A Guide to Improving Customer Service
Customers are the most important part of your business and every good business should strive to make their customers happy. They’re what makes your business grow and thrive. Take a look at our guide below to help you improve your online business’ customer service. Remember: Happy customers means a happy business!
Providing contact information
The initial step in being able to provide excellent customer service is being contactable in the first place. You should always offer clear contact details for your business or customer service line.
When a customer has a problem, the worst thing a business can do is add to that problem with a hard-to-find telephone number. There’s no point trying to hide from angry or upset customers – you’re going to be able to improve your business from the experience anyway. Make sure that your website provides a clear and easy way to get in touch with you.
If you have an online business, chances are you’re on social media as well. Everyone’s on it these days and so are your customers. In fact, many customers prefer to use these channels as a method of contacting your business and you should embrace this trend to deliver good customer service.
Make sure you are offering multi-channel support tailored to your customers’ needs. If you use the new e-commerce features on Instagram for example, you’re going to want to watch your messages and comments for any customer queries or issues. If you find that your customers prefer WhatsApp, then make sure that’s available to them too!
Some customers may contact you directly. It’s usually best that they do so to discuss personal details but also to keep any criticism private and away from your followers. There is a chance that customers may publicly comment about your product or service and it’s crucial that you or your customer service team publicly respond in a prompt and professional manner. Since you’re on show after all, you’ll really want to showcase your great customer service.
Another method of contact is a live chat. It’s instant (no dialling or being placed on hold) and the customer service agent can usually have multiple chats going at once. By giving your customers another method of contacting you, you can actually make it easier for answering questions and resolving issues. It gets it done there and then, instead of both sides waiting for an email or call back.
The added bonus to live chat is that your customer is already on your site at the time of their request. If the end result is positive, the likelihood of a sale is increased.
FAQs stands for frequently asked questions. Having a FAQs page is beneficial to your business and the customer experience because it saves time for both parties. If you can solve their problem with a simple sentence, it is going to save time on a phone call or live chat that could be answering more serious queries. In addition, the FAQs page shows your customer that you do receive a lot of interest and that you’ve thought about their needs already.
Whilst FAQs might be questions regarding shipping, returns and simple product questions, product knowledge bases are a little more advanced. For example, IKEA, which sells flat-pack furniture provides plenty of details including measurements, care instructions, assembly and more, that visitors will find incredibly useful. Can you imagine the number of queries they would receive without this information on their site? Make sure you provide a link to as much detail as you can, and you’re bound to have fewer product queries.
The added benefit to knowledge pages and even FAQs is that they are great for search engine optimisation purposes. Your page will likely be filled with plenty of content, relevant to your product and industry.
Even with FAQs on your website, this may not be enough to prevent high volumes of customer queries at busy periods. Depending on the nature of your business, you will need to ensure you have the right staff and channels in place at peak times.
For example, if you sell Christmas decorations online, you’re likely to have more customer activity in November and December than any other time of the year. To maintain your customer support standards, you are going to need some extra help at the right times, whether that is according to the season or the time of day.
Keeping promises and going the extra mile
This is a simple yet effective one. Keeping your promises is crucial for maintaining healthy customer relationships and customer satisfaction. If your products come with a warranty, you should absolutely honour them. If you say that it takes 3 working days for delivery, make sure that it is.
However, going the extra mile for customers is what’s going to make you stand out from the rest! Sometimes people can be easily impressed with a quicker than expected delivery or seemingly tailored packaging. Perhaps there was a problem with a customer’s order? Offer them free delivery or a discount!
Some large businesses such as Samsung and LG have occasionally handed out free products for diehard fans or inspiring stories over social media. They’re great for publicity and for showing off your unique and strong customer service.
Ask for feedback
Finally, regardless of your customer service skills, it is important to regularly review your current process. A great way to do this is to request feedback and listen to customers that have bought your product. Make sure you ask the right questions in order to effectively evaluate your this will help you to provide effective customer service
Even with all of the above considered, there will be times where it will not go perfectly. You might get some negative feedback about your product or service but remember – this is the same for every business! All you have to remember is to remedy the situation as best as you can and improve for next time!