Electronic Customer Service


With the advent of computers and World Wide Web, customer service through chats and e-mails has become common. Such electronic customer service has its own dimensions, which we will discuss here.

Chat or E-mail

Talking to someone through messages, in real time, is called chatting. These days, companies provide round-the-clock chat support on their website. Here a customer simply clicks on the chat icon and the customer service department gets notified that a customer wants to chat. As a customer service representative, you have to be always alert that you could be asked to handle the customer through chat.

E-mail is another popular mode of requesting for customer service. Out of more than 200 billion email messages being sent each day, customer service mails form an important segment. Handling customer requests through mail is one of the easiest ways of providing customer service as you can answer the queries at your convenience. However you should try to reply as soon as possible to win over the customer.

Chat or E-mail

Here are some points to keep in mind when providing customer service through chat or e-mail −

  • Always reply to a message by the customer immediately

  • Keep your tone professional

  • Be crisp and to the point

  • Show respect for the customer

Use a language that can be understood easily by a common man; industry specific jargons and acronyms are a complete no.

Understanding Netiquette

Etiquette is the practice of good manners. Good manners include being polite and helpful, being kind and not aggressive, and being mindful of the fact that others may see things differently than oneself. The etiquettes that should be followed while using the Internet are called netiquettes.

Here are some common netiquettes you should try to abide −

  • Behave with others the way you want them to behave with you

  • Do not use foul language even if the customer is abusive

  • Don’t copy-paste information blindly; customize it to suit customer requirements

Pros and Cons of Electronic Communication

In the modern world of hyper-connectivity, a company cannot ignore any channel for connecting with and engaging the customer. A huge segment of customers prefer to avail online services, so it makes business sense to have online presence.

Electronic communication through websites, chats, e-mail and social media presence offers many advantages −

  • Company is available when the customers need it

  • Pre-sales support is easier to implement

  • Constructive interactions with potential customers can be invoked

  • Real time service can be provided to establish robust buyer-seller relationship

  • Continuous visibility is easy to maintain

  • Easier to maintain records and generate analytics and reports

However, electronic communication has some disadvantages as well −

  • Software and tools required are expensive

  • Training of customer service staff is essential

  • It can only be additional to voice support, not a solution in itself

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