25 Aug 50 Reasons You Need a Website – Number 12: IMPROVE CUSTOMER SERVICE
Even if you master each and every one of the internet marketing strategies out there – sales and SEO copywriting, search engine optimisation, 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.
A 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 protected], 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.
Use your customers’ names in your e-mail subject lines and in your messages. Only 4 percent of marketers personalize and segment their messages, according to Jupiter Research, and yet personalized messages have almost twice the click-through rate of bulk e-mail.
As an e-business owner, you can personalize and segment your communications with customers in many ways, including:
- Personalizing emails with names and other pieces of information you collect
- Sending customers personalized birthday, anniversary or special occasion offers
- Sending customers details of new products you know they’ll be interested in
The more details you can collect about your customers, the better you can serve them with laser-targeted offers, thank-you messages and information that’s relevant to their needs and wants.
Step #5: Ask your customers how you can serve them better.
People love taking short surveys, and it’s been shown that customer satisfaction is rated higher among people who’ve been asked what they want, even if their answers haven’t been acted upon. Just asking what your customers want and how you can make your service better makes them feel listened to.
Remember, good customer service doesn’t have to cost much. You don’t have to spend a fortune giving away free products or large discounts. Even a small gesture like thanking customers for their business can help maintain a positive vibe around your business. And automating your everyday customer service tasks frees you up to respond to real concerns or complaints – making your overall customer service even faster and better.