A Simple Act of Acknowledgement: Customer Service in an Online World

I am a huge fan of online shopping and meal delivery services. I have tried almost all the major meal delivery services currently on the market – some of which I am a Promoter and others I’d be a Detractor. Quality of the product and the meal prep is important, but one of the biggest impacts on my ranking is how they resolve service issues.

A service issue, in this case, usually stems from damaged food-related to shipping or billing problems are the service issues I experience most. While this isn’t always the fault of the delivery service, it does impact my experience and my sentiment towards the service overall. In fact, one company lost my business for continuous shipping issues, which resulted in a damaged product.

I have worked in the service industry my entire career in one form or another, I’ve seen firsthand the way I or my team handled a service issue heavily impacts our ability to retain that customer. Specifically, I’ve experienced customers “give a pass” or even become more loyal based on the way we addressed and resolved their issue.

Why Acknowledging Customer Frustration is Important

I recently ordered a meal delivery from one of those smoothie companies. I have been using them for a few months with no real issues until I noticed an unidentified charge from them on my credit card.

To resolve the issue, I went online to submit a question through their contact system. After one week (sufficient time to respond), I still hadn’t received an acknowledgment of my concern. I then emailed the customer service address listed on their site and had no response. I’m now very frustrated. Even a simple acknowledgment and time frame for a response would have been enough to let me know they valued me as a customer. Because they haven’t even acknowledged my concern, I will likely cancel my service after all of this is resolved, if it’s resolved.

As I think about my personal experiences, I recognize that you often get grace for your mistakes if you acknowledge them and try to improve in a timely manner. Now that most of our interactions are online, it is harder than ever to build loyalty and rapport with your customers. That makes it harder to get that grace that I mentioned. It also makes timely acknowledgment more important than ever.

How Can You Effectively Listen to Customers?

There are multiple ways to gather information from your customers about their experiences, concerns, and expectations: direct client feedback (as in my case), customer surveys, and in-depth interviews are a few common ways.

When you receive that information, it’s what you do with it that makes the difference. Responding quickly and effectively to issues shared through chat, email, or support forms could be the difference in whether your customers become a Promoter or a Detractor. Create a closed-loop process to reach out to your customer quickly, acknowledge their feelings, and come up with a mutually acceptable resolution. Ensure that your entire organization understands the importance of this simple action and embraces it.

More than ever, it’s important to make sure your customer knows they are being heard, and you care about their business. Don’t ever lose a customer because they didn’t feel acknowledged.

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By |2020-06-18T14:56:31-07:00June 16th, 2020|Categories: Best Practices|