Build ways, not walls.

Human beings make choices every day. What to wear, where to go, eat or skip breakfast, to quit smoking or not and so on. We may not like them, we may not choose the right options, but without choices, the day gets harder. Too much choice can be a pain, but it’s important to have that freedom anyway. People, especially customers, tend to drift towards places that give them the freedom to choose. That’s why modern day customer service stresses on giving that option to customers. This maybe through modes of receiving the service (online or in person), multiple payment options, multiple modes of communication, etc. If there were no choices, customers would be forced to wait in line to get a business’s attention, because, they’re unreachable.

Reachability, simply put, is how quickly a customer can ask you a question. The more reachable you are, the easier it is for the customer. Opening up more channels of communication does not mean more work for the business either. If anything, it reduces. Here are three instances of how better reachability improves convenience for the customer as well as the business:

Panic! at the counter

When your customers are facing an emergency, they will look for the quickest way to reach you.
For example, in 2014, David Willis, a customer, was accidentally locked in the Waterstones bookstore in Trafalgar Square. As he tweeted out his situation, the Twitter handle of Waterstones picked up the tweet and took prompt action. Just imagine how the scene would’ve played out had there been no way for the customer to contact the store.

From social media to snail mail, when businesses provide different avenues for customers to reach out to them, it reinforces the customers’ trust in them and doubles up as a chance for the business to gain their loyalty.

Make it easy

Buying things online is a luxury we don’t appreciate enough. There are tiny little details we barely notice, that make the whole experience a happy one.

Amazon, which is well-known world over for its customer service, provides a “Call me back” button right below your order on the mobile app. You don’t have to call them. You click a button and get a call from them within 90 seconds. That’s convenience. Indifference to customer convenience makes transactions and communication time-consuming.

It’s a win-win!

Two words: Self service. You give more power to customers and, at the same time, reduce your workload. Customer service without human intervention is effective in certain situations. To give a few examples, a self check-in kiosk at the airport, self-help at restaurants and coffee shops and a knowledge base for your online customers. This helps customers help themselves,
without waiting for you. It reduces the number of customer requests to a large extent for you as well.

The concept of self-service is slowly gaining momentum and will only grow in popularity in the days to come. One such idea, aimed at minimizing human intervention and faster service is Amazon Go. Quoting their website,

“Amazon Go is a new kind of store with no check-out required. We created the world’s most advanced shopping technology so you never have to wait in line. With our Just Walk Out
Shopping experience, simply use the Amazon Go app to enter the store, take the products you want, and go! No lines, no checkout. (No, seriously.)”

In an increasingly omnichannel world, where a user seamlessly moves across platforms, opening up multiple channels is the way forward. Keeping up with customers’ ever-changing expectations keeps you relevant and, therefore, more relatable. More importantly, customers only stay with your company if they feel valued. They need to feel that they are important enough for you to let them get in touch with you. Remember, where customer is king,
convenience is key!

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