Web 2.0, and Community 2.0 are commonplace in business conversations, but implementing and utilizing these tools can be difficult. VentureBeat announced here, that LiveWorld is releasing a new application, LiveBar, that will instantly ‘bedazzle’ any website with a bar that businesses can add of Web 2.0 features. This would allow organizations to have an area for immediate customer interaction, where they chose on their website. The features would include ‘soap boxes’ and ‘shorts’ which are similar to blogs and Twitter messages respectively. The benefits to businesses, as this article states is:
‘LiveBar features are standardized, they’re easy to add to any site. It takes minutes to do. By comparison, getting companies to add customized Web 2.0 features to web sites can often take months. As such, LiveBar is a tool for retrofitting pages that were created in the days before Web 2.0. It’s a way for companies to play catch-up in the Web 2.0 game, where engaging consumers in a conversation is just as important as presenting information to them’
With all of the technology, new and old, available to businesses, is there any reason for businesses not to utilize web 2.0 strategies?
Louise Marsland details on this latest post on BizCommunity.com that her overall experience of airline customer service was superb. She details that the world’s view of customer service in North America is that of disgust and rudeness, even though she did not encounter any of these feelings as she lists everything that customer agents did to comfort her when her flight was delayed over 18 hours. Is the customer service experience really that different overseas? How does your company’s customer service in the US compare to customer service offered abroad?
Whether you’re talking to a company’s representative on the phone or online, there are two quick ways to alienate a customer. Laura Bergells details these two approaches that your company’s reps should watch out for when they communicate with customers in her latest post on Internet Marketing in the Midwest. Laura gives an example of two companies that she has had a long customer relationship with which she will soon break off. One company apologizes constantly in person, on the phone, and in ‘canned letters’. The apologies seem scripted, and thus can frustrate customers even more when their problems are not being solved. The next example involves a company who apologizes for none of its faults, and makes the customer feel like an idiot. The representatives for Company B treated Laura with absolutely no respect, and made no effort to go out of there way to provide superior service. Not only was the rep rude, but they did hold Laura’s scheduled appointment. These are two examples of customer service approaches that your company should never follow. As Laura mentions, customer service is a huge part of marketing, and frustrated bloggers can spread word fast all over social media. Businesses should empower its representatives to use social skills and reasoning to solve problems and communicate effectively with customers, instead of following a script or being unapologetic.
One of our media partners for our NACCM Customers 1st event, 1 to 1 Media, discussed the relationship between call centers and customer service on this post from their blog today. These are some of the points that the author noted after discussing ways to achieve success with individuals who worked there.- Managers want to use e-learning modules for training, but are torn about taking agents off the phones to train.
- There’s a need for bilingual capabilities, but confusion about how to implement them.
- Getting all departments in the enterprise, from R&D to marketing, to give all necessary information to the contact center for agent training purposes.
– Department heads and executives need to spend more time in the contact center listening and learning.
– Some contact centers are partnering agent training with recruiting.
– Daycare workers (college educated moms) and retirees are becoming the hot new workforce in contact centers.
- Agents are getting coached about how to hear and manage a lifecycle change on a customer call.In summary, many of these points highlight on the need for improved training, and the importance of integrating the departments in a more cohesive manner. This is imperative for employees at these call centers, since they are often times the main point of contact for consumers.
In a recent post at Customers Rock!, Becky Carroll discusses how companies word out their customer strategy. The most companies have product strategies and marketing strategies, but most fail to have customer strategies. But in order to best appeal to the customer it is essential to be customer centric. This should consist of a way acquire, retain, and grow a customer base. This strategy should determine how we interact with those customers, and specify how customers are treated at every touch point possible. In order to have the best customer centric strategy, a company must agree to all points as well as show consistency in performing the tasks. So how do you approach your customer strategy?