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The secret to getting good customer service that computer nerds having been trying to tell you for years

Deirdre Wilson – Thursday, May 01, 2014   


Computer nerds understand using digital interactions to communicate and wield power. We can all do the same and make robot relationships work for us - yeah, no, not like getting smoochy with Marvin.

In this computer-nerd-takes-over-the-world era that we live in, we should all know that there is gold hiding behind boring stuff. But we forget. Let's explore the most boring part of websites and look at why it is worth investing time in building a robot relationship.

Like a lot of online businesses we have a client communications centre (CCC) or client login section to our website. It is the go-to location for our website clients to find resources and submit support tickets. Unfortunately it is so boring that most of our website clients don't login. In fact, if they have a problem most of them send us an email. And they are all missing out on the gold.

In 'the old days' shopkeepers knew your name, remembered your preferences and trained their staff to do that same. Now we have robots to do that and they are called systems.

It is worth investing time in building a robot relationshipTweet this

As a customer, you can capitalise on the ability of robots to remember better than humans and build your history with a company by making them document you and your needs as much as possible. Then when you need something, they can look into their files and find out about what you have wanted in the past and build on that foundation. Yep, loads of generalisations here but the idea is that you have to be a good half of the equation.

Client login areas are gold - for both sides of the client/ supplier relationship. Data is the key that unlocks so many doors and login areas are data gathering machines. So the best way to get through those doors is to harness data and make it work for you. Phew, so many mixed metaphors!

Capitalise on the ability of robots to remember better than humansTweet this

Mum used to tell me that 'you catch more bees with honey than vinegar' and, whilst bees are attracted to pollen not honey, I understood what she meant. Being honey rather than vinegar works whether you are the customer or the supplier. A good relationship needs both people to be good at their part.

If you read reviews of cafes and restaurants in any of the popular consumer apps you will find that there are as many complaints about service as there are about food. I often wonder about those service complaints given some of the bad behaviour I have seen in eateries and I think about my mum and her inaccurate honey / vinegar story. Snotty behaviour results in snotty service - read Down and Out in Paris and London if you are in any doubt!

In an effort to shine a spotlight on the gold found, not only on our website, but in most places where you are offered a login, I will explain what there is and why it should be used.

From our side of the relationship - we want to make sure you have access to the solutions we come up with for you in a file somewhere that you can refer to whenever you need it. We also want to be able to check what we have done for you previously so that we can tailor any future help specifically to you and not send you irrelevant information. We want you to have everything you need to manage your website to the extent that you desire and we want to help you develop new skills. We want to respond quickly and be able to find your email amongst that deluge that we, like you, get every day. So we put in a system - you know at Hothouse Design we love systems - and we add to it everything we can think of to help you.

From your side of the relationship - first you need there to be one place only where you can find all the information about your website and it has to be easy. Then you want us to understand your business and your needs. You want us to respond to your queries quickly and with useful help. Later on, you want to hand over the task of managing your website to a staff member. You want them to learn about the backend and have them update the content. You need information about your domain registration or the logins to the social media we set up for you.

So, for all of our website clients, this is what we have done to our login area - your login area:

  • all of the training videos are now outside the login area. That means you can look at them whenever they want to without logging in
  • any videos we make specifically for you or training sessions we have recorded are in your own video library behind the login
  • a list of links to the training videos we think may be useful to you, especially if you are new to managing your website are in the login area
  • any documentation relevant to your website like lists of logins to your social media and domain registration certificates are kept behind the login

Not everything is exciting, some stuff is just usefulTweet this

It still doesn't sound very exciting but not everything is exciting, some stuff is just useful.

If you want to read Down And Out In Paris And London use our link to Amazon and the affiliate fees will go to charity.

This post is by Deirdre Wilson, Director of Hothouse Design – Australia's most sensible information design company.
Deirdre applies her background in industrial design and design management to the complex and wondrous projects undertaken by Hothouse Design.

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