In tourism we all understand how important customer service is. We work in an industry where greeting customers with a smile can make or break their experience. Now, with online bookings, there is a need to extend that customer service into the online environment.
So…we understand the need to meet and where possible exceed expectations, we know we have to treat our customers with respect and we have to make sure we pay attention to the little things that make all the difference. But for some reason, many businesses that offer excellent face to face service seem to forget all of the rules when it comes to dealing with customers online.
What are the biggest complaints when it comes to poor online service?
- Sending an email request for follow up and never hearing back from the company
- An overly complicated site that is impossible to navigate
- Impossible to find contact details apart from an email contact form
- Overly complicated forms, that can’t be saved
- Guarantees of response times that are ignored
- Overly complicated animations and video footage that loads slowly
- Shopping carts that have poor functionality (like a shopping trolley with a wonky wheel)
- Requesting too much private information for a purchase that doesn’t warrant collecting so much information
We can take this feedback and compare it to our own online customer service philosophy. Do you have key performance indicators, like minimum response times, follow up procedures or customer complaint processes?
Any business that offers exceptional service online and offline has a major competitive advantage over one that does not get it right. It can make all difference between a happy customer turning up ready to enjoy your face to face customer service and hospitality or someone who is already only half impressed, putting you immediately on the back foot.
One of the easiest ways to get more business online is to offer exceptional online service. Simple as that. Customers that book online are also likely to be more social media, review and forum savvy – meaning they have the ability to spread both positive and not so positive feedback to a larger audience.