Like most endeavors that we face, business is all about performance. How we level up against our own abilities and expectations, as well as how we level up to those of competing businesses, is an ever-chasing pursuit. By putting through sale after sale, developing new products and new applications for goods and services, and consider other ways to push the boundaries of what has been possible within an industry will all result in the progression of that industry and all who cater to it. However, while any businesses continue to move forward in fulfilling product needs for a market, they must not forget about those who bear the needs: the customers.
Satisfying customers is at the core of all business endeavors. Business was established on the principle of seeing a need within a population and making the necessary products, as well as adjustments to those products as seen fit, to address the need. When everything is stripped down, the most core value is that of customer service. Customer reviews, namely those shared online, give a lot of insight into the changing demands of an industry and how a business is handling the task of adapting to this evolution. Let’s consider some of the perspectives people offer when reviewing a business online, what these thoughts mean, and how to proceed.
Important Business Qualities Under Review
Customer Reviews can come in all shapes and sizes, and they do. Depending on the business, the industry, or the customer conducting the review, there can be a plethora of different points of view regarding a business. While there are numerous criteria upon which to base a review, one recurring topic can be seen over and over again in these reviews: customer service. That is because, above many other factors in adhering to a brand, customer service is one of the strongest contenders. In fact, over three-quarters, 76%, of consumers see customer service as being a firm indicator of how a brand values them and their business (Linkis).
Alright, so knowing that customer service accounts for a large portion of customer review topics, whether in a positive or negative light, has narrowed the matter some. However, further still can the topic be dissected, as customer service branches into a multitude of subfields. A survey showed that 35% of respondents dealt with poor timeliness in response or address of need, 30% witnessed poorly-trained personnel and a subsequent ineffective experience, and 31% said they did not feel that the business associate displayed compulsion to be of customer assistance (Parature). Many issues surrounding customer service can be a matter of certain employees simply not being fit to occupy such a field, but this can be very case-by-case based, so in our analysis, we’ll operate under the assumption that we have the potential for good service, but need the tools to follow through.
Time to start digging into the issues to ensure that your customers do not lose faith in your business and its customer service. Timeliness first! Timeliness, punctuality, deadlines are all things that we all learned from an early formative point to be of importance, and these principles certainly follow through in the realm of business. As the digital age continues to push forward, and continues to remain grounded in the ideal of instant gratification and satisfaction, businesses need to ensure they are quick in the address of customer inquiries. There are processes to abide by to guarantee swiftness of resolution. Live Chat Inc outlines some of the best practices to handle timeliness of support from an online platform. The practices includes initial contact, not constantly passing tickets between departments, considering ticket statuses, simplifying responses, resolving tickets from oldest to newest, checking for new tickets frequently, and ensuring that all tickets are resolved (Live Chat Inc).
In order to accomplish all of these to-do’s, it requires the means to do so effectively. Businesses could receive inquiries regarding any corner of their e-commerce setup, which could greatly deplete the potential for rapid resolution considering the difficulty of merely checking for tickets in general. Fixing the issue of needing to peruse a myriad of different platforms to ensure all tickets receive attention, having a platform from which you can do it all will alleviate any issues that this could create. A digital hub through which you could manage all things related to your brand, as well as direct inbound customer support service inquiries, to a central hub will heighten your potential for most effective customer satisfaction. An example of this is the backend dashboard, designed by Rave Retailer, where all streams of customer interaction are all centralized, redirecting the focus from trying to figure out how to efficiently tackle customer to executing on resolving those needs.
Knowledgeable and Effective Service
As displayed earlier on the stats on people’s qualms on customer reviews, a noteworthy portion of customers with poor reviews feel the way that they do on the grounds that they are being helped by people who are either poorly trained or lack experience in helping within particular realms that their needs require. The issue here may seem like poor training, but could actually oftentimes be a matter different training. It can be answered by the fact that specialization is a common practice in the business world, different people being trained differently to perform different tasks. It will many times boil down, not to improving training in employees, but improving the means of horizontal, interdepartmental communication so as to tackle issues together.
Ultimately, it all points to a need to improve digital infrastructure in order to create fluidity in this communication. The resolve a customer need does not simply start and stop at the communication between customer and customer service representative, it also spans to any other department that may be of need in the process. For instance if a customer service representative, trained in interpersonal interaction is dealt a need that requires the attention of someone who is trained in programming or development, easy transference of thoughts or details about the customer needs is the best way to ensure quick and effective retrieval of attention by those most knowledgeable and, thus, quick resolution of the customer need. Rave Retailer, once again, provides technology that will enable this steady flow of communication in the backend of operations. So, to any business owners, if there seems to be a trend in customers with remarks on the know-how of those handling customer service qualms, consider ways to enhance interdepartmental communication, so as to ensure customer satisfaction.
Compulsion to Serve Customers
While the previous points outline how you can adjust technological operations of your business in order to create better customer service, and in turn, improve your customer reviews online, there is no substituting technology for a personal desire to aid customers in their experience with your business. As one of the top three items responsible for inciting customer reviews, customer perception of employee inclination to serve said customers is extremely important in receiving the best reviews possible. All that can be said of this is a two pronged approach: equipping your website with the platforms necessary to incorporate reviews and ensuring that your staff is of the inclination to help customers in satisfying their needs.
With regards to the customer review platforms, there are many technologies that will allow you to pop-up requests for review online or call you to the action to do so. Rave Retailer has the tools necessary to do this, with integrated customer review portals as a part of one’s geomarketing platform, that works in conjunction with other media in your online business strategy. From there, it becomes a matter of knowing what you want your business’s customer service to represent, and ensuring that you have no weak links in the chain, and, thus, allowing for more positive customer experiences and subsequent positive customer reviews.
In conclusion, customer reviews are a very important tool in the world of e-commerce. To have the means for reviews to be left online allows consumers to have a voice and act as billboards for brands, while concurrently backing notions of what businesses are doing correctly or need to improve upon. In the event of less-than-satisfactory experiences with a brand, and the poor customer reviews that are likely to follow, it is important to understand the personal adjustments that could be made within a staff, as well as the technological shortcomings that could have been a culprit in the detriment of customer service all along. To understand more on the processes involved in utilizing technology to enhance customer service, overseeing all operation regarding service to ensure best practice, and getting those customer reviews looking how you want them to, contact Rave Retailer today!