A “human touch” in a brick-and-mortar business is no problem if you’re hiring charismatic, friendly people. However, if you’re seeking ways to improve customer service in an online environment, read on. 

7 Ways to Improve Customer Service Online

Your customers hate you.

At least, they hate you if you aren’t giving them the service they expect.

These days, even “average” is enough to earn their scorn. GREAT customer service (not good, not adequate, but GREAT) is something they’re now used to and expect from every business they patronize. 

Are you a small business owner selling products and services online? Or do you have both brick-and-mortar locations and an online store? At some point, you’ll need to manage customer relationships using CRM software.

These solutions are helpful because they help you make sure your different departments (from marketing to sales to customer service) are coordinated. When it comes to customer service, businesses should continually look for ways to improve the online experience. Sure, there are differences between in-store and online shopping, but providing exceptional customer service remains the same no matter where customers shop. 

Keep reading for seven pieces of actionable advice to improve the customer service you provide online. 

1. Consider Customers’ Needs

Think about what your customers need from you to have positive shopping experience on your website. What types of problems do they need help solving? What’s the best or preferred way you can help them? Integrate the features, functionalities, and services that your customers need or would actually use.

2. Be Human

Be mindful of how you and your employees come across online, especially with written mediums like email or instant messaging. It’s not as easy to convey a helpful, upbeat tone online as it is in person, and if you aren’t careful, you could easily come across as rude or curt without realizing it.

3. Offer Self-Service

No one likes to be pestered by a salesperson in a store; similarly, no one likes a chatbot continually messaging them. Give your customers the option to serve themselves and find the assistance they need on their own. Let your customers decide when they need to reach out for help.

4. Take Advantage of Social Media

Your online customer service experience isn’t exclusive to your website; you can use social media to engage with and assist your customers. Social media makes it easy for customers to sing your praises — or share a negative experience. Use this tool to your advantage and connect with your customers whenever possible to try and ensure their experience is a positive one.

5. Leverage Technology

In a similar vein, use other forms of technology to your advantage and to make your business processes faster, more efficient, and better equipped to serve customers. The right applications and software solutions will provide you with the tools you need to provide exceptional customer service, simultaneously freeing up more of your time to do so.

7 Ways to Improve Customer Service Online

For example, a fashion retailer will find sales order management software helpful in making sure customers receive their orders. This technology is useful for taking a proactive approach to customer satisfaction. Similarly, an effective order fulfillment software solution will serve customers throughout the entire shopping experience, from start to finish.

6. Respect Customers’ Time

Your customers’ time is valuable, and it’s important to recognize and respect that. If purchasing your products is difficult or if getting help takes too long, they will likely consider going to your competitors.

7. Ask for Feedback

Finally, always ask your customers for their feedback about their online experience with your store. Everyone likes to know that their thoughts are valued, which can help with customer satisfaction, and you can gain incredibly helpful insights for improvement.

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