What comes to mind when you think about using the Internet to enhance your customer support capabilities? Is it the quick turn-around of incoming emails? Or an online form where customers can make suggestions or ask pertinent questions?
Well, great customer support means more. And the Internet can be a powerful tool in your efforts. A quality approach to customer support should touch every aspect of your corporate environment, from purchasing to delivery, and from administration to sales.
Let’s take a look at how some companies have used the Internet to make its customer support sing like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
Let The Internet Deliver The Goods
One of the biggest of customer complaints is that they have to wait to receive their product/service from the company. This is usually due to a tired, worn approach to the supply chain. One of the first things that a good consultant does is to explore the company’s supply and logistics procedures. It’s also one of those things that no one ever thinks has anything to do with the quality of customer support. But in fact, it does.
One company that didn’t have to be told twice about the importance of expedience in delivering products to customers is Toshiba of America. And to help the cause, it used Internet technologies to establish an extranet where all of its dealerships can order supplies, get product information, and receive general dealership communications.
This, in turn, gets solutions to the end user quicker, which makes for happier customers. On top of these benefits, since 95 percent of all of its dealerships are online, the establishment of this communication tool was not an expensive venture.
One of the biggest complaints in employee polls is that employees feel disconnected with the central company decision-makers. Employees feel like they don’t know where the company is going or how they fit in as part of it.
Know what? This kind of discontent does not breed great customer support. If employees are unhappy, the last thing they want to do is be cordial to customers. To fill this communication void, nothing works like internal communication. And nothing fits the bill like Internet communications.
This is what Nissan Motor Corporation found. It established a company-wide Intranet. This tool was meant to develop an easier way to distribute information, as well as to open lines of communication within the company. Nissan spent several months and nearly $180,000 to develop an Intranet that would enable the company to accomplish these goals. And it was able to see immediate results on this investment.
Within the first year, Nissan saved $750,000 in staff time and $70,000 in printing costs. It also had employees that were always informed about what was going on company-wide, thus were able to develop a far better “team” atmosphere. Over the next few years, Nissan expects to increase the printing cost savings to more than $200,000 per year. That’s definitely going to make the accountants happy, and the employees and customers will benefit as well.
Better Communication Is Everyone’s Job
With the continued progress of Internet technologies and the many ways it can be utilized, almost every facet of your company’s communications can be enhanced. And better communication means better customer support. Don’t just point to your customer service manager and tell him to improve your customer support rating. This is a company-wide effort, and every department and every employee can play a part in its improvement.