Four Ways to Improve Customer Service at Your Online BusinessLeave a Comment
This guest post is brought to you by David Bakke. David is a contributor for the personal finance blog MoneyCrashers.com. He writes about small business, technology, and more.
Have you ever been frustrated trying to get past CAPTCHA to register for a website or make an online purchase? Well, if you have, just imagine how your visitors feel. While CAPTCHAs are one aspect of online customer service that users find frustrating, they’re really just the tip of the iceberg. An emerging market like e-commerce brings with it countless benefits, and countless challenges, and the most effective way to provide good customer service may be the biggest challenge out there.
1. Utilize Your Social Media Presence
Think social media is just for marketing? Think again. Monitor all your social media accounts regularly for both positive comments about your business as well as complaints. Respond to both in a timely fashion, and take the criticism to heart—after all, in the end it’s just first-hand advice on how to better serve your customers.
If your business involves sales, consider accepting orders and payments through Facebook. Does your business require appointments or reservations to be booked? If so, use Twitter. Just make sure the person in charge of these pages monitors all contact from start to finish to ensure a streamlined process.
2. Have an Easily Accessible “About Us” Page
For potential customers, an “about us” page is an absolute must. Leave it out and your customers may not bother perusing your website at all, much less making a purchase. Your content doesn’t have to be extensive, but it does need to be relevant. Explain in a nutshell what your company does and how it can help potential clients or customers. You can also include a brief bio of yourself and key staff members to give it a personalized touch.
3. Include a User-Friendly “Contact Us” Page
In the same vein, you want to make it as easy as possible for your customers to contact you should they have a question. If you offer phone support, include the hours when reps are available. Also, consider implementing a live chat feature—the more routes your visitors have to access you, the happier they’re going to be. If you offer email as an option for contact, monitor your accounts on a timely basis and try to get back to all customer requests within 24 hours.
4. Clearly State Your Return Policy
No one likes making a purchase online only to find that it can’t be returned because of a “fine print” return policy. Consider making your return policy as liberal and accessible as possible. You can always tweak it down the road once your business has expanded, but for now the goal isn’t just to sell a single widget, it’s to adopt a successful strategy, create a brand, push word-of-mouth marketing, and make customers happy. So, don’t bury anything in the fine print—it’s the fastest way to upset or lose a customer.
Publicly voiced customer complaints are not as bad as you may think. If you see one on a social media page, make sure you respond immediately. The last thing you want is for a complaint to linger unanswered for others to read, leading not only to one frustrated customer, but to a negative image for countless other potential customers who visit the page as well. Instead, turn that negative into a positive and win over that customer, and countless others are sure to follow.
What ways can you think of to improve customer service at your business?