customer service

Customer Service

This is the second class, out of three, on specific aspects of Marketing on the Web, dedicated to Customer Service.

What is customer service?

" The buzzwords The customer is always right and The customer is king are often just verbiage -- the majority of customers who are looking for service of any kind feel abused because they are treated as 'nuisances' who get in the way of doing business." Jim Mitchell, Wall Street Journal (October 9, 1984).

Customer service is an orientation to the customer, requiring "an integrated, consistent, and holistic approach to serving customers, which is a far cry from the fragmented, inconsistent, and piecemeal approach we consumers are fed up with ... being given the royal runaround, being put on infinite hold, being told that's not my job." Congram and Friedman (Marketing for the Service Industries, AMA, 1991, p. 101).

What services customers want?

The focus is on the customer needs, and how an Web presentation can help the customers. All surveys indicate that customers look for four types of services:
  1. general information on products and services,
  2. references, manuals, with more detailed information,
  3. answers to generic and specific questions on products and services, and
  4. returns or maintenaince of products and services.

Information on products and services

The Web can provide an alternative to telephone and in-person ways to convey this information to customers.

Questions and answers

The Internet is famous for its FAQS (frequently asked questions). This is also used extensively on the Web.