Given that I am the Creative Director at a digital strategic marketing agency, you’d think that I would be a big fan of both internet and multimedia marketing.
Well, as it happens I am – but I think we need to reflect a little on customer care and connectivity. And by this I don’t mean our clients – I mean their customers, and the distance we put between these two groups.
The problem is, because clients are (as yet) not experts in coding, protocol and back-end technologies, they are generally unable to envision all that wonderful customer-centric interactivity that we in the industry know of, and know will expedite better customer support.
What customer-centric interactivity?
Good question, but I think we all know the answers.
Firstly, there are support forms. Who – or what – do support forms actually support? For my money, no-one except the website developer – these forms are easy to create and cheap to deploy, so it’s a great ‘box ticker’ for the developer.
But what about the customer?
Well, to my mind these forms just put significant barriers and distance between clients and their customers, making the relationship less interactive, less of a satisfying customer experience, and more of an opportunity for customer drop-out.
Is this what we’re getting paid for? I don’t think so. What about automated FAQs or ‘Call Me’ buttons? Are we too client service ‘box ticking’ focused to think out of it (the box that is) when it comes to maximising customer/client interactivity and long-term loyalty?
Then there is Chat Support.
It a great idea, sure. But when we fail to resource the facility correctly by cutting corners, constricting chat flow, and lengthening chat queues to the point of customer irritation, are we not just adding another barrier to hard-won client/customer relationships?
I think we are. And I think that through this short sighted ‘one solution-fits-just-about-everything’ approach, we fail our clients and disenfranchise and alienate both their prospects and customers.
So, let’s add a bit more effort here and think out of the box, rather than just ticking it. The internet should be a facilitator, not a barrier.