June 21, 2011 Michael Bickerton
Technology is changing the way we do things, computers, internet service, emarketing, websites, microsites, smartphones, iPhones, iPads and social media to name a few.
Yet, it seems to me that those successful in implementation and the ones that will continue to thrive in this technology shift are those that not only lay claim to service but actually deliver service.
As an example, I was updating my cell phone to an Apple iPhone 4 recently. We’ve all had the experience of being on hold and trying to explain our situation to an online operator, and likely have experienced the service issues in store as well. Bell, TELUS, Rogers all suffer the same from the same service issues. It’s fairly safe to assume that there is not ONE customer who will speak highly of any of these companies. I’ve got a friend who wants to start a campaign under the title “I’m Bell FREE” … and is considering putting up a Facebook page and selling T’s.
My story is like so many, a simple smartphone update and 2 visits to the store, online had technical difficulties, 3 calls to the help line, 3 hours invested for what seemed to be a minor upgrade. Most of which is the result of poor technology implementation and poor training. Now I appreciate the need for training and understanding clients, we’ve had our share of issues especially the last few years in our transition to new media, there is always something new or different as software is continually updated and upgraded. As such I can empathize. However, that doesn’t mean it’s an acceptable situation from a customer service point of view. Where were the service standards at the store?
As your digital agency, we recommend you review your customer service standards on a regular basis. As well, have a “test group” explore and attempt to solve problems on your website, nothing shows the weakness of your online customer service delivery quite like a usability test.
It’s not enough to provide service, you have to provide service that works and that has service standards. Telephone support, in store and online, your future depends on it. Service is Service, old school, new school, no technology or technology, you can bank on it.
Michael Bickerton, Raven5 Ltd, Toronto, June 2011