What is great customer service in a multichannel environment? It should certainly involve social media, but there are some more fundamental rules than just answering customer comments on Twitter.
The Guardian recently explored the five key attributes of great service that smaller companies should be focusing on – they listed:
- Engagement with the customer
- Flexibility to deal with problems
- Making sure you have the right people
- Always developing your team
- Investing in the tools they need
These are great tips and could apply to any business, rather than just the smaller ones, but I’m particularly interested in the first two attributes… engagement and flexibility.
Think back a few years to when calling a customer help centre was the only way to reach a brand when you had a problem or query. The direction was almost always you as customer reaching out to the brand and then the call centre agent having some specific script or directions for how to handle various issues.
Now look at what customers expect today. They often don’t even approach a brand directly, mentioning a complaint on a social network and then expecting the brand to find them. They have an expectation that brands will just sort out their issue without it being down to the customer to find the right person or department.
Great customer service has been redefined by the customers themselves and it’s up to the brands paying for a customer service team to consider what is it that customers expect today? The world has changed and this is an area that is being endlessly redefined – is the way you handle your customers great or just adequate?
Photo by Mike Krzeszak licensed under Creative Commons