In the modern era, many business organisations’ customer service efforts are in danger of losing their human touch, predominantly because of increased reliance on technology that’s resulted in business organisations that appear faceless to their customers.
What is customer service?
It would appear that many businesses and their customer service employees need a refresher as to what customer service is.
Customer service is the assistance and advice a business provides to its client base before, during and after they purchase its products or services. Many businesses do this well, though that’s customer service not good customer service and there’s a difference.
Good customer service is distinguished by the ability to develop bonds with customers with the aim of developing long-term, mutually beneficial relationships that support both parties – the business and the customer.
By what is meant by mutually beneficial; the customer benefits because their needs are attended to in a manner that shows them the respect they want and deserve and the business benefits because happy customers are more likely to be repeat customers and refer others to them.
Combining technology and humanity
The idea to implementing technological solutions is to make our lives easier not make people superfluous or distance ourselves from each other.
If you look at some of the world’s leading companies, for instance Amazon, who leads online sales in practically every department, you can see how it’s possible to combine technology with the human touch that’s missing from many organisations nowadays.
How to bring back that human touch
Bringing back the human touch that might be missing from your customer service efforts is likely to be a lot easier, and more affordable, than you may have thought.
1. Employ the right people and provide them with training
You’ve probably heard it before – hire for attitude not aptitude – and there’s a lot to be said for this regarding customer service teams.
Your service team must be comprised of people who genuinely like other people and sincerely want to help them.
Providing them with training is essential, however, for although they might have the best of intentions, best intentions are often lost in translation, so provide them with the training they require to let their best intentions shine through.
2. Provide your customers with a choice of contact methods
Providing your customers with a choice of contact methods is important for personifying that human touch because it makes your customers feel like people with choices that are being respected.
Whether they want to be contacted by email or telephone let them know that the choice is theirs and that you respect their wishes.
3. Don’t make your customers wait for a response
Making your customers wait for a response is a serious faux pas and the longer they wait, the more difficult salvaging your relationship will be.
Consider services like after hours phone answering services so that you don’t miss inquiries and when you receive an email respond as promptly and personally as possible; moreover, always try your best to make your customers feel as though they’re the only ones who matter at that moment in time.
4. Work hard to develop relationships with your customers
You don’t have to pretend you’re best friends, though you do have to work at developing mutually beneficial relationships with your customers if your business is to succeed.
Social media presents an excellent means of interacting with your customer base outside of the office and by keeping your customers in the loop with what’s going on with your business, you’ll keep your business at the forefront of their minds.
5. Understand that good customer service isn’t complicated
Good service is a lot of things but complicated isn’t one of them. Perhaps the best adjective to apply to good customer service is ‘genuine’, so provide your customers with a degree of service that shows you’re genuine and that human touch becomes immediately apparent and greatly appreciated.
Whilst technology has provided business organisations with the power to reach out to more consumers and drive profits skyward, this isn’t sustainable without that human element we all crave – provide your customers with a human touch to build strong, mutually beneficial relationships with your customer base.