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MASTER ONLINE CUSTOMER SERVICE

The key to customer service is communication, empathy and organisation.

Online customer service 101

Although the customer may not always be right, their feelings are remain valid. Therefore, there are some very specific techniques of how to provide excellent customer service even if you do face difficulties somewhere down the line.

Customer friendly content

The first stage of giving excellent customer service is to provide content and products that will help your customers. Ask yourself what your customers need from you, what your company is able to provide and what is the most frequently searched for queries. Google analytics and Google Trends are great tools for determining what topics are being the most frequently searched.

Social listening

Social listening is essential when analysing your brand’s success and building relationships with your audience. Every day, or every couple of days make sure to search your business on social media platforms to see what is being said publicly about your business.

When you implement an effective social listening strategy you can monitor all opportunities to improve all your customer experiences, the good, the bad and the ugly. Interacting with your audience on a personal level will help to build trust and show your audience that you care about their opinions.

How to deal with negative reviews

Word of mouth is one of the most prevalent forces in the promotion or demise of your brand. Therefore, bad press must be dealt with, with care. In this day and age, particularly online, everything you say and do is scrutinised. ‘Cancel Culture’ has become a new term that means that a particular brand or person can be completely boycotted due to any actions deemed inappropriate by a mass of people on social media.

This is why it is crucial to address any negative reviews or comments as soon as possible, professionally and with empathy.

A good rule of thumb to follow is: Apologise, address the issue to show you have listened, then ask for them to contact you privately with more information so that you can rectify the issue out of the public eye.

Of course, the customer can be in the wrong sometimes, but publicly addressing the situation and showing a willingness to take accountability and action will always show your brand in a very good light. Moreover, addressing customer queries often leads to converting a disgruntled customer to a very satisfied one. It is human nature for mistakes to be made. What people will really judge you on is how you handle queries when things have gone awry.

How to handle issues customers are having with your products

Pride is never your friend when it comes to customer service. You can lead customers to seeing the situation from your perspective, but it is never wise to outright tell a customer they are wrong, or to not try to provide a solution.

Obviously when items are bespoke or perishable it can become difficult to make refunds or returns possible. However, you must be flexible. You want your service to bend to the customer’s favour as much as possible. Naturally, you need proof of purchase and proof of damages, but once these have been provided you need a consistent set of procedures for problem solving.

Have chat bots, chat forums and a customer service team who can help answer any product questions. Make it as easy as possible for the customer to be able to contact you. The simpler the layout the better. Sometimes an overly fancy chatbot can lead to customers not being able to get answers to a question they need answering. This is because the question they have may not have a programmed response. Always have an option to talk to someone when the chatbot is no longer able to help.

Have FAQs and answers on your website for frequently asked questions. Sometimes it is good to just find an answer quickly without having deal with anyone. A lot of customers do not like to make complaints or talk to anyone. Therefore, this option allows people some more autonomy on resolving their own issues.

Use your social listening to find opportunities to help people.

Personalisation

Personalisation is more than just adding someone’s name. Adding SMART forms and using information that will be readily provided from their browser and IP address will mean you can customise offers, discounts and content to be aimed at specific segments of people. The more information you can gather about a customer, the more you can make sure you are providing the right information, to the right people at the right time.

How to effectively persuade satisfied customers to leave good reviews.

Once excellent customer service has been achieved you want the world to know about it! You want to show what your business is capable of to the masses! Therefore, it is good to say things like, “Thank you so much for purchasing our {insert product/service}. We hope you love it as much as we do! If so, please feel free to take this short survey or leave a quick rating for us here {insert link}. All feedback is greatly appreciated!”

First, always thank them for choosing to purchase from you. Then, once you start requesting them to do something for you, you must do the leg work for them and make a simple pathway for them to leave a review or rating. Customers do not want to be spending time searching for how to leave a review. They are more likely to leave one if it is just one click away. Stay humble, stay grateful and keep it simple.

Basically,

The more you focus on customer satisfaction, the more likely you will see long term success and profit.

It may take more time to get revenue rolling in, but once trust is built, word of mouth will surge you towards your company goals.