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Companies should deal with customer inquiries from a single source


Companies should deal with customer inquiries from a single source

Many companies fail when it comes to communicating with customers. According to information from Gunnar Sohn, editor-in-chief of the online news service “Neue Nachrichten”, a survey by market researchers from Ovum shows that although a large proportion of consumers use different contact channels to companies, fewer than ten percent of companies are able to use them manage various communication channels via the web, telephone, e-mail or letter.

However, according to experts, it is a myth that consumers prefer telephone contact via call centers. It is time to break the bogus dichotomy between service quality and automation. “Innovative companies have recognized that customers do not want service, but rather self-explanatory and reliable products that exclude service cases as much as possible or can be combined with quick and easy-to-use self-service offers,” said Bernhard Steimel, speaker of the Voice Days plus congress . Poor accessibility, insufficiently trained hotline staff, complicated processes and business conditions that can be issued with a warning are an expression of inadequate service design. “If you want to offer excellent customer service, you have to make the customer perspective the starting point,” demands Steimel.

“The turning away from robots to intelligent agents as ‘figureheads’ of companies, as described in press releases, is ridiculous and does not go far enough in the analysis of real customer needs,” says Björn Behrendt, Managing Director of the Service Community. As long as the grace period only concerns the agent’s freely selectable voice guidance in telephone complaint management, the customer service industry is and will remain a long way from real social media dialogues in which agents act as community moderators.

According to Steimel, the deplorable conditions in customer service require a change of perspective: “Many IT and entertainment electronics products suffer from poor design and complex user guidance. They are full of functions that only a few people really need and some of them are technically not yet fully developed. The speed of innovation also takes its toll. Development times of six months and less until market launch are not uncommon. Manufacturers often complain that trade magazines with their test results are driving a trend towards feature fetishism, which hardly any supplier can avoid. “The consumer is rather overwhelmed by the multitude of product offers. As a last resort, hotlines are often only activated after the relevant Internet forums offer no remedy.

“Products must first be viewed from the customer’s point of view. In addition, the motto is: ‘Best Service is no Service’ for all products that are limited to the essentials, but with perfection. In addition, customer contact should be seen as a source of inspiration and continuous improvement, ”emphasizes Steimel. Smart services are much more than the orderly communication with customers via different channels. “A well-thought-out product with adequate quality assurance in development and production has few or few errors in everyday use. Then there are consequently fewer costs in service, ”explains Harald Henn, Managing Director of Marketing Resultant. Dell has learned from poor service and today operates an innovative portal with Idea Storm for customers who can contribute their ideas and suggestions for improvement.