More often than not, your company website will be the first and most frequent point of contact between you and your customers. However, creating a smooth and trustworthy user-interface is just the tip of the iceberg; savvy businesses are now also treating their websites as virtual customer service reps. With a growing number of consumers preferring to resolve queries online rather than picking up the phone, ensuring your website can fulfill this role is absolutely essential.
It’s good to keep in mind that providing a superior online experience also extends to user-friendly web design that helps with navigation, as well as optimum customer security through SSL protection – which many hosting packages, such as these, now include as standard.
Here are three simple yet effective ways to integrate customer service into your website.
1. Contact Forms
Although extremely simple, contact forms are one of the most effective tools for providing website-based customer service. Whilst a company email address and telephone number should still be included as standard, a well-placed form enables users to get in touch without navigating away from your site. In addition to resolving customer issues and queries, forms can also be implemented for collecting feedback at the user’s discretion. Building and integrating custom-made forms into your site needn’t be complicated, with plenty of online form generator services available that will guide you through the entire process.
2. Social Media
Social media has completely revolutionized the way consumers and businesses interact, with platforms such as Twitter setting 24/7 customer service as the new norm. Indeed, social media channels are fast becoming the preferred route for customer service issues, with users increasingly opting to send a tweet rather than wasting unnecessary time on the phone. Therefore, it is crucial that your website embraces this by featuring prominent links to your social accounts on all necessary pages. In an age where customer service never sleeps, social media is as much about reputation management as it is about providing a first-class service, and recognizing this is crucial for maintaining solid customer relations.
3. Live Chat
Today’s consumer generation is accustomed to instantaneous results, and, as proven by social media, customer service is no exception. One of the most powerful services your website can offer is a live chat, with Bots and instant messenger platforms being hailed by some as the future of customer service. Integrating a live chat function enables users to type their message directly into the chat box, no matter where they are on your website. Not only does this further streamline the customer’s interaction with your site, it also allows you to deal with potentially large-scale issues as and when they arise. First-rate customer service is all about acting quickly, and equipping your website with the right tools will enable you to do so.
Three great ideas, and the first two are within the grasp of just about every company. It’s so easy to add the contact form. And if a company isn’t monitoring social media channels, they are already behind the times.