The answer is very simple: everything shapes the customer service experience! This includes not only traditional and “obvious” examples like a call center or email support, but also the in-store and online experience. It encompasses everything about a brand and its interactions.
Something as simple as an associates friendly disposition can drastically change the experience a customer has—and remembers. In fact, for a company to provide a great overall customer experience they will need to consider, and potentially improve upon, every aspect of the business the client can interact with.
Websites, phone services, personnel, social media presence, searches used to compare products – they all have an impact. In addition, there also passive ways that potential customers see the company and brand in question. These include billboards, headlines, and everything else a person would come across without actively looking for the brand.
Indirect Influences Effect Customer Service Experience
Notably, all consumers can be influenced directly— but things like customer referrals and word of mouth depend on unique experiences which the company cannot influence. For example, the customer’s mood or current well-being. Fortunately, there are many aspects that can be influenced, and they are often more complex than is first apparent.
The foundation of good customer service includes a positive attitude, good knowledge of the products and services offered, adaptability, work ethic, and an understanding of the target market. While those are a great start, there are many less obvious ways that the experience can be improved on. It starts with accessibility and location. This includes how easy it is to locate the shop, the ease of access, and proximity to their customer base.
Additonally, amenities like a water cooler, public access bathrooms, or retail call buttons in changing rooms are good ways to improve and go beyond what is expected. Companies must improve the least pleasant aspects of a shopping experience in order to reliably better their image and reputation.
This is true for both physical stores and websites. Customers may experience bad lighting or lack of mirrors in a store negatively. Online they may struggle with a complicated checkout process or a lack of product information. One of the best ways to improve the experience for clothing store customers is good fitting room management.
Above all, a store’s most important tool in converting shoppers to customers is the fitting room. Improving the experience will boost sales outright. More assistants in the area to help, and clean fitting rooms are a good start, but they’re not all there is to it. The fitting rooms should be easy to locate, spacious, and ample in order to avoid long lines. Improvements made to the fitting rooms make a huge impact on the customer service experience, and in turn, store performance.
Making the Move to Mobile
Similar aspects can be used to make online shopping easier and more pleasant for a customer. A responsive website, easy to use virtual shopping cart, and speedy checkout process are vital for online sales.
That first point is absolutely essential. Mobile e-commerce has risen by 40 percent between 2015 and 2017 as more customers use phones and tablets to buy online. Even for companies and brands that do not offer online shopping, their website is often the first point of contact between a potential customer and the brand. Clear designs, easy-to-read content, and an appealing presentation are necessary to appear trustworthy to a customer.
Consequently, in today’s fast-paced market, every point of contact between customers and a brand or company is important. Being good at only one or two will no longer cut it.