Customer Service Solutions for an Online Business

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With more and more ecommerce sites popping up every day, online businesses are in an age of increasing competition. Yet, somehow this has resulted in shopping interactions feeling less personal and businesses finding it more difficult to achieve customer loyalty. While social media has brought the personal element back in some respects, the only downside is that if you make one mistake, your dirty laundry is out for everyone to see.

That’s why, now more than ever, customer service is a pivotal part of an online business’s success–and since consumers today expect the best, it’s crucial for your company to be on top of every element of the customer experience. Here’s some ways to do it right:


Be available on multiple channels

Despite the expansion of everything digital, phone based customer service is not dead. At the same time however, it’s critical for your customer service channels to continue classic methodologies while embracing everything that email and social media bring to the table.

Of course, social media based customer service is the hottest craze in the industry–and for good reason. It’s convenient, highly impactful, and best of all– your customers are already there. In fact,according to J.D. Power research, 67% of customers have used social sites for customer service related queries. Therefore, despite the risks stated above, social media has the power to be an incredible resource for connecting with customers and ensuring their needs are put first.

While social is great, it is not enough. Most likely, your customers range in age, location, and personal preferences. This means their preferred channel is not necessarily social–and as their resource, you need to be wherever they are: phone, email, and social media included. Remember, customers expect constant access to your company’s services, which means it’s absolutely critical for you to be on top of multiple channels and make it easy for your customers to connect with you.


Go Mobile

The statistics from Black Friday and Cyber Monday are in. Not surprisingly, mobile shopping is growing in prominence. According to the data collected, 28% of purchases this season were made on mobile. This means that adapting your service and your site for mobile purchases and responsive service is no longer just a suggestion, but a necessity.

Mobile is only growing, so it’s better to be ahead of the curve as the numbers continue to rise rather than be behind it.


Don’t keep your customers waiting

A lot of damage can be done when you respond slowly to complaints, especially when social media is in the picture. While nobody liked being on hold for a half hour or more waiting to hear from customer service representatives, in this day in age, social media gives dissatisfied customers the power to destroy your name to more than just their closest friends. Now their complaints can be heard instantly among the majority of your customer-base.

That’s why the worst thing you can do is keep your customers waiting to hear from you. When your customer writes about a problem with your service on Facebook or Twitter, you should have a representative on call waiting to immediately respond. Otherwise, one complaint can spiral out of control, leading to more complaints or a negative overall reputation for your brand. In contrast, if you respond immediately, providing helpful insights, you show that you care about your customers and you are willing to take care of mistakes. This can ultimately bring more loyalty than if there was never a mistake to begin with.


Take responsibility while providing solutions

Humility is a value of utmost importance when choosing friends and business partners alike. When customers choose to do business with you, they see you as both a partner and a friend–and that’s why their expectations are so incredibly high.

Think about it–if your friend does something you are not happy with, you don’t necessarily break ties, especially if he or she recognizes the wrong and makes strides to improve. Same goes for business. Admitting your faults is golden. After all, people don’t necessarily expect you to be perfect, but they do expect you to do the right thing. So admit when there’s a problem, make a sincere apology, and work to provide a solution. Keep your customer involved in the solution process and make them a resource for your improvement. This way, they know that you are making an effort and make sure to continue that open communication. This way, you build trust with your customer and increase the likelihood that he or she will return in the future.

Having great customer service is an integral part of surviving in the world of online business. At the same time, attending to the needs of a diverse customer-base is tough, but the rewards far outweigh the drawbacks. By employing these simple tactics, you can build the trust, respect, and loyalty that will lead to successful business relationships for years to come.

Yariv Mendelson
Yariv is Senior executive with over 20 years of international business experience, holding senior positions (CIO, VP, Director) in diverse industries, both on the "buyer" side (as a CIO) and various senior positions (VP & Director) on the "seller" side (vendors such Oracle and hp and startup's companies). His passion for sales and dedication to getting the job done are a driving force in the nanorep team.

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