Combine Technology With Personal Communication For Great Customer Service

Combine Technology With Personal Communication For Great Customer Service

John Tschohl of the Service Quality Institute writes that when you use technology and add a personal touch, you will have a winning combination.

The purpose of technology for businesses is to improve the customer experience, to make it easy for customers to do business with you. Ninety-eight percent of companies, however, do the opposite. They use technology to avoid human contact and, in the process, frustrate customers who want to do business with them.

While most young people probably prefer to use technology rather than interact with an employee either by phone or in person, I would guess that most older people prefer communicating verbally. It stands to reason that when you combine technology with an option for personal communication, you will attract customers of all ages.

No companies do this better than Apple and Amazon. When I have an issue, either with my iPhone or Mac computer, I have the option of heading to an Apple store or contacting an employee by computer or phone. If I choose to do the latter, I don’t have to make an appointment, get dressed, and drive to the store, I can simply (phone them).

When I call them, I’m not given a runaround and being transferred from one employee to another. I explain my problem and, while I’m on the phone, they access the equipment that is causing me a problem and solve it within 10 to 15 minutes. How does that exceptional service impact Apple’s sales and profits? It sends both to great heights. During the past fiscal year, Apple had a net income of $97 billion on sales of $383.3 billion.

Amazon is a prime example of a company that does everything right. It uses technology to serve its millions of customers and combines that with exceptional personal service.  Amazon also notifies customers when an item they have expressed interest in by hitting the ‘save for later’ button has had a price reduction. When customers make a purchase, the company immediately acknowledges it and gives customers a delivery date. On the day of delivery, Amazon even sends a map that shows how many stops away the delivery is from the customer’s home. Customers can also get an immediate response, through the Amazon’s website or by calling its phone number when they have questions.

Most CEOs want to see hard numbers before they make any decisions that will affect their company’s bottom line. All they have to do is take a look at Amazon’s numbers. Last year, its sales increased 12 percent—to a whopping $764.8 billion. That’s an increase of $60.8 billion in revenues.

Apple and Amazon use technology at every level to smooth the point of entry for their customers and quickly connect them with the items or service they need. They understand their customers’ needs, know what their customers want, and design systems to meet, and exceed, their customers’ expectations.

Apple and Amazon are two of the most valuable companies in the world. Copy what they do and your company will rise up the ranks.


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