For online businesses, customer service can be tricky. The lack of face time with potential clients and customers can be a potential hurdle for your business when providing exceptional customer service. So what tools can an online business use for a better customer service experience? Here’s a look at how online companies can improve relations with their customer and client base.
Quick Load Time
Studies have shown that as many as two-thirds of smartphone users in the United States consider their mobile devices their primary internet device. Companies must now create a user experience that can fit on a smartphone screen as small as 4.5 inches. Online retailers must optimize their sites for a streamlined checkout system on a variety of mobile platforms as well as traditional computers. Online customers seek instant gratification, so long load times can be a reason for a potential customer to look elsewhere. With responsive web design, companies can create websites that identify the device users are on and fit each web page to that individual device. This can cut down on load times dramatically for smartphone and tablet users.
Just because an online company doesn’t have a brick and mortar presence, that doesn’t mean owners should avoid customer interaction. Customer service can be dramatically improved with a toll-free number. Customers will appreciate being able to speak with a human when they run into trouble with services or products; there is no substitute for human interaction. What’s more, an 800 number centralizes your business. Even if you have 5, 10 or 20 employees, your business only needs one number that can direct the caller to the department or person of their choice. Customers are also more likely to call an 800 number because it’s free.
An online forum for customers can create a community of self-help and camaraderie among those who enjoy what your business offers. Business owners can also glean valuable information about what customers want through forum conversations. Within this forum, a Frequently Asked Questions page should also be included. Many customers will try and help themselves before they email or call and a FAQ can save businesses and customers a lot of time by way of call and hold or email and response times.
If you have the capacity, instant chat is a powerful tool for any online business. Instant chat is perfect for customers as it requires little effort. Users supply little, if any, information and can ask pertinent questions from experts without long waits because customer service personnel can carry on more than one chat session at a time, and can work multiple cases.
Whether a business provides a product or a service, a visually pleasing website is essential. Cluttered pages create confusion. Unprofessional images won’t tempt potential customers or clients. Consumers live in a visual world and want an image that reflects their own lifestyle, ideals or maybe even the life they wish they had. If they see their own lives reflected in a product or service, they are more likely to pick that one over another.