Online does not mean SELF SERVICE.
Online has a lot of benefits including significant cost reductions in infrastructure and personnel. Offering great customer service is a necessity for any business. However,the human- machine barrier is not an easy one to cross. Any good online business should not only be focused on customer service. They need to be completely obsessed with it!
Here are some helpful tips:
1) Unless you are a price aggregator selling brand new iphones at a 50% discount people will not put up with your poorly designed site. Why? We don´t need to. There is surely someone else selling the same thing as you but doing it better.
Tip: Make the site easy to navigate, clear and logical for the user.
2) No one likes to be ignored. This is a great and Free way to get a lot of Bad Press.
Tip: Answer emails and customer questions promptly and thoroughly.
3) People expect good service, but they will reward you for Great service.
Tip: Go above and beyond their expectations. Go the extra mile.
4) Customer loyalty is key. We say we love new things, but really our behavior is repetitive. Most people are lazy. Once we find a trusted shop that meets our needs why look elsewhere?
Tip: Acquiring new customers is hard and costly. Keeping existing customers coming back is a no brainer that is a win-win for all. Make them happy and they will come back again and again and again… and again
5) Each and every client that visits your shop is an individual, unique, and amazing person, even if they all buy the same thing.
Tip: Everyone needs a little pampering. Make your clients feel special. They are.
So, how did I come up with these tips?
Recently I was shopping online for a pretty unique product. I came across some websites that were not so user friendly. I couldn´t figure out if they had what I was looking for. It just wasn´t clear. They could, possibly, and I missed it on their site. They could have the product, but it isn´t on the web at the moment. They might not have it but know who does. What a mess! So, I figured that it was worth a shot to ask. Why not?
What I received in most cases was the following template email auto response:
“Thank you for contacting us. On our site www.xxx.com we have a section of products similar to those your are looking for. Please search for them here (link).”
That link would take me back to the same page that prompted me to contact them in the first place. If it was made clear to me that they either do or definitely do not have the product I want, I simply would not have wasted my time or that of their automatic response systems.
Online Businesses: Please stop sending these emails! Please stop treating your customers like cyber idiots!
Your customers want clarification. They want help. They want Customer Service! They do not want to be ridiculed.
If you don´t want to bother with us customers and our annoying questions that is fine. If you don´t mean it then just do not say “please contact with our customers service desk and we will happily answer any of your question”. It just isn’t true.
Resumen: Don´t fake it. If you want to be a self service business you will lose customers. It´s your choice. It is ok. So why not be honest and up front about it?
Thank you for reading this post. Please contact me here at www.thispost.com to reread this post and to get no additional information whatsoever. I just filled in the required fields that came on the contact page of my generically designed website theme. You will be frustrated, yes, but I obviously don´t care.