We all know how good customer service makes us feel about a company. It's one of the experiences that can turn a problem into a positive, and help to keep us purchasing from a brand.
It's something that's core to what we do at the Smart Domain Group - and is often mentioned as one of our most noticeable attributes in the feedback we get from our long-term clients. But it's always good to have evidence and figures, so a recent study published on eMarketer just reinforces the importance of online customer service.
Not only do 89% of the internet users surveyed say that they feel more positive about a brand after good customers service, but four out of five just want their questions answered. If you can respond to a question or problem quickly, directly and with a clear, simple response, you'll be onto a winner.
What benefits does it have for your business? Of those surveyed, 61% said they'd tell family and friends about the experience, 38% said they'd write a positive review, and 27% would then sign up to a loyalty scheme. And 17% would talk about it on social media (Probably crossing over with telling friends and family).
That means the potential for direct revenue as a result, and a great marketing boost. The potential for a positive response to be shared online has never been bigger, and there are numerous times when the response of a company has gone viral for the right reasons (As well as the wrong ones when customer service is particularly poor). And there is a lot of value in receiving good, honest, reviews on your Google Business Listing, relevant business directories, and even your Facebook page. Those reviews are a prime way for potential new customers to research your company.
The message should be clear. Invest time and resource in good quality customer service, and customers are much more likely to respond with their praise - and their wallets.
Online Customer Service Tips:
- Set realistic expectations. If you're a sole trader or small business, set specific 'office hours' when you'll be able to respond on the phone, to emails, or on social media. Make sure it's stated clearly on your website and social media profiles.
- Be clear about what you're able to solve remotely, and any regulations regarding privacy and data protection. Often you'll need to ask social media users to share their contact details privately to follow up.
- Keep a record of customers and customer service issues. Good Customer Relationship Management software can help (We live in ours!), but any tracking is better than nothing.
- If you have colleagues and staff, make sure they know the processes to resolve common issues, and they have the ability to fix things where possible.
- Make use of good and bad feedback. The positive can be used as testimonials and reviews, while the bad can be used to publish helpful articles and advice, answers to common problems, and to improve your business.
We've seen the benefits good customer service has brought out own business over the years, with clients staying with us for much longer than the industry average.
And we've seen that when our clients offer great service, they grow much more quickly offline, as well as amplifying the work we do to deliver the best web design and marketing.
It's easy to overlook in a digital world constantly mentioning new technology and advertising, but good, old-fashioned customer service should be at the heart of your business, wherever people encounter it.
- Small Business Marketing,