Has e-commerce killed customer service?
The internet has changed the way most of us go about our daily lives. From buying on-line to banking and bill paying, we no longer have personal contact with these services as we once did. The role of customer service has changed too, as customers rely on websites and automation to fulfill roles traditionally occupied by business professionals.
e-commerce has changed many of the most important elements in the customer service process: establishing contact and providing solutions to meet a customer’s specific needs. Without this contact many web-based companies rely on attractive web pages to create interest and draw customers in. These web pages must provide customers with sound information so they are satisfied enough to place an order. Much of this is done with photos, video and written explanations.
Since it is unlikely to have verbal contact, e-commerce devised a system of automated responses. Automatic e-mails or instant messages thank customers for ordering, and confirm that the order was received. Other automatic responses can inform customers of additional steps in the order or delivery process. These responses help to prevent any reluctance a customer might be feeling about their buying decision.
Fortunately, there are still many businesses that provide face to face customer service in addition to web based sales and service. The web cannot always substitute for direct customer interaction when dealing with a variety of situations.
Companies like American Receivable Corporation www.americanreceivable.com continue to provide hands on, personal customer services even after 35 years in business. Their individual approach to customer service has made them a pioneer in factoring in the Southwest and is why they have helped hundreds of small businesses succeed and prosper .