I know it sounds so cliché to say that in customer service we should always treat each other how we’d like to be treated, but it is something that is often forgotten after months and years of dealing with customers. We can get a little bit jaded, am I right? And it’s easy to forget that the customer is the one who buys our products, pads our wallets, and puts food on the table for our family.
Words matter and how we treat people has an effect on their day, on our own day, and effects if they will come back and do business with us again.
And, it also extends a lot further than just what happens in front of us with customers in our bricks and mortar stores. Customer service also extends to how we treat people online, particularly when responding to reviews and replying to emails and questions.
I have had a couple of recent reminders of occasions where people have treated others in a less than amazing fashion through one of these online forms of communication. And to this I say, if you would not have the guts to say something to a customer standing in your store, cellar door or restaurant, please don't say it online.
How you talk to people in every area of your business matters. If you don't believe it does, then you should be thinking long and hard about this.
We no longer just have the touch points of people walking into our store, phoning us up or word of mouth referrals, there are now so many more touch points for businesses to communicate with customers. This is excellent news because it means that anyone can build a business using a myriad of channels that would have cost significant marketing and advertising budgets in the past, but it also means we need to shift our thinking to how we deal with people in the digital age.
Just like online bullying is a massive issue at the moment, I see customer service care and how that plays out in the digital age as just as important (for businesses). So if people ask you questions online or in an email, please respond! If someone takes the time to give you an online review, reply to them, and whether its positive or negative, if you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face don’t say it at all.
Carry your commitment to customer service through all touch points you have with your customers, and make it a priority. It's good business.
Kate Bickford MD & Owner - BK AGENCY: