Customer Service in the Digital Age

Four tips on handling specific challenges.

12/7/2016 9:00:00 AM
Customer Service in the Digital Age

Today’s technology has helped to make it easier for businesses to communicate with their customers, but it has also brought on a fair share of unique customer service challenges. The following will explain how you can become aware of some of these issues and manage them accordingly.

Finding a Balance

E-commerce is attractive because it has made it cheaper than ever to start a business, but it can feel impersonal. You are often better served selling many products in a physical store because customers want to experience the product in-person before committing to a purchase. They may want to speak in person with an employee who is knowledgeable about the product. With this in mind, consider using technology to enhance your physical customer experience, not as the be-all and end-all of your business.
As Lane Gerson and Ariel Nelson, co-founders of the shoe company Jack Erwin, write in an article, “Don’t ditch the store — but also don’t be a dinosaur.” Find the point between old school and new school that will allow your business to come across as being both contemporary and experiential.

Keeping It Consistent

Once you find that balance, you will want to make sure the online and offline experiences within your company mirror each other. Does your store have a minimalist décor? Show that in your user interface. Warm color palette? Stylize your website similarly. This will prevent dissonance and affirm to your customers that they are indeed in the right place.

Making Customers Feel Special

Consumers these days want to feel like they know you. Therefore, it is important that you let them feel a part of your business by being transparent and engaging with them. It’s the best way to build trust and thus a strong following.
Some of the best ways to do this are to give behind-the-scenes peeks into the inner workings of your business, and to be sincere while troubleshooting an issue. If you pulled a prank on a co-worker on April Fool’s Day, post a video of it on your Facebook page. Did someone tweet about a problem with a product? Respond to that customer personally to rectify the situation.

Employee Turnover

How does an internal issue affect customer service? By interrupting flow and consistency.
“Turnover rates can severely affect a business’s ability to provide the quality and level of service consumers want,” Business News Daily assistant editor Nicole Fallon writes.
What’s more, focus on the customer wanes when managers have to take the time to hire and train new employees, which can turn into a vicious cycle.
“Perhaps unsurprisingly, satisfying customers goes hand-in-hand with satisfying and retaining your employees,” Fallon says.
Using impersonal technology and providing a personal experience might seem mutually exclusive, but that is not at all the case. By maintaining awareness of the issues this digital age poses on customer service, you can ensure you stay ahead of the curve in providing that special experience your customers expect both online and in-store.

Published by North Shore Bank. Includes copyrighted material of IMakeNews, Inc. and its suppliers. 

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