Providing good customer service isn’t rocket science – it comes down to a good support tool and remembering to keep the customer in the loop at all times. Before you know it, you’re the customer’s service hero.
There are a number of reasons to shop with online retailers: to save time, avoid crowds, do comparison shopping… whatever the reason, nearly all consumers have purchased items on-line at one time or another.
The user (Jane) below had a great customer service experience with the on-line click & collect service from food retailer.
‘I recently filled out a customer service web form at an online food store, asking some questions about a new delicacy (cookies). Since it was an online form, I instantly got a tracking number and an email receipt (good).
However, after I had posted the inquiry, it took 5 days for them to get back to me. After 2 or 3 days without any response, I started getting furious, thinking I should take my order elsewhere.When I finally got a response, I received a long email explaining that they were sorry for the delay, and the reason was that, part of the cookies I ordered was no longer for sale, and also out of stock……. They had to make a special order of a replica from abroad to complete my order. Imagine that; they had gone out of their way to satisfy my order (it would have been cheaper for them to just cancel and refund me), but since they didn’t keep me in the loop, I was by now, a dissatisfied customer, until I got a message explaining the reason for the delay, which indeed impressed me. And guess what? They went an extra mile to deliver my cookies without a delivery fee’.
As she describes in her post, all she had to do was place her order on-line, select a time slot for pick-up, and then when she arrived, a customer service representative brought her order directly to her car. She was impressed, especially by the way the retailer handled the situation when they discovered that a few items she had ordered were out of stock. A friendly customer service representative gave her a call to let her know about the out-of-stock items, and suggested some possible alternatives.
A key step in providing good customer service in retail starts with remembering that your customers are human and connecting with them… in a human way. This means that you listen to them. Only then can you truly understand what your customers want and begin to build relationships with them.
When the time comes (and it will) and your company requires understanding and human compassion from your customers, just wait: their reactions and support will reflect the strength of your customer relationships and just how well you’ve been providing customer service all along.