Quote of the Moment
"All really great things happen in slow and inconspicuous ways." Leo Tolstoy


Sunday, 22 March 2009

Customer Support

I can see many unsustainable processes within the UK at the moment. But few can I comment on with quite as much certainty than on at least one reason why the High-Street is failing.

The simplistic view is a a lack of Customer Support. Not the role of ‘Customer Support’ but of the mentality of organisations and businesses that alongside with making the sale there is also case for ‘supporting the customer’.

Supporting the customer is not something which is costly. Indeed it requires nothing more than a change in the training, attitude and expectations of staff which ultimately boils down to doing the job. The first major retailer to realise that the best way to stop the haemorrhaging of sales to the internet is not to panic and rush for a piece of the pie but to return to what retailers do best.

The experience of shopping today is based upon lowered costs where any positivity is driven by customers not by the store. Any discussion with staff about the produce is going to consistently result in a glare at the card below of the specifications from someone who knows barely enough to avoid constant mis-selling.

Often this isn’t avoided. And the organisation I am with right now will soon realise this. And sales people, customer support and admin/project people are constantly constrained by out of date systems. So when problems do arise they take weeks to resolve and result in dramatic inconvenience including effects on credit ratings.

So what is the solution? Make the age old idea of ‘First Time Fix’ as the only philosophy for the company. Resolve issues, sales and enquiries with all effort and understanding of both customers and produce. Increase support, make the internet look less inviting for purchases with the ‘distance selling act’ making online purchases more secure for returns policy. And basically create a real alternative in shopping experience making the drone experience online not become reproduced in real life.

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