Image by New Voice Media
A modern business should be about innovation. It should be about progress. By definition, it should be about introducing products to the market that are a little different from anything the customer has seen before.
Of course, a potential drawback of this may be that your customers will find the products you are selling them difficult to use because they’re not used to them. However, the same wave of technological and imaginative advancement that produced your products, should also allow you to improve the way you deliver your customer service to such an extent that you can get around this problem.
Increasingly popular, for example, is the option of having a ‘live chat’ or ‘live support’ button on your website. This allows customers visiting your website to talk with a member of your staff and get an instant response, without having to phone up and listen to Greensleeves for 10 minutes first. The rapid increase in the quality of home broadband has only made this sort of service possible only relatively recently.
There are a number of reasons why I believe this sort of improvement deserves a place on any technology company’s website:
1. New is Better
As a modern business, you want to appear at the cutting edge of progress. If the way you deal with your customer service is modern and innovative, your customers will find it easier to believe that your products are modern and innovative too.
2. Interactive is Better
Simply put, a real live human being is immeasurably more likely to be able to deal with your customers problems than an automated system. Anyone working with technology will be aware that all systems, particularly if they really are operating at the cutting edge of progress, are capable of finding new and exciting ways to go wrong.
A well informed human mind is by far most capable system for dealing with the multitude of potential malfunctions. Solving a problem in this way is fantastic for your companies image and, without wishing to indulge in too much hyperbole, is the sort of event that creates lifelong customers.
3. Face-to-Face is Better
Psychologists have known for a long time that someone delivering a message face-to-face appears more likeable, more trustworthy and more knowledgeable than someone delivering a message over the phone, and new, super-fast broadband speeds mean not only is live chat now a possibility, live video chat is too! Therefore, your advice is more likely to get across, and your troubleshooting is more likely to be successful.
Face-to-face interaction has the added benefit of humanising your company in the eyes of your customer. This means they are more likely to hold you responsible if they get the outcome they want, and less likely to blame you if they don’t. To make it all even more appealing, recent technological advance means you can do all this for the same price as operating a mini-call centre.
Of course, there are other forms of customer service that a modern business should incorporate. A well formatted, well written FAQ page still has a role on any company’s website. Naturally, making sure you respond promptly to a customer’s written inquiries remains a must. But as a modern business, it’s important that you remain on top of technological progress for all aspects of your operations and at the moment, a big part of this is the ‘live chat’ function.
After all, there is a lot more to being a modern business than the goods you sell.
Alex McDonald is a writer with a passion for business, and in particular the ways that businesses and consumers interact with each other.