Customer service is tough. Most of us have experienced calling a business for information and either enduring a long hold, or worse, having to deal with an automated system. We live in a time where we expect immediate results. And it’s not just the millennials who expect immediacy, although we know they get most of the flack.
So how do you balance technology with the warmth of human contact to deliver outstanding customer service? It’s a question that’s always in the spotlight at Custom Ink, the fast-growing maker of custom-printed T-shirts and other apparel. With 1700 employees nationwide and 500 employees across two facilities in Reno, Custom Ink works with customers who want a single custom-printed sweatshirt, families that want a couple dozen custom T-shirts for a reunion and big companies that need thousands of embroidered polo shirts.
Your customers are constantly using social media, and their devotion creates an opportunity to provide the kind of exceptional service that builds customers for life. Like any initiative to strengthen profits, effective use of social media for customer service requires strategy, commitment and ongoing attention. But the rewards — higher customer spending, real customer relationships, an inside look at what customers are thinking — make the investment worthwhile. Bain Media estimates that customers increase their spending by 20 to 40 percent with companies that have engaged their customer-service requests on social media.
Technology has provided the tools to do the basics better, faster and more precisely. But those tools are only tools and they require sophistication, user training and regular sharpening to do the job of running basic business functions and provide the data necessary to manage operations, sales and client satisfaction.