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Essential Guide To Online Customer Service

Although the web has opened up a world of opportunity for businesses across the globe, it’s not all rosy. There are many advantages that real world business has over online. And, until some fancy new technology comes along, that is likely to be the case for some time.

The face-to-face experience. The body language. The little signs that you can pick up on. Even where someone is looking at while they are in your store. They are all signs that you can use to improve your customer service offline.

But what about online? If the web’s so great, then surely there are things you can do to improve your service levels? Well, there is. And in this guide, we’re going to talk you through the basics.

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Listen

One advantage that the real world has over online is that you can listen to your customers. It’s harder to do online, but it is possible – although, clearly, it doesn’t involve using your ears. Take social media accounts as a good example. You’ll soon learn if you are treading on people’s toes there – make no mistake!.

But there is a lot more that you can do. Set up surveys for your regular subscribers – keep them short, and give a small reward and you might get a better response.

Make use of the comments section on your blog, too. Answer everybody and make notes of what they say. You might think they are talking nonsense, of course, but are they? It’s a customer’s view of your opinions, and criticism might help you understand your market more.

When you are in a retail environment, it’s easy to spot someone who needs help. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t happen like that online. You have to dig a little bit deeper.

Learn

Just like you do in the offline world you will need to understand all the little actions that your customers make – and when they make them. So, a good – and deep – understanding of how to interpret analytics is essential.

You can use this data to manage how your customers respond in certain situations. Split testing (or A/B testing) is what you’re looking for. Which one do they prefer? Test for it and you will find out.

Make it easy

You should also take all the hard work away from your customers. There’s plenty you can do. For example, let’s say your customers have to fill out a massive form every time they want to pay for something. Why not get something like a postcode address finder to make their whole experience quicker? It’s a great example of changing small things for big results.

You should also look at the way your transactions work. How do you know if your customer is happy when they buy something from your online store? The only way to know is to ask them.

Send them an email after a sale to ensure they have received and are enjoying their product or service. Do everything you can to make them respond without being pushy. And, finally, use their responses to improve your business.

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