5 keys to delivering quality customer service online
We’ve all been customers at one point or another. We know what it’s like to be on the receiving end of both good and bad service. However, right now, and especially with the current health crisis and the “new normal,” online transactions are becoming more and more common, as is the importance of delivering quality customer service to those making purchases via the internet.
If your company has an online presence at all, you already know that delivering quality service requires much more than just having a functional website and email address. You need to have a vision and strategy for the type of products or services you want to deliver and how you want to deliver them. Because this is often easier said than done, these 5 tips are meant to help you navigate this process and help you deliver the best service possible.
1. Lay out a strategy
To start, you have to lay out a clear plan, and for this, you have to have your ear to the ground when it comes to the needs of your clients. Once you’ve pinpointed a need or concern and how you want to address it, detail the various components of your online customer service strategy. Ask yourself questions such as:
- What will the service look like from start to finish?
- What type of website will you use?
- Who will be the customer service manager?
- If you’re offering just one service, when will it be offered?
- What’s the proper protocol in case of an incident or a complaint?
- What kind of training does your team need?
Also, it’s normal to feel the need to start as soon as possible, which means sales reps need to start learning the new products and systems now. To accomplish this, online training courses such as 2100 are a good option as they give employees the flexibility to learn and develop customer service skills at a pace set either by themselves or by the company.
2100 offers a simulator that stimulates experiential learning through 27 “real-life situations” related to customer service that students must pass.
After analyzing your clients’ tendencies and behaviors, you’ll be able to open and adjust your channels of communication to fit their needs. Although we have more and more channels of communication available to us every day, not all of them yield the same results for every company. Mix and match different ones to broaden your reach and increase interaction with your customers.
Try it out — I think you’ll be surprised at the results, and also stay up to date with the latest in the ever-changing customer service trends.
3. Keep it simple
Imagine for a moment that you’re your company’s ideal customer. What would you want the buying and customer service process to be like? The key is in how you answer this question.
Online users want the process to be quick, intuitive, and personalized. Make sure your website is user-friendly and has sections that can provide help even when you’re not available (FAQs, contact pages, etc.).
Another common practice is to use chatbots, which can provide basic assistance in terms of searching, purchasing, and customer support.
4. Act quickly
Making a customer wait a long time for an issue to be addressed or resolved is a death knell when it comes to customer service. The same rules apply on the internet — every minute counts. Customer service must be fast. If it takes any longer than what could be considered reasonable, you run the risk of the client getting frustrated or leaving.
This also applies to incidents, complaints, budgets, or any other online activity that requires action on your part.
A happy customer is one of the best ways to build customer loyalty and grow your business. A satisfied customer on average will tell 4-6 people about their experience, whereas on the other hand, a dissatisfied customer will tell 9-15 people. Keep that in mind.
5. Encourage feedback
Your clients must be able to share their suggestions and opinions. When you move online, however, the power of this tendency multiplies. E-mail, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, WhatsApp, Twitter, etc. are some of the best-known and most influential curators of it.
Most companies have a multi-channel strategy to expand the reach of their communication. As a show of good faith, It’s important to show that you’re available to your customers and happy to receive their feedback.
Do you have any other pieces of customer service advice that you follow? We’d love to hear about them in the comments.