Archive for July, 2012

Live Chat is an optional offering for customer service organizations. According to a recent study in Business News Daily, Live Chat for Online Shoppers Comes of Age, one in five shoppers actually prefer live chat over other methods of communication. It is estimated that over 75% of on line shoppers will have participated in an online chat with a retailer by next year. This post covers 12 Best Practices when offering Chat customer service.

Every company, government agency and not for profit organization needs to consider how it will respond to social media and complaints. Some mentions will be positive and some will be negative. Policies or instructions needs to be documented for the front line staff that will be responding to these postings. While this used to be the responsibility of the public relations departments in the past, social media, blogs, and complaint sites have made this task grow exponentially and with it the need to engage a broader group of employees as responders.

As businesses evolve, some get stronger and some weaker. It is not usual to see the stronger buy out or merge with the weaker organizations. Often the focus is on the financial aspects of the merger, and keeping customers from both organizations loyal. But all parts of an organization need to work on integration. Customer service is no exception.

In an earlier blog post titled: Warning, Is your Sales Force blindsided by Customer Service I talked about the need for customer service to keep sales informed about potential customer escalations and that might negatively impact the sales team. Here is a real life example of a system that was in place when I retired from IBM Canada.

In a large organization, the sales team on an account may not know about issues the customer is having. Customer personnel may be calling the service organization with their problems. In many cases the front line staff in support handle the problems from the customers in an efficient and effective way and the sales team need not know. But what if the customer is not happy with the resolutions being offered. The sales team may be preparing a new proposal for the customer or have a presentation planned with the customer. If the sales team doesn’t know there are hot issues, they may walk into a firestorm at the customer’s office and be ill prepared to handle it.

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