For entrepreneurs and business managers who run online businesses, online marketing is one of their top priorities, but the nature of online interactions with clients makes customer service a bit more difficult to tackle. Where once the help desk offered face to face customer support and interaction, today methods of contacting a business not only lacks face to face interaction, but are almost always automated processes that do not involve human action from the side of the business. The only time actual staff take action is when responding, and even then, the methods of response are equally "faceless" email, chat, comment threads and discussions, et al.
The Customer and the Brand
Online marketing is more concerned with search optimization, social media, and content, which helps build web presence and visibility. Th final and most important step to building an online presence, however is branding.
A business' brand is everything it stands for -- it's the entire reputation and standing of the business in one concept. This means it heavily relies on product or service quality, marketing, and customer service. Businesses highly dependent on the Internet are falling behind on the customer service facet because as methods of interaction between the customer and the "Brand" become more technological and automated, the less personal it becomes.
However, it doesn't need to be that way. As businesses discover more and more channels of online marketing, they need not abandon traditional methods of communicating with their customers and offering customer service. Or, if convenient communications technology truly is making it difficult to do things "face to face" businesses should focus on keeping on branding instead.
The Brand, not the Face
Face to face communication is the most personal method of interaction between clients and businesses, and this makes it easy to leverage to personalize customer service. True customer support and branding, however, doesn't just rely on the face of its customer service staff, but in the experience they deliver.
It's the customer experience that makes it personal. It's the brand identity that makes it personal -- and that doesn't require a face. If in every online marketing channel and communications platform, businesses can make the customer experience while consistently branding, then it's still highly personal and it still leaves a lasting impact.
Personalized customer service works hand in hand with online marketing to build the brand of the business. Focus on improving the customer experience, and to each customer served well, it will be a personally rewarding interaction between them and your brand.