When you run an online business, you can’t always have your customers physically come to your business so you can handle their questions or concerns. You must provide other customer service avenues and channels where your customers can reach you for assistance, whether that’s by phone or through online customer service.
It’s becoming more and more common for customers to interact with an online business through phone conversations, live chat, email, and support ticketing. This gives customers the opportunity to seek help or make a complaint online without having to come by your location.
Shopping interactions online can end up feeling less personal and cause businesses to struggle with gaining customer loyalty, but you can fix that by getting active on social media, reaching out to your customers before they have to reach out to you, and taking responsibility for a problem.
4 Ways to Be More Available in Online Customer Service
Here’s a look at 4 ways you can be more available in online customer service and ensure you are offering the best customer service solutions possible.
1. Be everywhere your customers are
Rather than just relying on the phone for your customers to reach you, it’s important that you make yourself accessible in other ways.
Instant chat, email, and social media are other great ways to be available to your customers.
Live chat – When your customer can click on a web chat with one of your customer service reps, the problem is likely to get resolved in a matter of minutes online.
Email – The first online method of communication, email is still a great way to send in the problem and check for a response later.
Social media – Your customers can easily post a message to your page to let you know they are unhappy and your customer base can publicly see how you handled the problem in a fast and thoughtful way.
Be available on different channels of support to accommodate customers that have different preferences for contacting you. Online customer support should not be incomplete. They all expect constant access to your company’s services which will be easier for both parties if there are multiple channels to do so.
2. Don’t keep them waiting online
It’s important that you don’t keep your customers waiting because a slow response can do a lot of damage to your relationships.
Social media encourages instant results and it’s important that your customers know that a customer service rep is always available. Even email, a slower online communication method, is expected to be quick.
In a recent post we published containing 45 game-changing customer service statistics, we found that most customers expect a response via email within 6 hours of sending the email. That’s in contrast to the 24-48 hours most companies take to respond.
That attests to the quick timeline users assign to online interactions – things just move faster in the world of online customer service.
Just like your customer doesn’t want to be on hold over the phone, they also don’t want to wait for a response to their social media complaints, their email, or their text message. Make sure you have a rep immediately respond to your customer’s inquiries so that complaints don’t turn into negative hits for your company’s reputation.
3. Take responsibility & give solutions
When you do interact with an unhappy customer, it’s important that you not only take responsibility but you provide solutions. Customers choose to do business with someone and they want to be treated as a partner and friend.
If a customer isn’t happy and shares that with you, they want you to recognize that something is wrong and do your best to correct it. If they didn’t, they’d have avoided getting in touch with customer service in the first place. It’s your duty to provide the best solution possible for them.
When you sincerely apologize and provide a solution, your customer loyalty improves because they know that you handled the problem well and want to retain them as a customer. The trust is there and the likelihood of returning is better.
4. Go mobile to continue growing
Be sure to consider making your business available to the mobile market. Most customers are using their smart devices to check out websites, shop online, and play on social media.
If you’re available on mobile devices, you are likely to see both new and returning customers shopping more with you.
They want the convenience of buying something from you right on their phone without much delay in their day. Mobile is going to continue to grow and you’d be smart to get on board to make sure customers can do business with you right from the device in their pocket. Being available online in the first place is a great step to take to become more proficient in online customer service.
Use these tips to be the best online business you can be by showing that you’re committed to providing the best online customer service in your industry.