Top 7 Tips for Improving Your Internet Customer Service
By Robert Moment
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As far as businesses are concerned, the Internet is a living miracle because of the plethora of applications that the Internet offers and the number of opportunities it has created for making money. Amongst these applications is the management of customer relations, which has made customer service so much cheaper, faster and profitable.
Building online support centers the right way can create customer loyalty that will last a lifetime, so letís examine some ways to improve your Internet customer service and turn it into a profitable process.
- Automate Everything
One of the pleasures of conducting business on the Internet is the ability to automate the entire sales process. Where customer service is concerned, you can leverage the power of automation by using tools like autoresponders. Autoresponders deliver your transactional emails at any point during and after the sales process and it works even while youíre asleep. Automation works in your favor and it lets customers feel reassured that youíve taken the necessary measures to make their purchases a cinch.
- Real-Time Support With VoIP
VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol is a piece of technology that has made real-time customer support over the Internet a reality. You must have seen one of these icons displayed on some shopping websites saying, ďClick Here for Live Online Support.Ē This icon invites a customer to click on it, which then connects directly to a sales representative for live interaction.
You can use this technology on your own website and help customers through their buying process in real-time. Youíll be able to see exactly what your customer sees, which makes this technology so effective for improving your online conversation rate. An example of a company offering this service is LivePerson.com.
- Setup An Online FAQ Page
More and more businesses are resorting to developing a dedicated FAQ page on their websites to save time and money on customer service. The idea is to collate the most frequently asked questions onto one page and direct customers to this page first before filling out a contact form for inquiries. An FAQ page is a huge timesaver, which frees up your time to attend to more pressing matters. Itíll be worth your effort to set up a dedicated page and even a dedicated email specifically for customer inquiries.
- Display Your Contact Information Prominently On Your Website
Itís hard enough for online customers to come to a buying decision, let alone struggle to find your contact information prominently where customers will have no trouble finding it. If they face problems during the buying process, they will have quick access to your contact information and youíll have the opportunity to allay their fears and guide them through a sale.
Create the impression that youíre readily available any time a customer needs you and your customers will see to it that they remain devoted to you.
- Prepare An Online Trouble-Shooting Webpage
Whether youíre selling a product or offering a service, this is an idea that complements the FAQ page very well. Sadly, not many businesses implement this idea either because they had not thought of it, or they feel itís unnecessary.
The trouble-shooting webpage details the more technical questions that your customers may want to ask and having it explained clearly on your website will eliminate a good portion of customer support.
- Make Use Of Web 2.0 Technology
Web 2.0 has opened up many more channels of communication such as blogs, podcasting and video-sharing capabilities. A result of this has been the proliferation of social networking sites like MySpace.com, but nothing is stopping you from using these platforms to improve customer support.
Use blogs to interact with your customers freely and openly, or host your own podcast show, inviting customers to interact with you either via message boards or online chat rooms. Online video sharing capabilities has also made it extremely easy for any business to create step-by-step video instructions to teach customers on how to use their products or services. The potential for its uses is limitless.
- Outsource Your Customer Service
Outsourcing seems to be all the rage in the business world these days because the Internet has attracted such a large talent pool at a very low cost. This has afforded small businesses the opportunity to outsource their most time-consuming activities to individuals or companies that specialize in these areas, freeing up the time for business owners to concentrate on growing their business.
In the customer service field, SalesForce.com has taken the online business world by storm with its virtual customer service representatives managing every aspect of your customer service professionally. It gives you the edge because you now have at your disposal a CRM team that can equal that of a Fortune 500 CRM department.
Robert Moment is an innovative customer service consultant, business coach and author of Invisible Profits: The Power of Exceptional Customer Service. Visit http://www.customerservicetrainingskills.com and sign-up for the FREE 5 day e-course titled, "Creating Wow Customer Service Experiences.
Article Submitted On: September 28, 2007