Technology has completely changed the way everyone does business, from marketing initiatives to logistics, to communication, to accounting. Nothing has been left untouched, especially when it comes to customer service. Whether it’s outreach or handling feedback and complaints, technology has forced all businesses to rethink how to process and monitor their customer service procedures.
Successful businesses have also learned the importance of monitoring customer service on their website and social media platforms, and many have learned that lesson the hard way. Let’s take a look at why it’s imperative not to ignore online interactions and what your business can do to make the most out of web-based customer service situations.
Customer Service in the Modern Age
Not much has changed when it comes to the basic expectations of customers when dealing with businesses – either in person or online. However, technology has increased the necessity for immediacy. Time is important to everyone, and while in the past expectations allowed for a slower response, the fact that quick and public communication is right at a customer’s fingertips has forced many businesses to experience negative blowback when situations are not rectified in a timely manner. Through online forms on a website, to comments and direct messaging on social platforms, the good and bad can reach a business in mere seconds, and that direct access has encouraged customers to expect immediate answers.
First and foremost, businesses should always set the time expectations for responses in both their contact pages and social platforms. This is simple enough to do, and though it may still go unnoticed by the customer, this is the least a business can do to set things in the right direction.
Secondly, businesses must show appreciation for the customer reaching out, whether they are offering praise or criticism – both situations can only positively impact the future running of the business.
Lastly, businesses should pay equal attention to the communications, meaning that even if a complaint is unfounded, it should be recognized just as much as a compliment in the case of it being a learning experience in the school of modern customer relations.
Ways of Monitoring Customer Service
Gone are the days of a business having a customer service department available to personally handle all incoming calls and letters. Nowadays, everything must be monitored digitally and the communication routed to the proper person, as well as vetting it to see exactly at what level it needs to be handled. Successful businesses have evolved their customer service strategy to both save money and resources, but have still managed to provide high quality customer service. So how do they do it? Here are a few key strategies:
- Monitoring Customer Satisfaction In House
If your business has the personnel and time to handle customer service within its own walls, then the potential is there to also monitor customer satisfaction in house. Direct feedback from the employees is the best source, but don’t forget surveys, customer focus groups, as well as analyzing sales of return customers and referrals.
- Hiring a Marketing Agency to Monitor Customer Feedback
If your business is smaller and needs outside assistance, hiring a marketing agency is always a great option. Not only can they handle incoming calls and web form submissions, but they can be a presence on social media when necessary and are generally experts at spotting potential problems on the web.
- Using a Web Based Complaint Management System
Larger Businesses can use technology to help organize and prioritize incoming digital complaints, in order to do the vetting and sorting. Using a system can offer efficiency and collaboration among departments that otherwise may be missing.
Developing a Customer Complaint Management Process
Resolving customer complaints is the most important task when setting the foundation for customer satisfaction. If you’re ready to implement a process to handle customer complaints, but you’re not sure where to start, here are some tips and ideas to help you develop your own customer complaint management process:
- Understand the difference between a complaint and a request within your business.
- Develop standard operating procedures or invest in a system to track, record, and follow up on complaints.
- Set the priorities and timelines so that the staff understands what is expected.
- Train the staff on their responsibilities and complaint handling skills, while specifying within the system how to handle different types of complaints.
- Offer compassion, not indifference, to the customer, and find the root of the issue.
- Be transparent about what the next steps are and set proper expectations.
- Use all feedback to evolve the business’ customer service as a whole.
If your business is in the market of needing customer service help, as your tech partner, we are here to serve! Contact Blink;Tech today and see how we can assist you!