Deliver Memorable Online Customer Service

Calling a telephone number for customer service isn’t what it used to be. You’re lucky if you get to speak to a real person, even after navigating all the automated prompts. It can be incredibly frustrating for customers, and can lead to a loss of brand loyalty.

Canadians spend more time online than anyone else (blame it on the rain and snow), so why not meet your customers where they’re at — online! Social media, email, and chat are great ways to offer customer service and get useful feedback. Often, you’re not only answering questions, you’re also engaging with your customer and learning something about them. That’s valuable information if you want to build a business people will love.

3 things you can do to improve your online customer service

There are many ways to improve online customer service, but these strategies are what I consider the easiest to implement.

  1. Make it easy to find your website contact form and add a response-time promise. There’s nothing wrong with including a contact form on every page of your website. Don’t make it hard to get a hold of you! Include a promise that you’ll return their message within 2 or 3 business days, so they know what to expect.
  2. Encourage comments and feedback on social media. People might not be ready to post comments right away, but you can prompt them by sharing client testimonials, client FAQs, and asking people outright what they think of your new product. Make sure to respond to all your messages on social media.
  3. Review your messaging and make sure it’s friendly. Don’t use hostile language. If the feedback made you upset, draft your response and save it for when you have calmed down. Always address your customer’s concern, and be constructive. Describe how you’d like to help them. Be honest and avoid responding in fake corporate-speak.

Great customer service is so rare these days that you’ll stand out if you can show your customers that you are a human being who care about them. Seriously! Memorable customer service experience grows brand loyalty and will grow your business! 

How one company made things right

Recently, a friend of mine bit into a granola bar and almost broke a tooth. She spit out a piece of what appeared to be granite. Understandably, she was upset and  threw the rest of the granola bar away. Then she looked the company up online and found a direct email address for their customer service department. She sent a report of what happened with photos of the packaging and the rock. She didn’t expect to hear anything back, but she sent the report anyway in case there were other reports coming in, making a case for a recall.

Within a couple of days the company got back to her with a personal email, signed by a real person! After a quick exchange they offered to send her an entire box of product. In the exchange they were amiable, honest, and understanding. She was so impressed that she thanked them publicly online. 

How does your company respond to customer complaints?

If you own a small business that has a direct line to a real human who handles your customer complaints, good for you (and bravo for your customers)! You’re part of the exception that used to be the norm.

In this age of digital technology, however, people are less likely to pick up the phone to offer feedback – whether it’s good or bad. If you don’t have a contact form on your website, you could be missing out on some valuable interactions.

At the same time, having a presence on social media will also go a long way to making your company more accessible. According to this infographic, an estimated 67% of consumers use social media to seek resolutions for their issues! But it doesn’t have to be all negative – social media is a fun way to engage your existing customers and draw in new ones. If you’re looking for ways to engage your customers on social media, check out this link.

Want help setting up a contact form on your website? Or need help getting your small business set up on social media? Give me a call / send me an email, and let’s get started!