Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 29 July 2014

Customer care is top priority

A contributor on Smallbusinesscan.com shared their customer care story (or lack of) recently. This has been on my mind a lot recently as I also had a few very disappointing experiences myself. I take a bet your customer service sucks too.

When Jeff Jarvis famously posted his "Dell sucks" blog post, it set off a firestorm of complaints about Dell's customer service. Eventually, Michael Dell took up the challenge and joined the conversation his customers were having without him. You should start having similar conversations with your clients.

In the book No Longer Business As Usual, Brian Solis talks about the brand being the sum of the customer experiences and the need for the product or service to be engaging 'in the moment' (due to our shortened attention span).

What does this mean for your company? It means that design becomes absolutely essential. And not just the design of the product, but the design of every possible interface you have with your clients and your staff (they are clients too).

Mediocre is no longer acceptable. Friction in any shape will cost you customers. By friction, I mean:

  • Queuing in shops
  • Queuing when you are trying to call a call centre (PS: only 2% of under-28s will use a call centre)
  • Having to register your details several times
  • Having to explain things twice
  • Waiting for responses for longer than a few hours when you complain on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Flickr or other social media platforms
  • A product breaking down
  • Difficulties in navigating a website when looking for information

The book The Best Customer Service Is No Customer Service explains that it makes a lot of business sense to design a product or service that needs no customer service at all. Imagine if your company was Dyson.

The New Normal explains that staff and clients expect frictionless interaction using technology. If you are over-35, you don't understand, because you are a digital nomad as distinct from a digital native.

Your reputation is everything online. That reputation is created by the way your company acts. If your product, your service and the way you treat customer sucks, very soon you will not have a business.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk