“Customer service” was once an in-person meeting or phone call before 5pm. Now it occurs across multiple channels, and has no limit to the time of the day it transpires. It impacts the entire user journey, from sales to customer retention. Every show competes on many levels – time, competitors, attendees, exhibitors, etc. While many recognize the importance of customer service and highlight it in their mission statements and promotional pitches, most struggle to approach it strategically across the organization. So what should you consider in approaching customer service at your organization?
In our 24 hour/7 day a week economy, a growing concept is customer self-service. Consumers are becoming increasingly empowered and they want the ability to solve their problems. They are no longer okay with waiting for a rep to call or e-mail back. They’d much rather search FAQ pages, browse through knowledge articles and watch videos to educate themselves. Not only is it satisfying for the customer, but it can save the business money by keeping smaller issues away from distracting costly human resources.
User Group Communities
Another form of customer self-service is through the creation of user group communities. While no two tradeshows/expositions are completely alike, essentially they are all in the same business. User or member groups can provide tradeshow participants access to each other so they can help each other solve their common issues. User groups range from topic based, industry specific, software/platform to general advice and can be found online in blogs, listservs, Facebook, LinkedIn or even in-person.
In less than 140 characters or less, customers are increasingly sharing their experiences about your show. They are vocal and expect a response – quickly and concisely based on the platform the end user prefers. For show organizers, the ability to monitor (and respond to) the feelings of their attendees and exhibitors is an invaluable resource. The openness to communicate directly and publicly will set the show apart.
Simple, Accurate, Timely, and Consistent Communication
The key behind approaching your customer service strategy will be in providing simple, accurate, timely and consistent communications. Each message will have to serve the audience where they are in their user journey and be visible to them on the platform they prefer to use. Even an update that the situation is being monitored is much better than not responding at all.
Of course, no show or company is perfect. Harnessing the power of your biggest supporters while reacting to detractors will truly make a difference. What do you do to set yourself apart?
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