Even if you master each and every one of the internet marketing strategies out there – sales and SEO copywriting, search engine optimization, e-mail marketing, and the rest – they’re not worth a dime if you forget about customer service. It’s a strategy that all truly successful business owners understand and pay careful attention to, because the one thing all successful businesses have in common is satisfied customers.
There’s an old saying in business: A happy customer will tell one or two people; an unhappy one will tell 10! So it pays to keep your customers happy – especially when doing business online.
What’s really interesting is that many case studies show that building good customer service into the operation of a business increases a company’s efficiency as well as its sales. Here are some simple strategies we can put in place to help you improve your customer service:
Step #1: An Automated sales process to keep customers in the loop.
Auto-responders can be used to thank your customers for their orders, welcome them to your opt-in e-mail list, and to send them order confirmations and other transactional emails like “your item has been shipped” notices. Customers have come to expect these courtesies, but not everyone online bothers.
You can even add an element of surprise to these customer-service e-mails by including a coupon for money off their next purchase or some extra information they’ll find relevant to the product they’ve just bought. You may also want to ask if everything is all right with your customers’ purchase, or if there’s anything further you can do. This kind of follow-up can relieve any possible feelings of buyer’s remorse and reinforce the positive feelings about your business your customers had when they originally bought from you.
Step #2: A Comprehensive FAQ page.
An FAQ page answers most of the questions people might have about your products or services. It’s also a good idea to create an FAQ e-mail address, such as email@example.com, and keep track of the questions that customers or site visitors actually ask, then answer them and put the answers on your FAQ page.
With those common questions taken care of, you’ll be freed up to spend time giving personal attention to the visitors who need it. The more quickly you handle their concerns the more impressed they’ll be.
It’s often the times when you respond to a customer’s concerns promptly and personally that generate a huge amount of goodwill for your business – and referrals. Even angry customers can be turned into devoted fans if you pay attention to them, acknowledge your mistake if you’ve made one, and fix their problem.
Step #3: Make it easy for people to contact you.
There will always be times when a customer needs to talk to or e-mail someone directly, so we make sure that your contact details aren’t hidden away in a dark corner of your website. don’t hide your contact details away in a dark corner of your website. We can also create a customer service page on your site that includes your FAQs, the names and e-mail addresses or phone numbers of people who can help, and other relevant information.
I’m often surprised at how many people with small e-businesses really don’t want to talk to customers and actually make it hard for people to get in touch. But the worst thing you can do is look like you’re hiding or just don’t care.
Step #4: Personalized and segmented e-mail messages.