Guest Blog from Lateefat Mustapha
Have Emails Ruined Customer Service?
A new year has begun and so has the return back to our lives at the office. Walking in feeling relaxed and confident after a well-deserved break. You set your belongings down and make yourself a cup of coffee before finally settling in, turning on your computer to see you have been bombarded with emails, some important, some not so important and others just plain confusing. Why can’t we start the office new year right and not send or be sent emails that just take up unnecessary space in our inboxes.
Thankfully I came across an article in Financial Times, in which Tim Harford provides a guide to navigating the world of emails by letting us know of the seven emails we should never send.
One of the seven really caught my eye which was the sending of the ‘do not reply’ email, an extremely useless email that does not help solve anything. A practice commonly used by customer service agents. Tim illustrates how inefficient the use of the email is for solving customer issues by comparing two companies, British Airways and financial service company, Wise, he explains that Wise was able to solve his issue quickly because “I was able to exchange more substantive messages with Wise in a week than I did with I did with British Airways in months”
Which has me thinking how impersonal customer service can be and how the term ‘the customer comes first’ means absolutely nothing to businesses that deal with customers solely online and that do not provide any alternatives.
Fast fashion brands are constantly in media and under fire for not listening to their customers, solving consumer issues or being good representatives for the brand. At the height of this kind of drama are small fashion brands. Social media fashion brand, Carsicko, have had multiple complaints from customers expressing their grievances on their social media accounts. The brand owner, just ignores the complaints and does nothing to repair the reputation of the brand or help the customer leaving the vast majority of customers at a loss. Many large fashion brands, especially in fast fashion, have also had similar issues and also choose to handle those issues by ignoring them.
What is the way forward? I believe setting up a phone service for customers to call into and get their issues resolved as quick as possible and instead of having automated messages, customer service agents should deal with emails directly, to show there is a physical individual dealing with the issue and not just a computer this will maintain a good professional corporate image.
At the end of the day, the customer is always right and that should never be forgotten.