Good, Old-Fashioned Online Customer Service

I decided to go to the “way back machine” and look at a (very old) report that I wrote in July 2002 called “Mastering Online Customer Experience.” Here’s an excerpt from the report:

Don’t Deploy Technology — Solve Problems. While companies hope that online service will reduce costs, they mistakenly scrutinize individual interactions instead of studying the collection of contacts required to solve a customer’s problem… Firms must monitor interactions from the customer’s point of view — from the inception to resolution of an issue.

Doesn’t that sound like something you could say today?!?

Here’s another piece of the report that’s still relevant; a  graphic that depicts how individuals make decisions about the channels they use for an interaction:

Channel Choices
Customers Explicitly Select Service Channels

The bottom line: Good advice ages well.

Written by 

I am a customer experience transformist, helping large organizations improve business results by changing how they deal with customers. As part of this focus, I examine strategy, culture, interaction design, customer service, branding and leadership practices. I am also a fanatical student of business, so this blog provides an outlet for sharing insights from my ongoing educational journey. Simply put, I am passionate about spotting emerging best practices and helping companies master them. And, as many people know, I love to speak about these topics in almost any forum. My “title” is Managing Partner of the Temkin Group, a customer experience research and consulting firm that helps organizations become more customer-centric. Our goal is simple: accelerate the path to delighting customers. I am also the co-founder and Emeritus Chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (, a non-profit organization dedicated to the success of CX professionals.

2 thoughts on “Good, Old-Fashioned Online Customer Service”

  1. Good, “old fashion” customer service isn’t going anywhere. The vehicle in which the service is attained will (and has…drastically!) changed. At the end of the day, communication, regardless of the medium, defines the customer experience. Patrick, I agree, online is a channel 🙂

    Be well,


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