The customer service space has made many improvements since the inception of the internet. However, because customers have so many options due to the proliferation of online businesses, online business owners need to step up their customer service game to build a positive online reputation. An online business with a poor customer service (or customer experience) department will inevitably get poor reviews, which will result in a loss of online brand reputation.
Of course, online businesses will want to avoid this fate at all costs. However, to understand what good customer service is, you need to know what your customers will expect from your customer service team. With that in mind, here is what you need to do to meet your customer’s expectations when it comes to your customer service efforts.
Exceeding customer expectations
Customers, at the minimum, will always expect that you meet their needs. However, this minimum requirement is somewhat subjective from customer to customer, and knowing what their needs are and how you can best meet them is an evolving standard. This is why it is important that you actually listen to your customers and actively court their feedback. You may find that your customer’s expectations are actually quite well in regards to what you offer them with your customer service. If that is the case, it is best to exceed these expectations and try to provide tailored support whether a customer has an issue with any of your products and services. By working together with your customers to find an equitable solution to any problems you have, you will gain customer trust and increase your brand reputation in a way that helps you stand out from other online businesses in your niche.
Proactively consult customers
While many customers will actively reach out to your business if they have problems, not all will. Your job when providing customer service is to make sure that you are anticipating the needs of your customers and proactively reaching out to make sure they are happy with their products and services thy have purchased with you. While this may not be the expectation of all customers, it goes a long way in helping you exceed these expectations.
A good way to do this is through the use of a customer relationship management software (CRM). But what is a CRM? Simply put, a CRM is a data repository where you can store and track customer data. This can help you build customer profiles and know which stages of the customer lifecycle are good times to reach out via email or other digital platforms to make sure that your customers are happy with their purchase and ultimately come back for more.
Provide multiple contact options
Finally, it is important that as an online business you have multiple avenues for customers to contact you. Having a phone number is not enough; you need to be reachable via email, social media, and a contact form and live chat on your website. If you are able to provide this amount of customer service coverage, customers will feel comfortable reaching out to you to solve their problems. If they do not feel like you are reachable, then they will likely escalate their issues elsewhere such as leaving negative reviews on your Google Business page.
When you are providing a broad array of ways for people to get in touch with you, you should also make sure that your customer service response time is very fast. Nobody wants to wait 10 minutes to get a reply from a live chat service on your website, so you need to make sure that you have someone available to answer them at all times. Doing so will ensure that your customer service efforts meet and even exceed customer expectations, which will help you gain positive reviews and expand your business reputation.