The New Face of (e) Customer Service

You might be in the business of providing classroom furniture to customers across the country, but that doesn’t mean customer service ends when the bell rings in the autumn. This is one industry that is a little bit slower than others to embrace the age of technology.

When you’re the one providing much-needed products, how can you stand out above the rest? Having a fantastic website isn’t enough without the right follow through.

Embrace a Little of the Old

There was a time when customer service really mattered. Those personal touches, relationships with customers, and “service with a smile” might not be as prevalent as it once was, but it’s still a great way to do business.

Inject a little bit of a personal touch, a welcoming attitude and true friendliness every time you do business. Train customer service representatives who respond to customers via phone or email to put customers first. After all, this is one market where building a long relationship (with plenty of repeat business) is a given. We all know how rough students can be on furniture, so there’s a good chance replacements will be in the future.

It’s All About Timing

One of the perks (for customers) in the age of online shopping is instant gratification. Customers aren’t used to waiting, and if you make them they will probably take their business elsewhere.

Always reply to customers on the same business day and preferably as soon as possible. Remember that while they’re waiting for a reply, they’re probably also shopping elsewhere and if a competitor has what they need (and is available) they will simply forget about you.

Immediate response is critical. This is what shoppers have opted for in lieu of personal service. Why not provide them with both?

Your Customers Want It All

Okay, so your customers demand instant answers, prefer personal contact, but they are also information-hungry. Having everything they need at their fingertips has made them used to receiving an influx of information.

Provide as much detail about your products as possible in as little space as possible. Honest photos of products, dimensions, price, review snippets, materials and delivery options should all be readily available.

Don’t make your customers seek out information. Ideally, everything they need to know is right there.

Unless they prefer placing an order by phone rather than online, the goal is to not have phone representatives buried in calls because your customers can get exactly what they need in as little time as possible.

Who’s Filling Out Those Forms, Anyway?

Your customers are educational professionals whether they are teachers or administrative staff. They might be fresh out of college or nearing retirement. This means you have to cater to a wide range of customers.

Veteran shoppers might be more inclined to go with the easiest-to-navigate site with friendly reps. Newbies might lean towards a site with an engaging web presence linked to social media sites. Your demographic is a broad one, so outreach accordingly.

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