E-Business Crystal Ball (Part 2) – Customer Service

Customer services is a headache for many businesses. The previous statement in itself is a reason why many businesses are failing to have repeat customers. Customers are the reason we have a business today and continue to grow. Customer service should be looked at as a positive challenge, especially to the people performing the face-to-face customer service.

Future customer service will incorporate many of the technologies in use today. Customer service will also employ many of the same techniques employed today. The difference will come in the marrying of both aspects.

  1. People will expect prompt service. Waiting on hold for twenty minutes is totally unacceptable. The way to combat the wait time is with centralized dispatching. In other words, calls go into a centralized location and are dispersed to another regional location. Some organizations are already doing this; however, I have seen where contractors hang up on customers to reduce their average wait-time or continually transfer customers to also reduce wait-time.
  2. People will want to talk with a representative. Using VoIP this becomes very reasonable. Couple with that a low cost web cam and you can handle online and POTS customers without specialized equipment or added costs.
  3. Localized hold music and announcements. No one wants to be on hold and have to listen to music that is not familiar. Announcing a plug for your business is fine, but if you continue to mention your online services customers will start to feel alienated for using the device of their choice.
  4. Responses using multiple media. Once the phone call ends the organization starts to work to improve their services. You should respond to the customer using as many means as posible, like email, phone and the postal service. The correspondence should address their specific concern and explain how your organization will make changes towards satisfying the customer’s concerns.

Everything sounds just like customer service is today, right? Examine your organization’s customer service and also the customer service you have received and I can guarantee you that the above mentioned principles are not being addressed. Every organization needs to examine their customer service to find methods for improvement.

Remember, when it comes to customer service addressing any less than all four of the areas mentioned is not good enough. Successful organizations take customer service seriously, because during economic strain customers are going to return to the organizations they feel are concerned with their needs.


Mike Kniaziewicz, MIS

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