The job of every business is to make each customer feel special. Many businesses accomplish this by providing excellent customer service for them. The goal of great customer service should not only meet customer’s expectations, but go beyond their needs. Those types of experiences are the best marketing tools a business can provide and encourage customers to return.
Is it Necessary?
Often times, online businesses neglect customer service because they don’t feel a need as they’re not a physical store. However, like customers in a physical location, they have questions and concerns they need to address. If customers online aren’t able to seek the necessary help they’re looking for, they’ll move to another website for their products and services.
Most businesses that ignore the importance of online customer service are the ones that will have a more difficult time succeeding. No matter how a business operates, the way they treat their customers and their ability to address their needs will play a large role in the success they can achieve.
Although excellent online customer service sounds difficult to achieve, but in reality, it is very possible to create an experience that is positive and will encourage your customers to return.
What Online Customer Service can Do?
Be Available and Communicate
When a customer is having a problem, they’re looking for immediate answers and support from the business. That’s when they want to contact the business in some way, whether it’s a phone call, email, or a form. When your business is online, you can operate 24 hours a day and 7 days a week all around the world. The issues that a customer may have can happen at any time. I
The best way to do that is by offering as many different ways as possible for the customer’s to contact customer service and to react to their needs as quickly as possible. You can communicate with your customers in many forms, including email and live chat services, but a good online business will also allow people to talk to them on the phone.
There are many online phone systems and customer service support apps that allow businesses to have direct contact with their customers when they need help. Programs like Sales Force, FreshDesk, Five9, and many more allows you to monitor activities and allow you to manage your customers’ concern all on one platform. You can also integrate all of your devices, such as desktop, mobile phone, and smartphones to conveniently manage calls anywhere with apps like Switch.
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Many times a problem that is dealt with through online customer service is resolved easily. There are other times when it is not. No matter what the resolution of the customer service issue that was dealt with online is, a follow up is a great idea.
It’s a great way to reconnect with your customers and ensure that they were satisfied with the help they received.
The follow up can come in any form from emails to surveys to phone call. It makes a customer feel that much more special and can help a business learn more about what they are doing right or wrong.
Use Social Media
Social media is a double-edged sword when it comes to customer service. Anything that is put on social media networks can spread very quickly. A bad customer experience can be heard about by many people, even if it is not completely true.
It is also possible to promote the good customer experiences in the same way. A business that utilizes the social media to spread the customer service messages is taking advantage of a powerful tool.
In fact, Facebook have recently included a “Response Rate” icon to show how quickly or slowly a Business Page replies to inbox messages. If you’re quick at responding messages, then Facebook will show a “Very responsive to messages” icon below your cover photo. However, if you’re slow at responding, the responsive rate with not be publicly shown and only visible to those managing the page.
Add Other Tools
There are many tools and features of your website that can help your customers easily find the information and help they need.
For example, a great navigation on your website can help you direct customers to the correct pages.
Of course, a good FAQ page is always great to answer quick concerns your customers may have. It answers common questions that people are often asking about your business.
Also, consider having a blog for your website as well. A blog can allow you to showcase your expertise and address problems and questions that your visitors may have. In addition, you can answer your FAQ more in-depth and provide examples in a blog.
Customer Service is a Roller Coaster
Anyone that has ever worked in customer service knows that you can go from dealing with a great customer to a very rude customer in a heartbeat. There will be many times when you do things the right way and leave a customer feeling special and there will be others when mistakes are made. It is important to learn from both.
When the right tools are in place, you can address both positive and negative concerns from your customers. Your business not only needs to provide the most convenient ways for customers to contact you, but be knowledgeable enough to answer their concerns.
Online customer service can be difficult, especially when you can’t physically see the customer. However, it is still extremely important for you to address their questions and concerns.
As you know, everything on the Internet spreads fast, especially when if it’s a negative experience. So, make sure you can provide your customers with a positive experience and address any negative concerns they may have.