Are they more knowledgeable? Possibly.
Are businesses focusing on the right thing? Possibly not.
I am not sure that at the end of the day if your customers are looking for anything different than they have been for years. They are looking for only a few things and you as a business owner need to deliver them or lose business.
Focus on These For Better Customer Service in 2015
First: Correct information.
People are tired of marketing messages that have been shoved down their throats. Once they get past the “Big Sale” or “25% off “or whatever the hook is, they want to just understand what the product will do, how much it will cost in real numbers, how is the experience going to be when we do business, if there is a problem will you be there for them.
That lends itself to transparency. The days of bait and switch are over because customers are armed with the ability to talk about your company online. Smart businesses are now seeing the value of good customer service reviews and using these in their marketing to help support their marketing messages.
We need transparency of information in this day of Internet sales
Second: Ease of use.
Many businesses have not moved beyond the idea that having a website is enough. Remember, in the history of consumer purchasing, a website has been here for just a short period of time. Yes the millennial and younger generations will never know purchasing without the Internet, but for many of us, we still compare online experience with off line experience. Our sense of service and sense of “helpfulness” was bred in the face-to-face arena of brick and mortar business.
So if you think of your website as an online brick and mortar, what would happen if a customer came to your store and you were not helpful and made it difficult to locate and purchase your products or services, would you still be in business?
We all hear about the type of customer service delivered at a Nordstrom’s or Apple or Ritz Carlton but have you even thought about the type of customer service your website is delivering? Is your website set up that way to help your customers find what they need in a simple clear way.
A great example is from a website tool for automotive websites, Dealer e-Process’s Virtual Service Consultant where a virtual person is there to talk you through filling out a form. Putting a human face on the Internet transaction.
Are there places you could do that for your website?
Lastly, it’s the customer experience.
Shopping should be easy and fun. The customer’s expectation is that the more expensive the product or service, there should be a higher level of service. If I go to Tiffany’s rather than Bob’s Jewelry Outlet, I expect a higher level of service because of the price. Would I like Bob’s to offer a great service? Yes, but I am not expecting as high of service as I am from Tiffany.
In the automotive industry, the expectation is that a Mercedes dealership is different than a Honda store. I think business owners have to ignore this perception and strive to deliver excellent customer experience, no matter what the product or price tag is. They should be asking themselves, “How can I deliver an excellent experience?”, “How can I make it easy for customers to do business with me?” or “How can I make this shopping process enjoyable?”
I do not think customer service is any different than in 1915. Customers still want to get clear information, deal with someone who is helpful, know they are getting a good price and the experience of doing business is pleasant and easy.
Maybe taking a look backwards in order to move forward is a good thing.
Glenn Pasch is the current CEO of PCG Digital Marketing as well as a writer, National Speaker and part of the Educational staff for the Automotive Digital Marketing Certification courses. Come see Glenn at the PCG Booth 6509W at NADA in San Francisco.