How to Build a Website that’s Customer-Service Friendly


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Great Customer Experience OnlineStrik­ing the right bal­ance in the cus­tomer ser­vice world can be chal­leng­ing; you want to pro­vide world-class cus­tomer ser­vice through your call cen­ter and from your sales team, but you also want cus­tomers to be able to answer their own ques­tions through your web­site and from packaging/collateral mate­ri­als. Call cen­ters are a huge invest­ment, but they allow you to up-sell and cross-sell and have per­sonal inter­ac­tion with your cus­tomers, so you don’t nec­es­sar­ily want to drive peo­ple away from using your call cen­ter. On the other hand, you can’t expect your web­site to be the only place that peo­ple can rely on to answer questions—but you want it to be infor­ma­tive. So how do you build an infor­ma­tive web­site, yet give cus­tomers the option to call you?

Hav­ing a web­site that’s as customer-friendly as your call cen­ter is an essen­tial com­po­nent to your cus­tomer sup­port strat­egy. Before you upgrade or build a new web­site, make sure you incor­po­rate in the below elements.

Enlist web-design and con­tent experts

Web design is con­stantly chang­ing, but func­tion­al­ity and ease-of-use are always in style. When a cus­tomer wants an answer to a ques­tion, or needs to learn more about a prod­uct or ser­vice, he or she should be able to go to your web­site, eas­ily nav­i­gate around, find answers, and if nec­es­sary, con­tact you via the phone or through online chat if there are fur­ther questions.

Hire a com­pany that has a rep­u­ta­tion for build­ing func­tional, attrac­tive web­sites and under­stands con­tent strate­gies. Clear con­tent is a must, but also hav­ing search engine opti­miza­tion is impor­tant so that peo­ple can find your web­site through com­mon search terms. If you have inter­na­tional cus­tomers, make sure your web­site has multi-language func­tion­al­ity that cus­tomers can tog­gle through. It may also be worth invest­ing in a usabil­ity study with your web­site to ensure that cus­tomers can find the infor­ma­tion they’re look­ing for.

Must-haves for every website

Describ­ing your com­pany, prod­ucts, and ser­vices are essen­tial ele­ments for the core of your web­site, but addi­tion­ally, you’ll want to incor­po­rate the fol­low­ing features:

Con­tact infor­ma­tion on every page: Every page on your web­site should include your con­tact infor­ma­tion and a sim­ple call-to-action such as “con­tact us for fur­ther ques­tions” that redi­rects to an email form, tele­phone num­ber, or both. Make sure your cus­tomers always know how they can get in touch with you, with­out forc­ing them to leave the page and search through the site.

Fre­quently Asked Ques­tions: Build a FAQ sec­tion where cus­tomers can browse through com­mon ques­tions – you prob­a­bly have found that cus­tomers tend to ask many of the same ques­tions, so make it easy by com­pil­ing all of the pop­u­lar ques­tions into one sec­tion. Addi­tion­ally, it’s worth build­ing in a search­able FAQ fea­ture that allows peo­ple to type in ques­tions and receive answers to them. This will take more time and may cost more to develop, but it’s a func­tional aspect that cus­tomers appreciate.

Cus­tomer feed­back: Allow your cus­tomers to email you and ask ques­tions eas­ily by fill­ing out a cus­tomer feed­back form. A cus­tomer feed­back form should cap­ture the customer’s email address, phone num­ber, and poten­tially even their address. Not only does this allow the cus­tomer to eas­ily email you with fur­ther ques­tions, but it cap­tures their infor­ma­tion so that you can fol­low up with them through email com­mu­ni­ca­tion, the phone, or even with mail col­lat­eral mate­ri­als. Make sure that you have a des­ig­nated person/team on-hand to quickly respond to customer’s requests through the cus­tomer feed­back form.

Con­sider offer­ing live chat

Live chat is a pop­u­lar fea­ture – par­tic­u­larly in sec­tors such as bank­ing or com­mu­ni­ca­tions. You can inte­grate live chat into your web­site through soft­ware com­pa­nies such as Bold­Chat, HelponClick, and eTalkUp. If you decide to incor­po­rate live chat into your web­site, make sure you have a sep­a­rate cus­tomer ser­vice depart­ment that only deals with live chat, and take them through live chat train­ing. With live chat, you do not want to rely just on scripted responses; your cus­tomer ser­vice team should have well-developed writ­ing and com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills and be able to think cre­atively and solve problems.

Use your web­site as the face of your brand

Your web­site may be the only inter­ac­tion that some of your cus­tomers have with your brand, so use it wisely as a method of com­mu­ni­ca­tion and assis­tance for your cus­tomers. Make sure that you clearly explain your ben­e­fits, prod­ucts, and phi­los­o­phy, and build the site to be as customer-friendly as pos­si­ble. Train any cus­tomer ser­vice rep­re­sen­ta­tives who respond to cus­tomers via the web­site to com­mu­ni­cate clearly with your cus­tomers and rep­re­sent your prod­uct in a way that is reflec­tive of your brand. Lastly, use your web­site to pro­mote your call cen­ter sup­port team so that you have the chance to per­son­ally inter­act with your customers.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Joanna Jones
Joanna Jones is a professional copywriter and marketing strategist who has partnered with Impact Learning Systems for two years. As a marketing professional, Joanna works closely with customer service teams and helps companies improve their B2B and B2C communications and strategy.


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