Online businesses, especially online retailers, are often responsible for some common online customer service errors. Good customer service, even when you do not deal face-to-face with customers, is an important part of running successful business and building words from mouth to marketing. At Faraway Furniture, we have always prided us on our customer service - find out what our customers want and try to give them. That is why we have managed to build up a lot of words and mouths buzz about our products and shopping. In an effort to help other online stores, here are some common common customer service errors and what you can do to fix them:
Online Customer Service Error:
Stock Responses - Many companies use form letter responses that are automatically sent to customers based on the text of their question or complaint. This is sometimes done because companies believe that a quick response is what the customer wants. Yes, customers would love a correct answer. More importantly, they want the right answer. These stock responses often do not respond to customer service issues.
Insufficient information - Customers should be able to find answers to basic questions about your company, products or policies without having to contact you. The more difficult you do to get the information they need, the less likely they will buy from you in the first place. Most people who shop online make it for convenience, and a lack of information is not appropriate.
Being impossible to reach - Its a good idea to have phone support (or to outsource your phone-based customer service), even if you are a strictly web-based business. Sometimes (especially for major issues), customers just want to talk to a real person.
Improve online customer service:
Make yourself available - Instead of sending these stock answers, have an actual person address email complaints and questions (on time). This also applies to those who rank high within the company - they should be available, even after a customer has worked through a chain of customer service managers or customer service managers under them.
Add contact options - Not all customers want to send an email, and not all customers want to talk to someone in the phone. Give them as many options as possible, such as phone, email, live online support chat or snail mail, and choose the best options for your target customers.
Update Your Support Area - Whether you have a comprehensive knowledge base or a simple FAQ section on your company website, keep it updated. Outdated information can make your company appear unprofessional and can frustrate and confuse customers. Also, when you receive similar questions multiple times, save yourself and customers time by adding the answer to your site.
Ask for Input - One of the best ways to improve your customer service is to ask customers what they really want from you and give them them if possible. For example, in garden furniture, our customers often have to be present when furniture is delivered. We could improve our customer service by offering Saturday and Sunday delivery opportunities, so our customers needed to take time off the job to wait for deliveries. They told us what they wanted, and we showed that we not only listened, but be careful to act on their behalf. Listening is often the key to good customer service.
Work to improve your online customer service and create a better brand reputation and more customer loyalty. Its too easy for online shoppers to click away from your website and shop elsewhere to not take their worries seriously.