"Customer interaction," in other words, is still a brand new discipline for most business people, with lots of unknown complications and unappreciated benefits. I know that many executives charged with supervising the customer experience, or trying to structure their company's many interactions with individual customers, have trouble articulating the case for earning customer trust, but I still think this is the most important objective you can have when it comes to guiding customer interactions.
I just finished reading a new book by Bill Price and David Jaffe called, The Best Service is No Service. Jaffe is a customer experience consultant operating out of Australia, and Price is the ex-VP of Global Customer Service for Amazon, which says a lot about their perspective, because Amazon is certainly one of the world's true icons of great customer service. If you're struggling with the issues of how to improve customer trust when people use your website rather than your call center, then you should simply buy Price and Jaffe's book and read it cover to cover. Then read it again.
The truth is, customers don't make a big distinction between the channels they use. They choose a channel for their own convenience, but no matter what channel they employ, they expect to be interacting with YOU, the company, and it ought to be an interaction that is roughly consistent across channels. Still, with regards to building customer trust over the Internet with online customer service, some of the advice in the Price and Jaffe book is very good and very basic. For instance:
Hear more in Creating Customer Value, a SearchCRM.com monthly podcast series with Peppers and Rogers.
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