Want to learn seven pieces of actionable advice that you can directly apply to your own life to improve the customer service you provide online? The tips discussed below are extremely relevant to small business owners who have e-commerce stores or who retail their products and services online, as well as small business owners who have both brick-and-mortar locations and an online store.
Why Quality Online Customer Service Matters?
You likely already know the importance of providing good customer service in a brick-and-mortar business; however, it’s just as important to provide equally good customer service online. And even though there are many differences between in-store and online shopping, providing exceptional customer service remains the same no matter where customers shop. In fact, good customer service is something that people are used to and expect from the businesses they patronize.
You should always think about what you can do to improve your online customer service.
7 Ways to Improve Online Customer Service
Regardless of the industry your company operates in, there are basic customer service standards you should follow. You can even place a note by your desk outlining the seven standards listed below to help you remember why and how to provide quality customer service online.
1. Consider customers’ needs
Think about the needs of your customers. What do they need from you in order to have a positive shopping experience on your website? What types of issues do they need help resolving and what’s the best or preferred way you can help with that?
Once you have a clear overview of what your customers need, you will then need to integrate those features, functionalities, and services into your operations. There’s a good chance you can use an online solution of some sort that makes it simple to integrate tools into your operations that enhance the customer experience.
2. Be human
Be mindful of how you and your employees come across online, especially with written mediums like email or instant messaging. It’s not as easy to convey a helpful, upbeat tone online as it is in person, and if you aren’t careful, you could easily come across as rude or curt without realizing.
3. Offer self-service
Give your customers the option to serve themselves and find the assistance they need on their own. No one likes to be pestered by a salesperson in a store; similarly, no one likes a chatbot continually messaging them. Let your customers decide when they need to reach out for help.
4. Take advantage of social media
Your online customer service experience isn’t exclusive to your website; you can use social media to engage with and assist your customers. Social media makes it easy for customers to sing your praises — or share a negative experience. Use this tool to your advantage and connect with your customers whenever possible to try and ensure their experience is a positive one.
5. Leverage technology
In a similar vein, you can use other forms of technology to your advantage and to make your business processes faster, more efficient, and better equipped to serve customers. The right applications and software solutions will provide you with the tools you need to provide exceptional customer service, and free up more of your time to do so.
Take for example that you are a fashion retailer. By finding the right sales order management software, you can make sure customers receive what they actually order. This type of technology is especially useful for taking a proactive approach to customer satisfaction.
Furthermore, fashion retailers also need an effective order fulfillment software solution to serve customers throughout the entire shopping experience, from start to finish.
6. Respect customers’ time
Your customers’ time is valuable, and it’s important to recognize and respect that. If purchasing your products is difficult or if getting help takes too long, they will likely consider going to your competitors.
7. Ask for feedback
Finally, always ask your customers for their feedback about their online experience with your store. Everyone likes to know that their thoughts are valued, which can help with customer satisfaction, and you can gain incredibly helpful insights for improvement.
Make sure to keep the seven tips listed above posted somewhere near your desk or as a note in your phone. Any time you want help improving your online customer service skills, look at the tips. And keep in mind that there are many online order fulfillment and management solutions you can use to improve customer service too.