Your Website as a Customer Service Tool

Businesses build websites for many reasons. They can be an online storefront, a brand-builder, or a customer service and retention tool. When trying to develop your website as a customer service and retention tool, there are some rules of thumb you may want to follow.

1. Make It Easy– The design should offer user-friendly navigation, fast downloads, and easy access to information.

2. Build Trust– Explain (and offer) secure transactions, let them know your data collection policy, showcase testimonials, offer an outlet for feedback, and provide links to any reputable professional associations of whom you are a member.

3. Clear Content: Do you provide clear product information, pricing, FAQ’s, and easy to find contact information?

4. The Human Element– Quick email responses are critical. If you do not have a system in place to provide speedy answers to email enquiries, then do not offer the option at all. Along the same line, only offer a 1-800 number if you have someone willing and able to take the call or return it quickly.

5. Provide an E-Newsletter– Your loyal customers will expect to find an area to sign up for electronic news from you. Those who sign up want to hear from you about important updates on your services and offerings. Some tips to help you with this strategy are to make sure the newsletters only go out when you have value to offer, whether that be information or a discount, and be sure they have to ability to opt out. Do not wear them out with a newsletter every single week.

6. E-Surveys– These are a great way to uncover ways to improve your business practices. And your loyal customers will be happy to provide feedback. They feel a sense of ownership when they take the time to offer feedback to you. *Caveat: Make sure to take the time to show you listened. Feedback is a golden opportunity to fix a problem you don’t know you have, so make sure you communicate with a customer who provides you this value. Let them know you care enough to respond and to actually fix a problem that can be fixed.

Have you encountered any brands who do an excellent or terrible job with online customer service? We would love to hear your stories.