American companies lose more than $40 billion every year because of poor customer service, according to a 2013 report by NewVoiceMedia. Nearly 45 percent of people will take their business elsewhere if they’re unhappy with customer service. After receiving good customer service, 70 percent of people will be even more loyal, while 49 percent will use the company more frequently.
Offering easy ways on a website for customers to get in touch with a service team provides benefits including:
- Decreased customer frustration
- Increased future purchases
- More referrals.
Making customer support the star of a website helps get support to those who need it the most, to keep them coming back.
Be prepared for ramping up customer service efforts on a website by making sure a team can adequately keep track of tickets and correspondence. Put customer service communication in a centralized cloud storage location for interaction management. The cloud storage service for customer relationship management seamlessly works with a website to track all contacts and keep service optimized.
A cloud-based service allows a team to be more responsive since they’re able to communicate from anywhere, from any device, and to keep everyone in the loop on communication to avoid duplicate contact or unnecessary follow-up. Customer service should be fast, efficient and to-the-point — all benefits of using a cloud center that works with a website.
Make Customer Support Visible
Customers who have to dig through websites to find a way to contact a customer support team will become increasingly frustrated, so make customer support channels a prominent feature of a website home page and on every web page a person visits.
You could also integrate pop-ups that allow one-click access to a customer support page, so customers in need can get support even more quickly.
Design the contact support web page to be clear and easy to understand, with fill forms that are responsively designed to allow customers to easily input information while working on any device. Feature information on the page informing customers when to expect first contact from a business so they already feel connected to the support team.
Embrace Social Media
Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram provide additional ways for customers to directly get in touch with companies for help. If a business has a presence on these channels, research firm Gartner reports that customers expect prompt responses to queries on social media and experience dissatisfaction by lack of response, ultimately leading to up to a 15 percent increase in churn rate for existing customers.
Because consumers are turning to social media for support, social media icons linking to business pages should be prominently featured on a website. Make them a part of every page a person visits, but thoughtfully incorporate them so customers are not overwhelmed. If a business is on 10 sites, including networks where support is less likely to be expected such as Pinterest and Vine, make Facebook and Twitter more prominent. Make sure the social media management team members are trained in responding correctly to common issues and alerting the right people so that prompt service is offered.
Besides having customer support phone numbers, emails and social media channels on a website, consider integrating other ways for customers to more quickly get in contact with a business. Market research company Forrester reported chat usage rose from 43 percent in 2009 to 58 percent in 2012, and that it has the highest satisfaction rating of any channel used besides voice. The instant gratification of talking with someone makes chat increasingly popular.
Chat is an attractive customer service option because basic initial contact can be outsourced, with more complex problems being escalated to in-house team members.
For companies that offer email customer support, an automatic confirmation that an email has been received by the team conveys to customers that their issues are being worked on.
Business is not simply about quick transactions. Make the human element of exemplary customer service a top priority throughout a website, and retain loyal customers to gain new referrals.