The Importance of Customer Service in the Digital Age

Unfortunately it is all too common to see businesses forget to focus on customer service when they launch an online strategy. However, with review sites becoming more and more popular as a way for consumers to vent their anger, retailers have got to ensure their customer service is spot on! You could have a perfectly optimised website and a brilliant marketing strategy but these will be in vain if searches for your brand bring up a hoard of negative reviews.

There are many review services out there and they are becoming more and more popular. Personally, I review pretty much everything I can as I feel it is important to share more experiences with other web users. That is what Web 2.0 is all about – sharing information. Two sites that I frequently use for reviews are Trip Advisor and Trustpilot, and as you can see from my profiles I review both good and bad experiences. This, in a way, makes me a little unusual as you tend to find people are far more inclined to review a bad experience than a good one, and this is where the importance of customer service comes in to play.

I was once told a happy customer could potentially win you another customer, but an unhappy one could loose you 100s. These figures are obviously not 100% accurate, but they’re also on the right track. With the growing use of social media tools a customer happy with their purchase may share a product they’ve purchased on Facebook which in turn may encourage another friend to purchase the same product, or another from that site. However, someone dissatisfied with a company may not only use Facebook, Twitter, Blogging etc. to rant about their poor experience (see my rant about E.on on Trustpilot for a really good example of a rant!) but they can also publish these negative reviews on a number of websites! Once these reviews start to build up they can have a seriously negative impact on your business!

How to avoid negative feedback

The most obvious one is provide good customer service from the offset! Ensure everything from your pay-per-click adverts to your prices is accurate and honest. Make sure your customer service team is the best you can get – customer service agents are so often overlooked as being a vital part of a business, however without them it’s surprising how quickly things will fall apart!

Secondly, listen to what your customers have to say and be open to constructive criticism. If a number of your clients complain about an aspect of your service or website CHANGE IT! When it comes to business it is not about what you want it is about what your customer wants!

Now every company will get negative reviews from time to time, it’s to be expected as you cannot possibly please everybody, but if you listen to what people are saying about your company and provide them with an excellent service from the word go you’re definitely on the right track!

On a final note about the importance of customer service I leave you with this article I read a few months ago. If you can go above and beyond the call of duty for your customers then do so – it might just pay off.


By Jack Hutchinson

Digital marketing and e-commerce specialist, based in Barnoldswick, Lancashire. Helping businesses "go digital" since 2011.