“All of this has happened before, and it will all happen again.” Prize for the source of that quote! But its true, customer service appeared to change with the internet and shopping on line, and we all thought the high streets, and buying face to face in shops was doomed. But as internet businesses grow we see that things are coming straight back to where they used to be – perhaps not quite the high street, but definitely where we want to talk to someone. And what better way is there than talking?
Sometimes the internet is good because we want to buy something, don’t want to go out, drive the car, talk to anyone, etc. etc. so we can do that. a few clicks and its done. But if we need a bit of interaction, and we aren’t sure, or if we have a problem, and we get anxious, or we are doing something we could easily do on another website perhaps, and our perception as a customer is important to the website we are visiting, then they don’t want us to slip away.
I think if I had to prioritise the methods of communicating my way through an issue to making a purchase they would be something along the lines of:
- face to face,
- online with chat,
- telephone (if I have a number and there’s no holding involved)
- email (if I’m feeling patient – but of course, no decision/sale has been made, I could have gone elsewhere by the time you’ve read it).
- Video chat – but that hasn’t been rolled out in customer service yet – or has it?
So, in the realms of ecommerce, we see many sites reverting to the old ways – opening telephone order lines, building in live chat, and accepting that the new realm of automation without any direct direct personal contact with the customers was just a dream. We always have questions and the first one is “Who will talk to me?”.