I feel like companies are missing out on a low-cost way to boost customer service. There have already been some pretty impressive strides made with instant chat, for example:
- Warby Parker’s Instant Chat
- Bonobos’ “Whatever It Takes” approach to Customer Service
- Ordering a pizza through Zappos
- Amazon’s Mayday, 24/7 interactive support through webcam, which has inspired marriage proposals and songs, and has fielded requests for outlandish requests like bedtime stories
This support is high-touch, high impact, and time-and-money-consuming. But as more services begin to take this tack, old-school “Our call is important to you” is going to look more and more archaic.
One of my favorite points to harp on is the growing essentialness of holistic marketing, which is to say that marketing is no longer one department in your company.
Customer Service is Marketing. Supply Chain and Logistics is Marketing. Strategy is Marketing. HR is Marketing.
What I mean by this is that your reputation can no longer be dictated by your Marketing department. It has to be a WHOLE COMPANY EFFORT. If your strategy dictates that you will win by being customer-focused, everything about your company has to SING “CUSTOMER FOCUS”. Take Zappos’ much-lauded policy of free, unsolicited upgrades to overnight shipping. Or Facebook’s laundry list of employee benefits, which utterly redefine expectations of the employee-employer relationship (and yes, that includes free laundry service).
To bring my back to my original point: Hold music sucks. I see the necessity of it, but as I said, it’s archaic. Fuck the awful music. Fuck the “Your call is important to us”. Give me something that I’ll enjoy. Read some funny Tweets. Do any of your employees write on the side (Have you ever even asked? Remember, Workplace Satisfaction is Marketing)? Read some books and make up the voices—I hear Game of Thrones is popular (But before that, look into the legality of that and don’t sue me).