Define your customer service: human, close, visual and ‘physical’

02/08/2019 - Beatriz Rojo

For many companies, customer service is simply a support department. But you should rethink it: you have toredefine the concept of customer service to make it more human, closer, visual and ‘physical’ and consequently, it will be more effective and more sales-oriented.

Customer service in the current e-commerce

A store (either B2B or B2C) means customer contact and this can’t be forgotten. Sometimes we lose our perspective and forget that the main point of contact with the public is the customer service department. We’re not only losing a source of insight and the profound knowledge that comes with it, we’re also minimizing the impact we have on sales, which is a lot bigger than what we originally thought.

In short, what we’re doing is thinking of a productive department as an expense,but this is an error in strategy. We’re shooting ourselves in the foot by not giving our team the training and the tools they need to do their real job.

Although we’re talking about e-commerce, this applies to any business, regardless of the channel.

How optimal customer service should be

If we want to make the most of this department, we should change the way we approach it. We have to attack four pillars that when combined give us the general vision of modern, efficient customer service adjusted to the reality of our business.

#1 – Human customer service

The first of the four pillars is, undoubtedly, humanizing customer service for added value. It’s true that to a certain extent we can foresee the main questions that an interaction with the customer might pose. As such, Artificial Intelligence can do a good job here, but with it we lose touch, intuition and, especially, empathy.

The user generally contacts us in two basic scenarios: because they have a problem or because they have a question. If the issue is that they don’t know the store’s address or its business hours, we can handle it automatically, no problem. However, when the issue is more complex or the problem is sensitive, that’s where the human aspect of customer service works to be the first line of defense in a crisis and in terms of the business. Several studies show that 66% of users change companies if they receive poor customer service.

#2 – Closeness

This is linked to the previous point. You can’t be close without being human. Understanding customer motives in real-time is what gives us extraordinary wiggle room. A dialogue is established andthe agent extracts arguments to solve a problemthat, in many cases, the client himself has to understand better before expressing it verbally.

This is something that is only achieved by putting ourselves at their level and understanding theirmotives and needs. “A” doesn’t always have a “B” answer that we can apply as protocol.

#3 – Visual

With the large-scale infiltration of electronic commerce, new problems and challenges have arisen in customer service. We’ve transferred a lot of our business’s activity to an environment that not only has a large ‘self-service’ component, but also uses a language that gives the visual aspect a lot of weight to better understand the written portion of the product cards and services.

Additionally, it provides a perspective that can help understand how a product is, how it works and give usa contextual idea that will help us project that product into reality. Something that has always happened in retail trade comes into play and can’t always be substitute in e-commerce.

We’re referring to visual recommendations, to that moment in the store when the client shows the salesman the product he needs or even a photo of the room where he wants to put the sofa in. This visual support makes everything more fluid and effective, and Oct8ne makes it possible.

#4 – Physical

Can e-commerce be physical? Obviously, technology hasn’t advanced enough to have an interaction at that level, but if we can make customer service human, close and visual, somehow, we’re breaking the barrier.

It’s about emulating physical contact by playing with internet codes and giving it a personal nuance that allows us to transcend virtual limits, making the user focus on the experience of resolving his questions and, this is important, he can convert better.

Adjusting to these four variables won’t only allow us to have excellent service, our team or department will stop being an expense and will boost the overall profitability of the company, thanks to greater efficiency in sales (direct and indirect).

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