How Important is Customer Service For an Online Business?
Bad customer experience can be hugely detrimental to your brand. In 2017, 62% of Americans contacted some form of customer service. Globally, Microsft has reported that 54% of people have higher expectations of customer service than they did just one year ago. So, how important is customer service for an online business?
With more and more people using customer services, and expectations rising, how important is customer service for an online business? In this post, we’ll give you the information you’ll need to make that decision.
The task all businesses have is the challenge to make customers feel special. You’ve got your foot in the door by having a product that has attracted customers to buy what you sell. The next step is ensuring you meet and go beyond their individual needs to provide, especially if they are having trouble with your product or service. That way, you’re more likely to gain a returning, loyal customer that will shout to the heavens and back about everything your business does.
Is Online Customer Service Important?
Companies will often neglect the importance of online customer service since not face-to-face with shoppers in a physical store. That theory goes out the window because although online, customers still have the same queries and concerns that need addressing. It’s even quicker for a customer online to go elsewhere if they aren’t getting the service they need. To succeed, you need to provide equal, quality customer service, whether face-to-face or online.
How to Exceed in Online Customer Service
When a customer is having a problem, they turn to the company for a solution. The first port of call is likely to be the website.
Your website is technically a personal customer service centre. By having thorough, detailed information that is easy to locate, you can prevent customers from actually needing to make direct communication with you. Remember, time is money. There are multiple ways, using your website, you can achieve excellent customer service without any human interaction.
- Provide information about who you are, what you do, and what you want the customers to do.
- Your product and service descriptions should be thorough detailing as much as possible.
- Have a frequently asked questions (FAQ) page. This way, you can answer a lot of standard questions you are asked commonly by customers relieving you of multiple inquiries about the same thing. As more inquiries come in update your FAQs to answer the simple questions people ask.
- Provide up-to-date information.
Provide Contact Details
When your FAQs page can’t resolve the issue the customer is going to look to speak directly with someone. Providing easy access to contact information is crucial. People will want to go about communicating different ways, so it’s good, if possible, to include your phone number, email address, and your physical address.
As a rule of thumb, have a ‘Contact Us’ page which provides all of you contact details. One solution which works well is to have a form allowing users to contact you directly from that page, making the process as simple as possible for the customer. You could even go one step further and offer a callback service.
Offering the opportunity for direct contact throughout your website in multiple locations is a good idea. You may include contact details in:
- Your website header and footer
- The ‘About Us’ page
- On your FAQ page in case any issues aren’t able to be resolved there
- Throughout your product/services pages to make sure customers have access to finding out more or addressing any questions they have.
In a review on www.wolfybeds.co.uk, one customer talks about their outstanding customer experience, in which they received a reply on quickly out of working hours:
Online Chatbot/Live Chat
Chatbots are becoming an increasing trend popping up on websites for customer service all over the internet. Econsultancy found that a whopping 79% of consumers prefer live chat options because they don’t have to wait and get questions answered immediately.
Chatbots take the step one step closer to achieving amazing nonhuman interaction. Think of a chatbot as a responsive, AI-driven version of your FAQs page. People ask their questions, and the chatbot responds accordingly based on the query received. When the chatbot doesn’t know the answer, it’ll often notify a live customer service representative to take over incorporating live chat, or offer other methods of direct contact. The best news is 80% of customers have their issues resolved using a chatbot, without the need for a human, which ensures round the clock access to an instant, cost-effective customer service solution. The chatbot can ‘be trained’ to answer simple or rather sophisticated questions based on the criteria provided by the customer.
Social Media Customer Service
With 45% of the world population using social media, the potential of social media for business is obvious.
When using social media, people feel as if they’re connecting directly with brands they follow. That’s where customer service slips in. People contacting companies of social media expect a response whether that be commenting on a post, or messaging directly. Provide excellent customer service on social media, and it’s available for the world to witness. Has someone left a negative review on your page? Reply promptly and kindly offer to resolve their issue.
Final Words – Customer Service IS Important
A customer retention rate of only 5% can increase profits by 25%. This because existing customers will spend 67% more with your brand, in turn, reducing your costs by decreasing the constant need to acquire new customers. Customer service is the face of your brand. When customers look to communicate, they turn to your website and representatives, so it’s essential that customers have a pleasant experience. The knock-on effect is that 77% of consumers will pass on the message about how amazing your products, services and customer service is.
Do we now know how important customer service for an online business is customer service for an online business?
If you’re looking to provide a better online customer experience contact 16 Design to see what we can do for you.