Customer Service in the age of Internet

This is certainly a new arena for many customer service professionals, as many still do not possess the now vital Internet customer care skills. This new technology-driven economy has resulted in customers demanding a variety of service solutions, such as 24-hour online Internet-based customer care.

The Internet has developed immensely over the past few years, with most companies possessing an Internet presence and increasing the number of online business transactions. This new and exciting frontier has created new demands on customer service, as companies strive to facilitate a new breed of customer called the Internet Customer.

The Internet Customer

The Internet Customer can be anyone in any part of the world. This brings new global challenges to the customer service professional, along with demands for round the clock responses.

The Internet is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is viewable by a global audience. Companies today are embracing this new frontier. The opportunities it presents use the timeless and refined values of customer care.

On the Internet, the playing field is leveled, allowing smaller companies to compete with large global companies. Many businesses set up websites with no thought for customer care, whereas others gain the competitive edge by servicing this growing market of Internet customers.

This module will look at the three following Internet customer care requirements:

  • E-mail
  • Internet chat
  • Website

You will learn the skills that are needed to succeed in this new and exciting market.

E-mail

Every business should have an email account specifically for customer inquiries. If the company is larger, multiple accounts may be necessary for directing customer questions to separate departments. No matter the size, an email account is vital to every business. Customers are able to send inquiries right away. Though they may not receive an answer immediately, as they would with chat, they are able to send their question off without forgetting their question or your business!

Each of these means of Internet communication is a useful tool for improving the quality of your customer service. It is up to each business owner or manager to decide which method(s) of communication works best for the company.

Website

It is important to set up a website that will give your customer access to information they may want before contacting your business. Often, a customer will want to learn a little about your company’s philosophy, history of service, and prices before they reach out. A well designed, well maintained, and informative website can draw a customer in and make them more likely to attempt doing business with you. Another benefit of a website is that it is available at all hours of day or night. If a customer is curious about you on a Saturday or Sunday, when you may be closed, they still have full access to information. It also can answer customer FAQs without them having to call or chat with a representative. In today’s technological society, a website can be an extremely valuable website for your business.

Internet Chat

Another way to provide customer support is by offering the option to chat online with customer service representatives. This may provide the customer with access to answers more quickly than making a phone call would, without having to be transferred multiple times and wait on hold for long periods of time. No one likes automated phone systems. Consumers are constantly bemoaning the inability to speak with a real human being when they have questions. By having a live chat with a real person available as often as possible, you will not only provide great customer service, but you will have made a good impression by presenting a solution to an old complaint.