Saturday, 7 February 2015

How To Improve Your Online Customer Service

Good customer service isn’t restricted to face-to-face interaction: these days it is important to ensure that your online customer service is just as professional. After all, your website is your virtual shop window so you want any customers to go away feeling they have been treated well – just as you would if they visited your premises in person.

There are many different areas you can work on to ensure this is the case, some of which are as follows:

Allow For Self-Service: You don’t need to patronise your clients: yes, you need to make the process of using your website as simple as possible for those who are less confident online; but just as you find self-service check-outs in most supermarkets today, you also need to offer the option of online self-service. Make sure you have a comprehensive FAQ page to enable users to find the answers to common questions so they don’t necessarily have to contact your customer service team about every query. You should monitor and update this regularly to keep up with changing demands.

Clear Contact Info: You should always make it as easy as possible for your customers to contact you: failure to do so engenders mistrust and they will very likely go elsewhere to buy what they’re looking for. The best sites will offer multiple contact options so you should too: give telephone numbers, email addresses, instant chat options and so on. Include several links to all of these to show demonstrate transparency. Making your contact details easy and accessible will show that you are serious about providing excellent customer service.

Encourage Feedback: In addition to providing contact details, it’s also important that you allow customers to leave feedback on your website. This will show that you have nothing to hide. You can do this however you like: via a dedicated ‘feedback’ link, specific product reviews or through allowing visitors to comment on your blog posts. You should then try to engage personally with your customers by responding to these comments.

Deal With Complaints: Every company, however good it is, will now and then have to deal with customer complaints. It’s simply a fact of life in the business world. What is important is how you respond to and deal with these complaints. The most important thing is to act quickly: if someone has posted a negative comment on your website, respond publicly and always apologise for any inconvenience they may have had. If you’re at fault then don’t argue the point – just admit to it and offer recompense. An example would be if a product is damaged in transit and arrives broken: don’t quibble, just send them out another one and even offer a discount if they have been very inconvenienced.