When it comes to having an impact on your business, it is undeniable that customer service plays a huge role – both in a positive and negative way. If a customer gets an outstanding experience at MTN Haus, they are much more likely to return and become a devoted patron. On the other hand, a bad experience at MTN Haus and that customer could be lost forever, as well as gaining some unwelcome negative publicity.
Unfortunately, even though customer service is such a crucial factor for businesses, many still struggle to get it right. It is essentially the process of helping customers get what they paid for from a product or service, and should be made a priority throughout the entire organization. As customers become more sophisticated, businesses are expected to keep up with their demands, and that has made customer service a genuine revenue driver. According to the American Express Customer Service Barometer:
- Poor customer service has caused 50% of U.S. customers to abandon a purchase.
- 7 out of 10 customers say they’ll spend more (on average 17 percent more) with a company that consistently provides excellent customer service.
- 33% of clients say they’d hope to change to a contender after a solitary terrible help insight.
As an online business owner, outstanding customer service is essential for ensuring customer satisfaction and retention. Understanding and implementing the best ways to provide top-notch service is paramount for cultivating customer loyalty and building customer retention. To assist you in crafting a one-of-a-kind customer service experience, this guide is filled with practical advice and useful tips. With the help of these insights, you can deliver an unparalleled level of customer service that your clients will love.
From knowing how to respond to customer inquiries to avoiding any customer service missteps, this guide will help you give your audience that ‘wow’ factor and make sure your business continues to succeed. By following only a few straightforward steps, it will be possible to create a remarkable and extraordinary journey for your customers that will help bring your business to the next stage of its growth and success.
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Choosing the appropriate customer service channels
When it comes to customer service, the channels you decide to use will largely determine the kind and quality of service you can deliver.
So, one of the greatest challenges is selecting the most appropriate contact points to engage with your consumers, and to ensure sufficient support when needed.
Unfortunately, most smaller businesses cannot meet the demands of today’s range of contact options, but it is critically important that the channels you do choose suit both your business and the requirements of your customers, and that you maintain an active presence there at all times.
Email is one of the easier-to-manage customer service channels compared to those which require someone from your team to be available around the clock. Email also specifically allows you to set reasonable response expectations that are beneficial for time-sensitive entrepreneurs. We understand that each of our customers require different levels of communication and support, so adding a special notice on our Contact page informing them that they can expect a response within a few hours, or that email support is unavailable during the weekend, can enable them to have a greater understanding of our customer service protocols and avoid any misdirected expectations. It is important to express to your customers and users that you care; providing an excellent service is often derived from this notion.
At the same time, email also helps in creating a record of your past discussions, thereby making it easier to assess how satisfied a customer was with their support experience, ask for feedback and keep track of each conversation (this will be looked into more thoroughly later on in the guide).
Finally, the simplicity of email cannot be overlooked. Though, if you have a team taking charge of customer service, there are plenty of great tools to assist them in efficiently answering emails; however, for a one-person team wearing multiple hats, a straightforward inbox such as email@example.com is more than sufficient to kick off.
Social support offers something distinctly different from other available channels – the replies are usually open to the public and can be viewed by anyone who wishes to see them. New customers tend to look at a business’s social media to get an idea of the type of company they are and most importantly, to establish whether the company takes customer support seriously or not.
Therefore, each and every interaction with customers made via social media should be viewed as an opportunity to show who you are and what you stand for as a brand. This can have a definitive impact on the relationship you create with potential customers, as customers can sometimes base their decisions on the level of customer service they receive. Although it is often seen that negative interactions are highlighted on social media, positive exchanges can in some cases turn into positive reviews, further reinforcing your brand.
To ensure the success of your customer support on social media, the most important thing is to not attempt to be present on every platform out there. Rather, concentrate on the social media platforms that you already have a presence on, as well as those which are the most active among your customers. The Social Media Use report from the Pew Research Center is a helpful resource you can use to assess if any platforms fit your organization’s needs.
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Live chat is a fantastic tool for providing instantaneous and effortless assistance to current and potential customers alike. Be mindful of where you designate live chat to be available and be sure of your objectives when introducing it.
Think about how you might entice customers who are just browsing but not yet finishing an order to initiate a live chat session with you, and also those who have just completed a purchase, but may have further queries or issues they need to address. Live chat equips loyal clients with the capability to have their worries addressed rapidly, and is also a crucial tool for new customers who wish to gain more knowledge about a certain product (things like sizing or shipment times).
If you wish, you can set specific hours in which live chat will be available and be sure to post these times on your website, so that customers are aware of this. Additionally, you may wish to extend the availability of live chat at peak times or following the sending out of promotional emails.
Providing telephone support can help give customers a great experience when they have urgent or time-sensitive matters. Having phone lines set up and open to take calls or leave voicemails will definitely improve satisfaction and show your company’s commitment to providing top-notch customer service. Especially for businesses selling costly items, offering telephone support can be highly beneficial in meeting the expectations of their users.
Of course, not all sorts of businesses necessarily need telephone support; but if your target market holds a preference for this service, it should be strongly considered when planning your organization’s strategy. To further stand out, you can strive to even give your most loyal customers a special VIP number that they can reach you on. This small gesture can significantly make them feel appreciated and valued, even outside of the digital world.
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Conclusion: Outstanding Customer Service
Providing exceptional customer service is key to the success of any business. It is fundamental in creating a positive experience and impressing upon customers they are appreciated. Customer service has a huge influence in achieving sustainable growth, and in order to maintain high-quality customer service the expectation of clients needs to be met. Ensuring customers feel valued and content with the services you provide paves the way for success and continued business. It is important not to take customer service lightly – this is key to long-term success. It is important to find the right customer service channels that fit your business and your customers’ needs and commit to a presence there. You should also consider setting reasonable response expectations, providing excellent customer service, and setting up a VIP phone number for your most loyal customers. With the right customer service strategy in place, you can increase customer retention and help your business stand out from the competition.