Since the beginning of civilization, when the concept of “business” was little more than bartering for goods and services, it has been essential to treat the people that traded with you fairly and honestly.
Reputation is everything to a business. If someone has a legitimate problem with something they purchased from you, it’s your obligation to make things right. If you fail to do this, you may well lose that customer relationship forever.
This has held true across countless cultures for thousands of years. No matter what it was called at the time, it’s just another word for customer service.
Today, we have dozens of terms for this basic idea, including customer support, customer care, client relations, and support service. Most of these are fairly interchangeable. Again, it’s all just another way to say customer service.
Instead of getting lost in the minor nuances that differentiate these terms, let’s get right to the heart of the concept of customer service itself. Instead of looking for another phrase or buzzword, let’s focus on what customer service actually means. Let’s start with the very basics of customer service.
When you sell something to someone, you’re creating a relationship based around the exchange of value. The higher their investment of value — money, time, and even loyalty — the greater their expectation of receiving something of value in return.
Fail to do this, and they will take their business elsewhere if they can. They will also tell others about how they were treated — or at least how they felt they were treated — creating an increasingly negative perception of your business. Negative word-of-mouth campaigns have always been terrible for businesses. With today’s social media outlets, they’re often an outright PR disaster.
To avoid this decidedly negative outcome, you need the right tools for responding appropriately to customer concerns, needs, and problems. If there’s a legitimate issue with something you’ve sold, you need to be available to hear those concerns. You need to fix the problems where you can.
Traditionally, customer service was a one-on-one kind of thing. The customer would come to your shop to make their complaint in person, or call your company’s phone number. But we don’t live in that world anymore, making customer service significantly more complex.
A company that only sells a single product, like a mobile app, may still have hundreds of thousands of online customers. Each of these customers may have different expectations when it comes to how they should be treated. Responding to their concerns and complaints individually would simply be an impossible task using traditional, one-on-one customer service techniques.
That’s why we have dedicated customer-service teams, as well as specialized software for sorting, tracking, and managing those complaints. The modern business world simply wouldn’t work without them. Customer service isn’t negotiable.
To deliver great customer service in the modern world, your business needs the right technology. This typically means using dedicated customer support software, call centers, and help desks. It often means hiring and training specialized workers whose only job in your company is to provide a high level of customer service and support. This may seem like a huge expense — and it often is — but it’s also absolutely necessary.
If a company fails to provide an adequate level of customer service, it’s not just cutting corners or providing a sub-par experience. It’s violating an unspoken agreement that goes all the way back to those ancient transactions.
It’s not about finding another word for customer service. You can use whatever word you want. It matters that you get it right. To do that successfully requires a smart, thoughtful approach to customer service technology. We can help.
Contact us today for a free consultation on leveraging the best customer experience software for your business.