Customer service has come a long way since the days where it was seen as a “necessary evil” and only grudgingly given any resources, let alone enough to satisfy customer demand. Today, we all want to distinguish our companies with the level of service we provide, instead of just the products we sell. But this can be a challenge, as there are many aspects of customer service to get right. The most important thing of course is to answer your customer requests quickly. Whether that’s picking up the phone or answering emails, customers today expect a fast answer. Gone are the days when they’ll be satisfied waiting 24 hours or more. Next, you must support your products effectively. This aspect of customer service may involve the following, depending on what kind of products you sell:
- Shipping replacement parts and accessories to replace those that are missing, defective or damaged.
- Shipping and tracking evaluation units to customers for beta testing and product development purposes.
- Receiving customers’ products that have failed for the purpose of fixing or replacing them with new or refurbished ones.
- Receiving customers’ products returned for credit or refund.
With all of these aspects of customer service in play, the best approach is to have a single place where customers can go to create and track any type of service request. For this purpose, the customer portal – a customer facing support site that customers can login to contact you – is the preferred solution. However, the customer portal you choose must have several key features to ensure a smooth and efficient service operation that your customers will love.