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Jul 31, 2013Company & Culture

The (Not - So) New Rules of Customer Service

The (Not - So) New Rules of Customer Service

Snapchat or text? Text or e-mail? E-mail or phone call?  Today’s technology offers a variety of ways to communicate with each other. But not every form of communication is suitable for the workplace and even the acceptable ones need to be used appropriately. Outstanding customer service is the cornerstone of any successful business and the appropriate use of technology is an essential element of developing that relationship.

Texting and snapchatting are fun ways to communicate with your friends but are not an appropriate way to communicate with external customers at this time.  With all the advanced technology available, it has become necessary to add the qualifier “at this time” since it was not too long ago that people resisted sending e-mails to customers!  Twitter has become a micro-newsletter for organizations so perhaps text meetings are just around the corner?

E-mails are now the standard form of written communication.  This is the obvious choice as e-mail is more efficient and cost-effective.  As a result of this evolution, it has become necessary to re-examine the rules of communicating with customers.  E-mail is still a reflection of you and your organization so it is imperative that you use proper grammar and include a greeting and closing; that has not changed.  However, there are some additional issues that should be considered when communicating with customers via e-mail.  There was an expected lull in response time with traditional mail while immediate action is often expected with e-mail.  In reality, a twenty-four hour response is appropriate. Respecting the recipient’s time is another new facet of e-mail communication.  It is often easier to send an e-mail asking for help than to research the answers yourself.  This may be the simple solution for you but it certainly does not respect the time of the recipient.

With the advent of improved technology, traditional telephone use has diminished.  Other forms of communication may be more efficient but a personal telephone call remains the best way to establish a relationship.  Warmth and empathy are very difficult to convey in any written form but a phone call gives both parties the opportunity to express themselves as well as interpret the tone of the conversation.  A difficult conversation should never take place via e-mail. Even if it is the more difficult option, a phone call will show the other party that you value the relationship and you can appropriately convey your message.

All the advances in technology have provided multiple means of communicating with customers.  The best way to ensure that you still provide outstanding customer service is to reach out to a customer and set expectations. Some people prefer to e-mail while others are fans of the personal phone call. Knowing your customer and how they prefer to operate will help you provide outstanding customer service.

At OneSource Virtual, we believe in the customer relationship and provide the service you deserve.