Module: Customer care: customer service becomes customer intimacy

“We are a service company that just happens to sell shoes.” Tony Hsieh, Zappos CEO


“Customer care” encapsulates unfeigned interest in the customer and commitment to the care he deserves. It’s so much more than basic (aftersales) service or simply responding to customer queries. Instead, it’s ensuring the very essence of quality throughout every step of the customer journey


Customer care is step 5 of this journey, after orientation, selection, payment and delivery.


First, we will use this chapter to discuss the evolution from customer service to customer care, taking into account the influence of the Internet. As we will see, some retailers have plunged themselves into (almost) “obsessive customer care” by integrating ultimate care with customer service on every level and in every aspect of (web) stores.
In the second part of the chapter, we look to a possible future of ultimate care based on innovations like robotization, artificial intelligence, digital personal assistants, chatbots and robot advisers. Will they replace the human touch, or will real people always matter to customer care?
Finally, we will turn to customer intimacy, aimed at bringing back human dimensions to retail and helping customers feel properly recognized by giving them personal attention. Truly a challenge occupying the mind of many a retailer.


Topics in this module:

  • Customer service evolution
    • Transparency
    • Reviews
    • Net Promotor Score (NPS)
    • Social media
    • Obsessive customer satisfaction focus
  • Empathy
  • Customer care within the smart, sharing, circular and glocal economy
    • Amazon’s anticipatory shipping patent
  • Artificial intelligence in customer care
    • Virtual assistants
    • Robot advisers and personal assistants
    • Echo and Home hear all
  • Personal contact
  • Customer intimacy

Target group: Manager

Module level: Manager

Version | 13 - 08 - 2018

Part of course: Ecommerce Strategy (ECON2)

Topics in this module: Customer Service, Ecommerce Strategy, Market Places, Online Marketing, Online Marketing Plan, Personalization, User Experience