7 Tips for Offering Better Online Customer Service

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Simply saying “We offer excellent customer service” is trite and valueless. Every company claims to offer great customer service. Instead of just talking the talk, try actually walking the walk. When you focus on really improving your customer service, your online shoppers will take notice.
Here are 7 easy ways you can improve your online customer service.
1. Offer online chat—A growing number of companies are offering website visitors the option of instantly connecting with and talking to a customer service agent online. When done properly, online chat is fast and convenient. Customers simply click on a button that says something along the lines of “Click here to talk to a customer service agent now.” An instant message box pops up, and the conversation begins. If you don’t have the resources to offer this feature 24/7, try to at least provide it during business hours.

2. Use Twitter—From Comcast to Southwest Airlines, businesses from all industries are using Twitter to improve their online customer service. Customers simply Tweet their questions, complaints, or suggestions to the company, and the company Tweets back a response quickly.

3. Have a FAQ section—Allowing the customer to help themselves so they don’t need to contact you can save both parties a lot of time and hassle. That’s why providing a detailed FAQ section on your website is such a great idea. If there are questions that customers tend to ask frequently, post these and their answers on your website. This gives the customer the information they need without necessitating a phone call or an email. Always update your FAQ to keep it as useful as possible.

4. Include a search function—Maybe your website visitor doesn’t know which page on your site has the info they’re looking for. A simple search function allows them to find it quickly and easily.

5. Post contact info on every page—Sometimes, online chat or an email just doesn’t cut it. Your customers want to talk to you by phone. Don’t make it difficult for them to get in touch with you. Post your contact info on every page of your website, so that visitors can instantly pick up the phone to call you. Not only does this make thing easier for your visitors, but it also makes you more trustworthy.

6. Increase response time to emails—There’s nothing more frustrating than emailing a question to a company, only to have to wait several days for a response. Make a commitment to responding to your emails within a certain period of time. Publish that guarantee on your website so that your visitors know when to expect a response (e.g. “We respond to every email within 12 hours.”)

7. Ask how you can improve customer service—What better way to improve your customer service than to ask your actual customers what you can do better? You can send them a short survey after a purchase or an inquiry where they can rate your customer service and provide suggestions for improving it.

 

How do you provide great customer service online? Leave a comment with your best tip.

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