Have you ever tried to get in touch with a company’s customer service team only to get put through the ringer? You know, you were either on hold too long or sent to multiple people before resolving an issue.
This probably made your bad experience worse. When consumers have such a negative interaction with your business, they’re likely to feel the same. As such, it falls on you to provide the best customer service in-person and online.
In-person interactions are somewhat simple to fix; all it takes is a bit of patience and interpersonal skills to turn a customer’s experience around. Online interactions are trickier. It’s harder to grasp what a user needs and how upset they are, not to mention solve the problem in a way that exceeds expectations.
But, understanding how to improve customer service online isn’t rocket science. Here are 5 things you can do to better assist customers.
1. Welcome Customer Feedback
First things first, let your audience know you’re actively working to provide the best customer service possible. Ask them to tell you when something doesn’t add up, whether that be the quality of a product or a late order shipment.
This makes you seem much more approachable and willing to help. It reminds users that their experience matters, which is a better alternative than when people feel like just another customer.
Starting off on a good foot like this can do wonders for the entire customer service process. Users will likely be a little more level-headed when coming to you with a problem, and they will be much happier once the problem is solved.
2. Make Things Simple
Once the conversation with an unhappy user is initiated, do your best to keep it as simple as possible. Break down complex terms and strive to be as accessible as possible.
Making certain terms easier to understand improves the process for everyone. It lets customers grasp subjects quickly and keeps your employees from having to repeat themselves when a customer calls or sends an email.
Remember, even the things that seem super simple for you aren’t common knowledge to an average customer. Do a look-over of your customer service page and the way you format emails, and see if there are any ways to make the whole process more understandable.
As you’re doing this, take a look at how you allow customers to reach out to you in the first place. Get rid of any lengthy forms or yes or no questions. Instead, provide users with a text box where they can tell you the issue from their perspective.
Also, simplify the customer service process from the start by adding an FAQ page to your website. You’d be surprised how many issues one page of questions and answers can resolve.
If anything, use FAQs to help guide users to the proper contact information. Large companies do this when they offer multiple products and services, and therefore have largely-varying customer service issues. The FAQs help match users with the people/departments they need to talk to.
3. Offer a Live Chat Feature
Speaking of guiding users to whom they need to talk to, why not offer a live chat feature? This keeps the conversation online, which can often be more effective than putting a bunch of people on hold over the phone.
Live chats are simple, quick, and easy to use. They’re a win-win for everyone. Customers can access you as easily as they would send a text, and employees are able to get through more customer service requests faster.
Plus, you can save the chats if you’d like. This helps you track customer service performance and improve your system over a long period of time. The more you identify common issues and get faster at responding, the better the overall experience is for both sides.
4. Outsource Your Customer Service Needs
Here’s a thought: instead of trying to fine-tune all your customer service processes internally, consider outsourcing some of the tasks. This could be a serious game-changer if your phones are always ringing or if you’ve tried the live chat feature only to spend hours of the day working through client requests.
When you outsource customer service needs, you create more room in your schedule for other parts of the business without compromising the quality provided to customers. This may be one of the best investments you ever make.
The only catch is you have to choose the right customer service package for your business. Some providers will give you round the clock answering services for phone calls while others will help you manage your emails. Then, there are ones like this website that can help you do it all.
5. Maintain Professionalism at All Costs
Whether you’re managing all of your customer service in-house or putting some things in the hands of an external service, make sure you maintain professionalism.
This is crucial to keeping customers happy and creating return purchases. It doesn’t matter how needy one customer might seem or how many of them are waiting to have issues resolved, you have to treat each one as if they are your main priority.
In a way, they are. Every customer service interaction is a chance to either retain a user or lose them to another business. People don’t keep buying from companies who don’t meet their expectations.
When users come to you in hopes of fixing the solution, you have to meet them halfway and then some. Be as professional as you can be, tell your team to do the same, and pay close attention to the reports given from any customer service support you’ve invested in.
How to Improve Customer Service Online: Know Your Audience!
Before you start taking on how to improve customer service from your online platform, consider this: are you sure you know who your audience is?
Trying to reach the wrong target audience or putting customers in a box is one of the worst mistakes a business can make. It hinders sales numbers and does no good for customer service, either.
If you’ve already tried some of the tips mentioned above or your customer service is seriously struggling, it might be time to go back to the drawing board. For more insights on reaching your audience, click here.