With the availability of computers, creative ideas and the internet nowadays people can buy whatever goods or services whenever they want without any restrictions or boundaries, a fact that has made e-business a lucrative venture. Despite e- business being a profitable enterprise, proper elements needs to be put in place especially top quality customer service and support.
Good customer relationship in e-business matters a lot because keeping existing customer is easier than finding new ones and when customers are satisfied they will do a lot of advertising and marketing to a company. According to research that has been carried out most people will consider doing business with a given company because of recommendation by a friend or acquaintance. When the customers are discontented they will spread the bad news consequently demoralize the business which will ultimately threaten the jobs of those who are employed by the business (Anderson 2002).
It is has been proven that customers will always do business with companies or organizations that provide incomparable customer services of high quality. That is why many new businesses have resorted to focusing their attention on customer support service as a workable means of gaining immediate credit and as a way of appealing prospective buyers. Thus customer service and customer support play a critical role in determining the life of a company or any business. This is because customers will be willing to pay more money and even take their business elsewhere if they are not pleased with the way a company handle them. Also businesses will try to have a viable and effective customer service and customer support because if they happen to lose customers, then the reputation and credibility of a business that is highly dependent on customer experience and feedback is at stake. Thus maintaining a viable and superior customer relation is indispensable for survival and success of any e-business (Anderson 2002).
To create an effective customer service, customer support levels and customer relation management, various strategies should be put in place. With increased levels of competition in e-business it requires businesses should emphasize their customer support services to differentiate themselves from their major competitors who may only be focusing on providing service at lower prices for their products and services. This can be achieved by offering easily accessible customer service support and should have a record of providing its customers with high quality, friendly and reliable services (Chaffey 2006).
Another strategy that businesses should embrace is to recruit skilled customer service representatives (CSR) who are highly competent and qualified in the field of customer care. This is indispensable because these representatives will interact with customers and obtain feedback from customers. Businesses should also ensure that they take advantage of invention and innovation for instance by providing live chats and adopt sophisticated programs on their websites that are tailored to meet the tastes of their customers. Customers should be able to have an online chat with a live representative to address their concerns in real-time. Adoption of programs such as ‘Go To Meeting’ allows online meetings and web conferencing among employee participants and between customer service representatives who has access to one’s desktop. Also companies can resort to offer some ‘Virtual’ suggestion whenever a customer resorts to purchase items online (Dyche 2002).
Another strategy that businesses should adopt to appeal to more customers is to develop an automated sale process. This will enable customers to get an automatic e-mail regarding their purchase receipt and the time their products will be received. This strategy will enable customers to trail the delivery of their products through a shipping confirmation number and as well be informed any delay in delivery of their products. This has become one of the courtesies services that customers have come to expect from any business doing its transactions online (Waddell 2006).
To accelerate any inquiries, adoption of a broad FAQ page on their website is vital. This will enable customers to save time on any questions that they might have otherwise asked. For instance a business should provide detailed information about their products and services and their respective cost, the company’s hours of operation, phone numbers and address. (Anderson 2002).
When handling customers, companies should assume that the customer is always right. This approach will enable businesses to keep away from dreary verbal confrontation and instantly sate customers. This helps to create a chain of loyal customers who will always do business with a given company. Also another way of maintaining better-quality relation with current customers and other prospective customers is by swift reply of e-mails about their enquiries or complaints. Many customers get delighted when they get quick response from customer service representatives. This will also enable customers solve their problems or get their queries addressed within the shortest time possible (Chaffey 2006).
Another strategy that should be employed in improving customer service relation is to provide new services wherever customers ask for them. Loyal customer can also suggest a business to make an improvement on its products or services. These suggestions should never be ignored but should be seriously looked into with the aim of making sure that a business meets its customer’s expectation (Dyche 2006).
Thus in conclusion, customer service support is indispensable for the success and survival of any business. To establish an effective customer support service, it requires a business to bring on board competent and knowledgeable staff, responding to customers enquiries as quickly as possible and maintaining the cardinal law that: the customer is always right. Providing an exceptional customer service will solidify a given business against its competitors. The quality of customer service determines whether the customers will buy something from your business or not (Waddell 2006).