The writer Rohit Basu probably encapsulated the importance of providing amazing customer support best when he coined the phrase, “Good news travels slowly, bad news has wings.”
There are many ways and examples to explain the negative impacts that not providing a good, no amazing customer support, will have on a business, especially e-commerce. But the simple fact is, if your business fails to provide the right support at any point of the sales process, you can lose customers, receives negative reviews, and damage your online image.
Customer support/service should always be taken with a pro-active attitude, a what can I do to help you, allow me to solve your problem, and make your life better, approach. I have read many articles explaining how difficult it is to implement the process of good customer support. Yeah, I`m going to disagree.
By looking at it from your customer’s viewpoint, (putting yourself in their shoes) and arranging your support to be one that you, as your customer, would want to use, you can quickly identify where and what strategies you need to implement to provide a working customer support system. This can lead to much love and long-lasting customer relationships, and isn`t that what it`s all about?
- Make it easy for customers to contact you
There are few things more frustrating than not being able to contact customer support, except trying to do it on a website that begins to resemble a rabbit hole, to then discover they have decided to provide only one channel of contact in the way of an email.
To excel in customer support, the first step is to make the process of communication child`s play, and this can be done by being accessible at every level, via live chat, social media, phone and email. Responding in real-time is the most effective way of caring for your customers and this can be achieved by using live chat support software.
- Know Your Product or Service
Knowing your product or service inside out gives you an invaluable insight into any possible problems that might be on the horizon. This enables you to plan and prepare for the most common questions customers might ask and have the necessary answers at hand.
- Don`t leave customers waiting
Amazon gets great reviews when it comes to customer service, but did you know that they have a clock running at the back end of how responsive their sellers are? And booking.com provides an upfront response rating for all of their property owners for their, my ratings on both platforms is 98%, there`s always room for improvement!
The point is, customers hate being left waiting and market leaders know this. It is possible to have an equally effective response program, like that of Amazon and Booking.com, and it can be done by implementing live chat support, or if that`s not possible, ensuring that you or your staff are well trained in the art of replying to emails, social media messages and phone calls promptly.
- Make it personal
With the technology available today it`s easier to provide the personal touch, this resonates extremely positively with customers and leaves them feeling that they are valued and not just a sales stat.
For small operations that control their sales platform in-house, this can be achieved by simply taking note of the names of everyone that contacts you and depending on your service replying using either their first or last names. Sales lists, which can be accessed through your e-commerce platform can also provide all the details you might need to ensure the personal touch is provided.
For larger businesses who require outsourcing, there are many options for helping you keep on top of this, from customer care providers to shipping services that are connected to all of your marketing platforms and can update you in real-time whenever there is an issue.
- Ask for feedback and listen to your customers
Reviews, love or hate them, they are here to stay and for very good reason, as they ensure that the companies that are providing amazing customer support get recognized for it.
A great way of improving your product or service and ensuring you remain a leader in your marketplace is by asking those who use it. This can be done by using customer surveys, having a comment box on your website, through your social media channels and by contacting customers directly when they purchase from you.
- Implement the feedback
Now you have the feedback put it to good use by taking the time to review it, identify areas where you can improve and implement the changes needed.
- Be nice and say thank you
This should be the simplest thing to get right, and it is, but it`s often where companies get it wrong. If you hire customer service employees who are generally nice, coupled with excellent people skills then it can be a natural response that requires little to no effort. They are the first responders to your customers, the face of your business, ensure they make the customers feel appreciated by providing the simplest of common courtesies like thank you.
- Go the extra mile
Who doesn`t like a free upgrade or an unexpected freebie? We all like to think that special attention has been paid to us and that our custom is valued, and you can make your customers feel this way by going the extra mile for them. A good way of finding out what extra things you can do is by checking out leading companies within your market place that have the highest scoring reviews, if they are doing things that you`re not, then implement them. Another powerful method for discovering the gems that will light up your business is by checking out their negative reviews, look for repeated patterns and then ensuring your company can do better.