When it comes to customer interactions, sometimes finding a way to start can be the hardest part. In a recent Forbes piece, Carmine Gallo mentions multiple businesses, including a golf resort and an Apple store, noting one thing they have in common: fast, friendly responses from the employees.
Whether it's hesitating on a plain old telephone answering service, keeping that email response in the "drafts" folder for too long or being unsure when to walk up to someone in person, a delayed opening can be a fumble that gets the whole interaction with a customer off on an awkward note. The old saying about first impressions may be a cliche, but there's a truth to it.
As Gallo points out, this can extend to all forms of media. Just because your support staff is sitting in front of a computer screen doesn't mean they don't need to be responsive or upbeat. Inviting customers to interact through social media platforms like Twitter (as Virgin America's staff does), as well as other online customer services, can set a company apart just as much as the sound of a happy voice. A world of difference exists between a run-of-the-mill email and one that feels genuine.
While companies may see the obvious value in maintaining multiple channels of services for customers to contact them through, keeping their satisfaction levels consistent could be a daunting task. This is why a provider that can offer strong phone and online customer services can be doubly useful in keeping things honest, snappy and productive.