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While ecommerce has come a long way in recent years, it still has a long way to go.
One of the main problems with online shopping is that a certain amount of guesswork is always required before making a purchase.
Customers are never quite sure about the quality of an item, since they can’t touch it like they would when shopping in person.
Instead, they are forced to rely on small photos and glib product descriptions.
As a blogger, I have a responsibility not to get personal and not to write with righteous indignation.
However, I also have the pleasure of being able to write about experiences I have had that bear on digital marketing and ecommerce.
After my stag do this weekend, I lost my paper return train ticket from Devon to London and had to pay for a new one.
In my opinion this revealed a disjointed multichannel offering because lost paper tickets cannot be reissued, but mobile tickets effectively can be (by logging into an app on another mobile device).
So what can we learn?
In the past month I had a bad experience with British Airways.
In short, I left my iPad on a plane and it took six days for them to find it and charge me for its safe return.
This post is more about the way BA handled my issues both online and offline and how there are a lot of flaws in its customer service and social media management.
I’ll write about my experience as objectively as possible while still providing actionable tips.
Ryan Block called Comcast to cancel his service. An argumentative agent seemingly couldn’t believe this was happening and almost refused to comply.
Here’s the phone call. If you can listen to it all, do so. It feels like a sermon on how not to do customer service.
Plenty of people are writing about this. But is it anything more than a bad agent?
Here’s what I take from it.
Are social media management companies worth it?
Although ‘horses for courses’ applies, I’m going to attempt to address this question with the help of a few brand case studies.
Is social media a boon or a pain for transport providers?
Lucy Whitehead of TfL spoke at Hootsuite’s premier Connect event in London.
For those not as London-centric as I, TfL is Transport for London, and it controls pretty much all transport in London (funnily enough).
In fact, Lucy said that the only way TfL couldn’t impact on a journey across the English capital is if it was undertaken by helicopter, roof to roof.
The theme of Lucy’s talk was the size of the task (and opportunity) for TfL on social media, and how it uses the various platforms to try to inspire a ‘bit more love’ in, let’s be honest, some easily disgruntled commuters.
Let’s look at some of the key points. And yes, we will get to the toilet escapology in due course!
This week's US digital marketing statistics features the world's biggest brands and, neatly enough, detail on brand fatigue worldwide.
There's also stats on consumer preferences in customer service, Twitter use by digital marketers and what the World Cup could mean for retailers.
For more digital marketing stats, check out the Econsultancy Internet Statistics Compendium.
How difficult is it for a major company in the financial services industry to maintain an efficient customer service channel that fully complies to banking regulations whilst also operating in the public eye?
Richard Atkinson is the assistant VP of social media and incident management at Barclaycard. Yesterday he was interviewed by Joshua March, CEO of Conversocial during Our Social Times’ Social Customer Service Summit 2014 in which he revealed how Barclaycard has worked through it's regulatory and compliance issues to provide high quality social customer service.
These are the main takeaways from their conversation.
Profit margins determine whether businesses sink or swim and this is especially true in the hypercompetitive ecommerce industry.
So what can retailers do to improve profit margins?
Driven by growing multichannel interactions with their customers, many businesses are moving away from call centres in favour of social media and virtual help centres to deal with customer complaints and queries.
The thought is that customers engaging with lower cost channels should be supported through siloed touch points and diverted away from higher cost call centres.
However, the power of the call centre shouldn’t be understated.
130 dedicated social customer care employees, social payment for customers, flight attendants supplied taking social enquiries offline, an updating Twitter header displaying average response time.
These are some of the elements of KLM's social customer care that make it world beating.
Let's have a closer look, courtesy of Robertjan Groenveld, social media hub manager at KLM, speaking at Socialbakers' Engage London 2014.
There are obvious benefits to endless aisle technology, click and collect and a single view of stock. However, there are other in-store considerations when trying to improve customer service.
How to increase speed of service in-store? How to increase customer and staff satisfaction? Online and offline considerations continue to blur, as ecommerce benefits from bricks and mortar, and vice versa.
Stuart McMillan, Deputy Head of Ecommerce at Schuh, is a regular commenter on the Econsultancy blog and kindly showed a few of the Econsultancy team around Schuh's Marble Arch store in London last week.
With in-store customer experience and flexible fulfillment increasingly on the agenda for retailers, here's a round-up of what I learned from Schuh.