Can You Use a Blog as a Customer Service Portal?


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Customer service has come a long way in the past few decades, with trends leaning toward self-service and automation. In theory, giving customers the ability to serve themselves alleviates the time and human resources necessary to serve them, while at the same time enabling them to find solutions on their own time, leading to increased satisfaction. However, anyone who’s tried to navigate a complicated automated phone system knows that this mutually beneficial arrangement isn’t always so great.

At the same time, most business owners know the marketing and customer retention value that blogging and content marketing offer—so what if you could combine these two elements, turning your blog into a kind of customer service portal?

The Idea

First, let’s define exactly what we mean by using a blog as a customer service portal. The goal here would be to have users consult the blog when they have a problem or a question about a product or service. Ideally, the customer would be able to find the answers he/she is looking for, and may be able to escalate the problem to another level if he/she needs more assistance.

From a blogging perspective, this can work well; according to Neil Patel, all successful blogs must start with a unique niche that people are interested in. And since you’re the only one offering your products and services, you won’t face any competition. However, you can’t just start blogging with customer service in mind and hope for the best.

Key Considerations and Best Practices

If you decide to use your blog to address common customer questions and complaints, here are some important guidelines and best practices to follow:

  • Keep customer service separate. If you try to blend your regular blog and your customer service blog together into one Frankenstein-like hybrid, people are going to get confused. It’s better to keep your customer service blog as a separate entity, named differently and under a different section of your website.

  • Arrange posts non-linearly. Almost all blogs are naturally presented in chronological order, which makes sense for most applications; people are interested in seeing the most recent information first, especially if they’re regular readers. However, this approach won’t work for customer service issues, which can manifest at any time and indefinitely for the future. Consider arranging them by topic or nature of the query instead.

  • Update your posts regularly. Most blog posts are offered once and allowed to expire, but in the customer service realm, you’ll need to pay close attention to how things change and update your posts over time. For example, you’ll want to update people when you roll out a new software update, or when you offer a new service for your older products.

  • Incorporate a feedback system. It’s important to understand what your customers think about your articles; if they’re satisfied, it’s a positive sign that you should continue with the strategy, but if they aren’t, you need to know what to change for the future. Incorporating a feedback system is essential for this. Even basic functionality, like an upvote/downvote system can help you here.

  • Use comments and discussion threads. Make sure you enable commenting on your posts and respond to people who comment; people may have variations of the issues you address, or may have follow-up questions. This is a critical opportunity to ensure customer satisfaction and improve your article’s total worth at the same time.

  • Offer search functionality. It’s fairly easy to add a search function to your blog, especially if you’re using a common template site. Offering an easy way to search will make your customers’ lives much easier, and help them find the answers they need faster.

  • Give users the option to escalate. Sometimes, your blog won’t be enough to address your customers’ concerns. In those cases, you need to give your customers another option. For example, you could include a phone number, contact form, or even a chat window for people who need further assistance. Otherwise, frustrated customers could walk away completely unsatisfied.

The short answer here is yes, it is possible to use your blog as a customer service portal. However, you’ll need to be careful about the way you execute it. If you keep your customers’ needs as your primary consideration and aren’t afraid to make adjustments over time, your blog can be a valuable addition to your customer service strategy. Just make sure you’re backing it up with more conventional, personal methods of support. ​

Larry Alton
Larry Alton is an independent business consultant specializing in social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.


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