According to a recent survey, poor online customer service will drive 94% of consumers to stop using the retailer’s web site or prompt them to seek out a competitor. More than 90% of UK Internet users said customer service is important when making purchases online. The survey delves into online shoppers’ frustrations with call centres, slow responses and hard-to-find contact information.
There are some good, if obvious, points here, but the issues are the same whether it’s online, or offline.
The best businesses are ‘easy to buy from’ and ‘demonstrate’ they care about customers in dealing with them and their problems by their actions.
I feel two of the biggest differences between online and off line are:
a) it’s generally easier to switch suppliers and find alternatives online – ‘at the touch of a button’ and all that.
b) the power of ‘word of mouse’ over ‘word of mouth’ – good and bad news spreads quicker and easier, so problems get talked about more – check out United Airlines for ‘proof’!
In other words, I believe that customer service is as important as ever, but a key issues is that the impact of getting it wrong can be far greater and costly.
It’s the same old issue – how easy are you to buy from? I often rant about ‘standing in your own queues’ to find out what you’re like to do business with. As well as doing that, I say ‘browse your own site’ too.