“I’m very accessible. I don’t get into this ego thing." – Scott Hamilton
No one likes to pick up the phone and talk to a computer. It is no wonder why companies that have used this method to shore up their bottom line are suffering. This is because no one is indispensable. Even government agencies aren’t immune. At the end of the day the cash always flows towards those who provide the best service. That is reality.
A website is no different. Yet many companies today are taking the nightmare approach to provide support. There is no phone number, email address, or any other method of direct contact. The only immediate solution is to take a number or be buried in a forum.
Thankfully this is a dying trend because those companies are eventually restructured or thrown to the wolves. People today appreciate service enough to seek it out from those who are happy to help them.
No matter what online social media tools are used to communicate with the customer, the solution needs to convey a sense of vulnerability. It is this same human element that has allowed social media to transform online advertising.
Being vulnerable is about being approachable. The greater number of visitors will follow suit to how others are already interacting with one another and the website. Even when all the answers aren’t available right away, vulnerability portrays a feeling of genuineness and concern. In this context website support is rarely abused.
A website should always be designed in a way that enhances support, not as a replacement for the receptionist. Good support adds value to both the website and company. It is an amazing image builder as the conversations that ensue continue to be available as a matter of historical reference.
Friendship is a Service
One of the most powerful attributes a website has to offer is accessibility. With the list of mobile devices growing rapidly, that sphere of influence has never been greater. AT&T’s famous slogan coined back in 1979, “reach out and touch someone” has been aggrandized by social media.
Making your company accessible and vulnerable opens up amazing opportunities with the technology available today. Utilizing a website’s ability to draw customers closer to you personally should always be primary to the business plan. Why work against human nature?