For decades, companies have fought hard to retain customers, pushing the ‘customer is always right’ mantra to its limits. Staff shortages and the need to cut costs during the pandemic have challenged this approach.
Customer service, in a post Covid world, is not disappearing – rather it is evolving. If anything, the pandemic appears to have given companies an opportunity to reset their approach to customer service.. If anything, the pandemic appears to have given companies an opportunity to reset their approach to customer service.
Customer service, in a post Covid world, is not disappearing – rather it is evolving.
Research suggests that three aspects are important for consumers when it comes to satisfaction and feeling that they receive fair service following a complaint.
First, distributive justice, which refers to consumers being satisfied with the outcome from the service experience or complaint handling. That is, if your flight was delayed by more than 2 hours, are you happy with the compensation received?
Second, procedural justice, which refers to the way a complaint is handled – was it done in a fair, objective manner? If you complained about your meal, were you listened to? Did you get a chance to explain what was wrong about it?
Third, interactional justice, which refers to the way consumers are treated throughout the complaint process.
Does it mean companies can get away with anything? Certainly not. Bad customer service remains damaging for a company’s reputation. Companies who adopted controversial refund practices during the height of the pandemic and beyond still face customer backlash. The cornerstone of good customer service remains to consider consumers in the fairest possible way. This implies apologizing when one is wrong, not blaming customers for service failures, taking responsibility where appropriate, delivering on promises, and keeping a constant healthy flow of communication.
New technologies and progress in artificial intelligence may give companies a way to properly service customers in a more efficient manner. Yet, research on customer interactions with chatbots suggests that customers can feel devalued when being helped by artificial-intelligence-powered solutions.
PACE School of Sales Management, one of eight affiliated schools of PACE Institute of Management, is established to contribute to developing sales experts and professionals who have international capabilities and insightful realization of the business circumstance in Vietnam, helping organizations achieve outstanding and sustainable business results.