8 Tips to Improve Online Customer Service for Your Business
Positive customer experience is one of the most important aspects of building a successful business. Whether you provide online customer service, a call center service, or in-person assistance, a good customer experience strategy will contribute to long-term customer loyalty.
Each type of customer service has its own challenges and unique benefits. In this article, we look at why online customer service is essential to your business and how to improve it.
Why Online Customer Service is Important
Online customer service empowers customers to make inquiries and get information at a time that suits them. They can access your business from anywhere, as long as they are digitally connected.
Providing online customer service will benefit your business in the following ways:
- Online customer service improves customer access to make purchases, inquiries, and get information after business hours. This can result in increased sales.
- It eliminates the frustration of long call center wait times. Addressing customer concerns in real-time will increase customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction leads to returning loyal customers who promote your brand to others.
- It is a cost-effective way for your business to offer client support and integrate CRM data channels.
- Online customer service allows you to track customer data, purchase-, and browsing behavior. This data is useful in strategizing effective marketing and streamlining purchases.
- Online customer service tools enable you to personalize your services and product offerings to clients.
- A positive online service experience builds brand credibility. It also facilitates the sharing of positive reviews across many platforms.
- Online customer service allows to properly manage keyboard warriors and prevent a negative business reputation.
Tips to Improve Online Customer Service
Online customer service is competitive and requires continuous attention. If a customer cannot find what they are looking for, experience poor online service or technical difficulties it is easy for them to abandon a purchase or choose another supplier with one click. It is crucial to the success of your business to deliver excellent online customer service.
Here are 8 ways to improve your online customer service.
1. Make customer experience (CX) your focus
Customers today have many channels available to connect with businesses. The first impression that a customer receives, regardless of the channel, sets the stage for the customer experience. Your business can’t excel on all channels. Identify the channels preferred by your clients and be available where they are.
It is important to streamline the channels you choose under one platform. This allows you to access information and deliver a cohesive and consistent multi-channel service between website, social media, and email interactions.
2. Deliver real-time support
Live chat enables customer service agents to deliver immediate sales support and troubleshoot problems. It also provides the opportunity for instant sales. Real-time support is a crucial feature to improve your online customer service.
3. Collaborate using co-browsing tools
Using co-browsing tools allows you to collaborate directly with the customer and share a screen view of their online navigation. When dealing with customer issues, this allows you to ensure the customer is getting the problem resolved while teaching the customer to navigate and troubleshoot on their own. You can guide the customer through the navigation by giving them instructions as if you were next to them.
4. Personalize customer service with video chat
Video calls enable service agents to provide personalized customer care to clients in a way that is both convenient and time-saving. It allows the customer to engage directly with you without having to make a trip to your store or office.
Customers can view product demonstrations, presentations, and have questions answered instantly. This gives the customer a sense of human connection and improves the customer experience. Communicating face to face in real-time establishes stronger relationships, builds trust with customers, boosts satisfaction, and increases sales revenue.
5. Provide self-service options on your website or App
Having online self-service tools allows your business to provide improved online customer support without staff interaction. The most common types of self-service include FAQs, how-to videos, user guides, knowledge-based resources, and online discussion forums. Customers should be able to find answers easily in the self-service portal.
Self-service options are enhanced when making use of interactive content such as screenshots, videos, and step-by-step guides. Continuously update your knowledge base to ensure that information is current and that your customers are getting the best advice.
6. Use social media
Offering customer care on social media channels can be of great benefit to your business. You will boost brand awareness, leverage marketing avenues, and increase customer engagement.
Building customer relationships through online social support can increase customer lifetime value if you manage these platforms optimally. Your social media customer support strategy should always include quick replies to queries, reviews, and complaints.
7. Prioritize customer service etiquette
Just because you are servicing clients online does not mean you do not need excellent communication skills. Having good communication skills and customer service etiquette helps to deliver effective support with a human touch. It is key to creating positive first impressions and can give you the edge over your competition.
Empower your customer support team with service etiquette training. This will allow them to deliver excellent online customer service, reinforce client relationships, and build customer loyalty.
Key etiquette factors include:
- Using positive language and a friendly tone
- Listening to customers
- Empathizing with customers
- Personalizing conversations to make customers feel comfortable, and develop trust
8. Listen to customer feedback
Customer feedback is one of the best ways to gauge customer satisfaction.
Customer insights can help improve online customer support in the following ways:
It reveals weak points in your online offering that need attention. It highlights strengths about your online offering that draws customers to your brand. Use this information to leverage positive aspects and make amendments to improve weak points.
Customers appreciate it when companies value their opinion. Listening to and acting on customer feedback shows that you value your customers. When customers feel that you value their input they are more likely to stick around and share in your vision.
Online customer service is an important factor in providing your customers with convenient ways to make transactions, get information, and ask for help. It is, however, only effective when implemented and managed properly.
8 ways to improve your online customer service include:
- Make customer experience your focus
- Deliver real-time support
- Collaborate using co-browsing tools
- Personalize customer service with video chat
- Provide self-service options on your website or App
- Use social media
- Prioritize customer service etiquette
- Listen to customer feedback
Digital channels increase your availability and accessibility. This can positively impact your sales, customer satisfaction, and business growth.
CustomersFirst Academy offers comprehensive customer service training designed to help you grow your skills and advance your career.
To keep learning and developing your knowledge of customer service, we highly recommend the additional resources below:
7 Effective Strategies to Improve Medical Customer Service
Improve Group Communication Using Email
Business Strategy Guide to Customer Intimacy
How to Create Positive Customer Perception for Business Growth