Customer service

Customer service

Excellent customer service is critical to the success of an ecommerce site. Zappos and Netflix are examples of terrific customer service. But Big Data has made customer service a challenge by requiring seemingly every interaction with a shopper to be used for serving that shopper. To continue to excel at customer service, online retailers need to overcome this challenge.

For example, if a customer has complained via the contact form on your online store and also tweeted about it, it will be good to have this background when he calls customer service. This will result in the customer feeling valued, creating a quicker resolution.

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Customer Service Model

Through a combination of desk research and Customer Champions’ industry experience a retail specific customer service model has been developed. This was then widely tested with retailers, who agreed it provided a very strong framework from which to deliver an excellent customer service experience.

In outline, the model, focused on traditional ‘bricks & mortar’ retailing, breaks down into three key layers:

  1. Leadership

Many organisations reflect the drive of an individual and their personal focus on the importance of customer service. If this individual is senior within the retail business, it will greatly impact the culture and the emphasis placed on the customer experience. In small companies this will tend to be driven by the owner.

  1. Enablers

The way that the retailer’s customer service vision is translated through policies and processes onto the shopfloor.

  1. Customer Journey

The customer journey is described through a variety of touch-points which will vary from business to business. Starting with background research through to complaints handling, it provides a comprehensive checklist for any retailer to use and benchmark its customer service performance.

Recognising the increasing trend for customers to have relationships with retailers through multiple channels, the Customer Journey part of the model was enhanced by the development of a supplementary online version.