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Friday 10.26.2012

Are we doing everything we can to make sure that our customers complete experience is a positive one?

As Customer Service professionals we deal with issues and concerns on a daily basis. To be a true Customer Service professional, you have to wear many hats. You have to have detailed knowledge of your product, the company’s policies and procedures, timelines, deadlines and schedules. In addition, you have to display empathy, compassion, understanding, a willingness to listen and a willingness to proactively address any issue that might arise. We are tasked with making our customers happy.

As Customer Service professionals, one emerging aspect of our business is addressing reviews that are posted, usually relatively anonymously, on a variety of websites that cater to highlighting customer experiences, both positive and negative. Customers now can, and do, go online and share their experiences with the world via these websites.

In my experience, the overwhelming majority of respondents to these sites are fair and honest. Unfortunately though, some are not. Some respondents omit facts or stretch the truth to illustrate their perception of interactions with us.

We have an obligation, not only to the businesses that we represent, but to the potential customers reading these reviews to make sure that our perception of interactions are properly represented. A review placed on one of these sites that doesn’t include a timely response from the business in question can be perceived by potential customers as fact, even though it may be inaccurate. Left unanswered, a negative review can have an incredibly harmful impact on a business.

It is imperative that our responses to these reviews are posted in a very timely manner and provide an honest, detailed explanation of the experience the poster is describing. It’s your reputation at stake.

As someone who manages a Customer Service department, I recognize the importance of these reviews and of our timely response to them. At GiftCards.com we scan these sites every day to ensure that we are actively engaging those that express opinions about their experiences with us.

I feel as though this is just one of the many aspects of our industry that is too often overlooked, but has the potential of negatively affected our customers and our potential customers overall experience.

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