“Customer complaints are the schoolbooks from which we learn.” –Ivan Hall, VP of Operations, VEPCO
The quote above is from my father in the 1960s. Safety and customer service were the areas he constantly gave speeches to VEPCO’s employees. It is a lesson we could learn with our own website customer service efforts. Read on for tips to let your customers reach you.
A common mistake that entrepreneurs make when they build their website is that they make it hard for visitors to figure out how to contact them. This is kind of counterproductive. If your customers and prospects cannot contact you via your website or via some other way, they will get frustrated. Not only will they leave your website, they may never return.
Some of your audience may prefer to pick up the phone if they need help; others will prefer email. Here are eight ways that your customers may want to contact you.
If you’re a particularly small business, this might seem intimidating. However, today there are ways to create a phone line for your customers to call and leave a message. Tell them on the message that you’ll return their call within a specified time, and give them other ways to reach out in the message too. When you’re ready, you can hire a call center a lot less expensively than you may think. Click here for more information.
Set up a special customer service email so that people can get a response fast. Most customers and prospects want an answer within 24 hours. Set up your customer service email so that this is possible. Hire a customer service virtual assistant to help you.
3. Live Chat:
Another really great way that customers may like to contact you is via live chat. You can easily have a live chat customer service installed on your website that enables you to outsource to customer service VAs, or you can hire a company such as Freshdesk to do it all for you. This enables your prospects and customers to ask for help immediately.Here is a site to give you more information.
4. Help Desk:
Some customers and prospects actually prefer to try to get their own answers before talking to a person. A great way to offer this type of connection is to offer a help desk. Help desk software is simple to use and already configured to work with your customers so that when they search a question they can find an answer without talking to anyone. And if they can’t find the answer, they can escalate the issue on their own by sending an email or calling. A good resource is this website.
Today with the advent of social media and all the technology that comes with it including live video chat, many people use Facebook as their customer service portal. All you have to do is start a page or a group on Facebook for your business. Then start answering questions and engage with your customers. Here is a good book to help you get started..
Many people reach out to companies with questions on Twitter. If you’re on Twitter, ensure that you always check your direct messages. Customers and prospects will reach out that way to find out how responsive you are. For more information on using Twitter for business, click here.
7. Website Member Area:
Another thing customers love is exclusive contact. If you have a members’ area and give access to customers, they can handle all their customer service needs – including having a contact number only for customers.
8. Text Messaging:
Another way customers like to contact you is via text messaging. This is especially true with younger audiences who prefer not to talk on the phone. Enable a text only line of communication so that your customers can text you easily (and you them). Link to Textline platform – Here is a good book on how to use this in business.
Do you want to read up on customer service techniques? Do you wonder how to train others to deliver customer service. Here is a training guide to help you. Click here.
There you have it!
Create as many ways as you can for your customers and prospects to contact you. If they don’t have to search or jump through hoops to contact you about any questions they have, they are more likely to buy from you and to stay long-term customers.
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As Rosie the Thunder Dog would say: