When you work with customers online, it’s challenging to get the same level of customer service achieved compared to a face-to-face interaction. It’s harder to connect to your customer, to understand their tone or to find simple ways to relate to them better.
When a customer goes into a retail store, it’s easy to make suggestions based on things they are looking at, clothes they are wearing or conversation you are overhearing. When you work with customers online, the expectations change and you need to be prepared to meet their needs even more so than you would in a store. Here is a look at the best tips for exceeding customer expectations online.
Providing human touch
It may seem impossible to offer a human touch when you’re working with someone online, but there are ways to accomplish this. You need to stay competitive with other online companies by going above and beyond what someone would expect. Start providing exceptional customer service by offering more human interaction in your communications.
Don’t outsource customer service, except to an expert, as you should make sure every communication with the customer is someone that represents your brand. You want to make sure your customers know that each person they speak to is an expert on the product or service and that they can make the best recommendations.
In addition, you’ll appear more human if your customer service representatives send a handwritten note as a thank you to your customers and even to your brand new customers that place their first order. You can still offer the human touch through technology and snail mail.
Sometimes you can exceed customers’ expectations by simply making that extra special touch. When they don’t anticipate you to provide a service that isn’t normally offered but then you make it happen just for them, it really wows the customer. Update your customers on new information related to the field for no extra cost and your customers will appreciate your company more for the unexpected convenience. You can also share your experience with the product in your own life, what the ups and downs of its usage and why you personally recommend something.
When you offer your customers more shipping options, they feel that they have more control over the purchase. If you can ship the order the same day it’s placed or offer upgraded shipping options at a discount, your customers will appreciate the extra touch. Program your software to recognize where a customer is shopping from so that they can try to expedite shipping when possible.
Go the extra mile
If your customer is struggling to make a decision on a high-end item like jewelry, go above and beyond by contacting the customer to explain the differences in the options. Follow up to see if a customer has any questions on the different styles and price points. Your customer will enjoy the ease of shopping knowing that someone was able to contact them and offer more information without the customer even needing to reach out for help.
Another route is to offer to ship options to try out for a few days and having the customer ship back the ones they don’t want so that the fear of the big purchase is lessened and the customer appreciates the company going way above and beyond.
The last way you can really exceed customer expectations online is to use social media as an opportunity to impress your customers. When they complain on your social media, send suggestions or express concerns, make sure you publicly and privately address the issue so that your customer feels heard.
Offer to personal help your customers with the issue they are having so that other customers feel free to reach you in the same way. Your customers will feel appreciated and heard by seeing the example and by being the ones that reached out.
Make sure you always follow up so that your customer receives a “thank you” before a final bill. These tips are the best ways to make sure your customers’ expectations are exceeded online since you’re losing the face-to-face shopping experience in a brick and mortar store.