One of our 25 Principles of Good Academic Customer Service discusses one of the major points of service delivery, websites. It states Websites must be well designed, easy to navigate, written for and focused on students and actually informative. The following article is on how websites also need to have a great deal of customer service involved in their design, It is by Hannah Howard whose web site is www.longhomeleads.com and I am pleased to be able to share a good piece.
July 11, 2012 | in longhorn
Customer service is a major factor in a customer’s overall satisfaction with a company. Consumers want to be assured that the company will back its product or service and be there to assist them when they have a problem or question. Since so much business is being conducted online nowadays, there’s an even greater need to know that the companies we do business with won’t be giving us the cold shoulder when we call with a problem. Here are ten reasons why websites need to focus more on customer service:
- Competition – In e-commerce, and in all business, there is often little that sets one company apart from the competition. Pricing and product quality being essentially equal, consumer choice will come down to customer service.
- Consumer Confidence – When a consumer makes an online purchase, he surrenders the convenience of having a local merchant to deal with. He needs to know that there will be someone there for him when he has a problem since he won’t typically have anyone nearby to handle it.
- Social Networking – Word gets around fast these days, and that includes bad reviews about a company’s service. Nothing can shut down an otherwise successful venture like a bad reputation; and on the internet, a reputation can be established, and taken away, literally overnight.
- Volume – The amount of commerce conducted online is at an all-time high and continues to grow. The more transactions that a website handles, the more likely there will be mishaps – incorrect billing, wrong items delivered, product defects, lost orders, etc. The need for a strong customer support team increases with the volume of business a company does.
- High Expectations – Because of the wide open market that the internet provides, competition is stiff in virtually every service or business. Consequently, consumer expectations are high. There is zero tolerance in today’s business market for poor customer service.
- Low Perceptions – Conversely, with so many businesses outsourcing their customer service resources overseas, public perception of the average customer service rep is at an all-time low. Being a company known for great customer service can be the defining factor for why consumers choose you over everyone else.
- Availability – Customers now have so many avenues by which to contact a business – email, phone, online chat, Skype, and even social media – there’s no excuse for inaction or delay on the part of customer service personnel.
- Cost-Savings – Forward-thinking businesses learned early on that by providing online tech support via FAQ’s, downloads, operator manuals and help forums, not only did their customer satisfaction index improve, so did their bottom line.
- Customer Loyalty – Repeat business is essential to the success of a company. There are only so many people that you can sell to one time. What brings people back, what sets a company apart more than anything else, is customer service.
- Representation – As click-and-mortar entities replace the brick-and-mortar legacy businesses, the face of the company becomes those individuals with whom the customer interacts. In most cases, that’s the customer service rep. The customer service representative is just that – a representative of who you are as a company. That’s no place to skimp if you want to succeed.