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Customer service - It's still important

Customer Experience

Ed Maule

15th February 2017

Customer service - It's still important New research suggests that more than a quarter of consumers chose to spend less with a company or took their business elsewhere thanks to poor customer service during 2016, costing firms over £37bn.
New research suggests that more than a quarter of consumers chose to spend less with a company or took their business elsewhere thanks to poor customer service during 2016, costing firms over £37bn.

It’s no surprise that with huge advances in technology and communications, the way customers interact with businesses has changed. 

From the days of letter writing and the early adopters of email, the way in which consumers now connect with businesses has well and truly moved on. But, and it’s a big but, the expectation of consumers remains the same - they want good service, from all businesses, all of the time.

Communications have changed. Consumer expectations have not.

New research released in February shows that "63% of consumers feel disillusioned and feel resigned to poor service, and no longer trust businesses to do the right thing."

The report cites the retail sector as being most complained-about in 2016, accounting for 24% of reports of bad customer service. This poor service received by customers accounts for a loss in revenue to businesses as customers decide to take their money elsewhere - rather than complaining and hoping for a response.

The learning is simple - customer service still needs to be at the heart of business. A customer focused ethic across the board will help to reduce complaints and improve customer retention.

From an ecommerce perspective, give customers the opportunity to contact you in the most convenient way possible, and, importantly, make sure these channels are monitored and customers are responded to.

For social media, reply to any customer query or complaint using their first name if available, don’t just refer to them as ‘Customer’. For any detailed complaint or enquiry, try to take the conversation offline into email or direct messaging so any conversation is not played out publicly.

The opportunity to showcase great customer service starts from the moment a customer lands on your site or walks into your store. Once an order has been placed, ensure transactional communications (e.g. order confirmations/dispatch emails) are written in the right tone of voice to match your brand. Give customers clear details on how they can get in touch should there be a problem with their order.

Follow up reviews are a good litmus test for customer service. Consider integration with a third party review engine and send feedback requests as a follow up once an order has been dispatched and received. This helps to pinpoint any customer service issues and helps retailers make changes before it becomes a bigger problem.

It’s not rocket science. A high standard of service is still vital when it comes to customer retention. This new report reiterates the cost to businesses who don’t offer great service to consumers and will nudge some retailers to look closely at their customer service processes and reevaluate where improvements can be made.

If you want to learn more about customer retention techniques and how the Venditan Commerce platform can help you to improve the customer service you offer, please call John or Chris on: +44(0)161 826 3090 or email us at: startyourjourney@venditan.com

 

Ed Maule
Ed Maule 15th February 2017