When you’re working in your own business, it’s easy to miss some of the glaringly obvious characteristics of an online presence from businesses that do customer service really well. At first glance, you might think to yourself that you cannot afford the features that make big businesses at least try to be great at customer service. However, there are some affordable ways for you to help your customers have a great experience and hopefully find the answers to their questions before they ever speak to an actual human being.
Why is this post even necessary? Well, most of the population has evolved from wanting to speak to a customer service rep or manager to wanting to find the answer as quickly as possible. Our monthly minutes used on the phone have been dropping substantially for the past ten years, but this isn’t necessarily a problem. If your small business is able to adapt to customer service trends changing, then you can be the hero for your potential customer.
Customer Service in the Age of the Internet
- Create Online Resources: You can create online resources in a variety of ways; through archived blogs, online help desks such as Zenddesk, or even an FAQ page. Depending on the complexity and popularity of your business, there are a variety of options. Remember that your resources should be able to be found in search engines (many people will just go to Google for the answer), and also make your resources easy to find on your website. If self service is your goal, then don’t hide your customer resources.
- Keep Your Online Information Up-to-Date: Incorrect hours, phone numbers, and even addresses can drive a customer crazy. These are pretty obvious things to consider, but they often slip the minds of owners and operators until it’s too late. With so many listings online, it’s important to make sure that your customers can find the right information, especially when trying to visit or call you. Curious about your listings? You can run a quick scan and pull your important listings online.
- Automate While You’re Away: Most people understand that small businesses aren’t open 24/7, but that won’t stop them from sending you a message over Facebook (by far one of the easiest and most popular way to message a business). We have seen a tremendous increase in private messages to business pages over the past 6 months, and the good news is that Facebook actually provides Pages with an away message and auto reply. Simply turn it on, and let your customers know that you received the message, remind them of your open hours, and let them know that you will respond ASAP. You can do the same thing with email marketing software like MailChimp, so that your contacts receive an auto reply, letting them know that your team received their message.
Saving your customers time by easily providing quick feedback is a great way to improve your customer service. It can also save your team precious time, so that they can apply it to new ways that help your business grow.
These solutions provide your team with scale, and help ensure that your customers get the best customer service experience possible. Remember, while automation can be a huge time saver and tool for your business, it’s tough to replace a human to human encounter for those tough questions that can’t be found online. That’s where great training (great article from Trainertainment) takes over!