people’s patience while you do so.
This level of transparency will also yield dividends in the long run. People know brands aren’t perfect, that they will make mistakes, but as long as you’re open and honest you shouldn’t run into too much trouble.
For more help with customer experience strategy, call us at ORC International today.