I don’t know about you, but I have a knack for remembering that I need to book appointments or take care of some nagging customer service issue at approximately 10pm and 5am all.the.time. Or at 5:05pm when the business in question closes at 5:00. You know, exactly the wrong time.
If I dare admit it, I’m also not a huge fan of the telephone.
Especially with places you know you’re likely to end up in an endless phone tree, on hold forever, or both. Between working in an open office and having small children, there doesn’t ever seem to be a good time to make these phone calls without eavesdroppers or interrupters.
This is why I absolutely adore the fact that we live in the internet age. More and more places offer online booking for appointments, and online customer service.
With online customer service chats in particular, it’s possible to participate in the chat and still do other light work, like email or social media, without just sitting on hold. It also eliminates trying to speak over chattering/screaming/loud children. Glorious!
In the last two weeks, I’ve used online customer service and scheduling tools in multiple non-online business situations.
Four ways to save time with online customer service
- Cancel a service that I kept forgetting to call about. This one had been on my to-do list for three weeks before I thought to see if they had an online chat customer service option. Sure enough, they did! I was able to take care of it on a quick break at work and finally stopped procrastinating. My bank account is already thanking me.
- Update our cable subscription. With as all over the place as cable prices can be, I love the ability to do it via chat and have time to think through the options or look up similar pricing myself. As an added bonus, the offers they suggest are in writing in case there is ever dispute. No more of the endless, “but the last person I talked to told me…” Note: always save your chats! There’s usually an easy download button. If not, a simple copy-paste works wonders.
- Made a hair appointment – at 10:30pm. I love the ability to select the time that I want, and if I’m looking for a new service provider, online booking ranks very high on my list of criteria. If I find two providers who are otherwise equal and one offers online booking and the other doesn’t, that’s an easy deciding factor.
- Reschedule a pediatrician appointment and download some medical paperwork needed for insurance reimbursement.
Do you take advantage of online customer service and scheduling? Why or why not? Any types of service providers that I’ve missed?