Email… The New Customer Service

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Do you remember the days when the only way to communicate with someone was either in person or on the phone? It actually does not seem that long ago does it? Where has the time gone? Times have changed and they've changed fast. Now you can communicate through email, instant messaging (IM), voice over IP (VOIP), video conferencing, web chat, and the list goes on. All of this really happened in the last three years or so.

Every year, there is a new technology that offers us an easier or better way to communicate with friends, family and business associates. This constant change in communication allows us to easily stay in touch with our contacts through the Internet. Now we don't have to write letters or pay huge long distance bills to call our relatives who live in another county or even in another state; we can simply jump on our computer and start IMing them almost instantly... hence the term Instant Message.

So how does this all affect business and more importantly, for the purpose of my article, Customer Service?

Well, just ten years ago it was only feasible to conduct business either on the phone or in person. And in terms of Customer Service, it was only possible to offer support and respond to customer inquiries through phone conversations or personal letters. In today's Internet world, things have changed. Now companies are offering Customer Service by email in response to support requests and customer inquiries. These companies, which have converted from phone support to email support, have enabled their business to reduce overhead, cut down on resources and provide an immediate return on investment.

Now you may be asking yourself... doesn't it take longer to respond to support and service requests? The answer to this is sometimes, yes. I'm not saying you cannot pick up the phone nor have a toll-free number for your customers to contact your Customer Support department. I'm just stating the fact that over 75% of Internet users would rather send an email, wait 24 to 48 hours for a response, then have to call by phone and wait on hold for ten minutes to get in contact with a Customer Service representative of your company.

Email is the chosen way of communicating and will continue for years to come. So my point in writing this article is to stress the importance, moving forward, of implementing a good, reliable and cost-effective Customer Service and Support System for your business. A trouble-free Email Ticketing Support System can make it very easy for your Customer Service representatives to respond to inquires and support requests, while reducing the amount of resources needed to respond to these requests. Also, an online chatting program may not be a bad idea either as many companies are beginning to offer chat sales and support directly on their website because it offers their customer with almost an immediate response to their question. And the great part about chatting is your customer can continue to do what they are doing on their computer while they wait for the chat response.

So to sum this up, the future of business is predictable in the sense that email will become more integrated with customer service and support. Implementing an email system for your Customer Service department will be a win-win situation for your businesses and most importantly, your clients and customers. Great Customer Service with an average product is ten times better than a great product with mediocre Customer Service. So analyze your business and determine how an email system can be used to help grow and expand your Customer Service department.

 

Daryl H. Bryant is President and Chief Executive Officer of Hudson Horizons, helps his clients achieve online success through search engine marketing and customized website solutions.

 

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