Being available to our customers is important. If it’s difficult for them to reach us, we may miss out making a sale or a lasting connection. As expectations for acceptable ways to interact with customers change, you need to consider how to make your company available online.
When a potential customer or client has a question or concern, they’re likely to go online to see if they can get some help. If you make them jump through numerous hoops just to have a conversation with you, they’re likely to move on to a competitor to purchase their products or services instead. Making it as easy as possible for customers to reach you ensures you can provide them with the help they need to close a sale.
There are many different ways you can be available for your customers online. Here are five ideas you may want to apply to your business.
Live chat is one of the most popular ways to provide customer service help to your target audience. As an IM service you can feature right on your website, live chat allows both you and your customer to easily discuss problems. Because a customer service representative can take on multiple chats at once, it can be a time saver for both parties.
The clothing site Hautelook provides a live chat service to help customers troubleshoot problems, ask questions about their orders or provide other services. Connecting customers with a customer service agent enables them to get assistance immediately, without needing to wait for a return phone call or an email response.
If you have multiple locations for your company, you’ll want to provide unique information for all of them. By sharing location-specific information about each store, your customers will be able to find contact information for the area relevant to them. This can lower the amount of times the customer needs to be transferred, ensuring they get accurate information the first time around.
Duncan Parnell offers a location and department search for its users. Not only can customers search for the location they’d like to contact, but they can also select the department they need. This search will then provide them with the exact person they need to connect with and the contact information they’re looking for.
If a customer comes to your website looking for your contact information, they don’t want to dig through page after page in order to find it. Keeping your contact information clearly displayed either in the footer of your site or in an easy-to-locate separate page can reduce the amount of time wasted on your customer’s end.
MailChimp clearly displays its contact link in the footer of its website, making it easy for customers to get in touch when they need to. After going through to the contact page, there are various topics the customer can choose, ensuring their message reaches the right department or customer service representative.
Many companies prefer to deal with their customer service inquires through email. While this is fine, you want to make it as easy as possible for your customers to send you a message. If they need to copy an email address, open their email app and type in the message, they may decide it isn’t worth the hassle. This is where having a contact form on your website can come in handy.
The messaging service Slack offers a contact form for customers to fill out when they need additional assistance. From this page, customers can input their email address and message and send it the same way as an email. However, the online form saves time and prevents them from needing to leave the original website.
Not all your customers are going to look at your website for a way to contact you. Many will turn to your Twitter or Facebook page to reach out. If you’re not available to answer questions, give advice or provide assistance on your social media pages, you could be missing out on an opportunity to connect with your target audience. Responding to messages and comments, and including your contact information on your page, can guarantee you connect with the right people.
Airlines such as Delta are constantly dealing with customer interactions on social media. Because it is much easier for a traveler to send a message through social media or an app they already have downloaded on their phones, they can get up-to-date information while they’re on the go. Scrolling through Delta’s timeline, you’ll see they respond to a lot of questions and concerns throughout the day.
Being accessible is important for companies of all sizes and in all industries. If you’re unable to help your customer when they need you, they’re going to become frustrated and move on to a competitor. Making it easy to reach you can guarantee you’re providing the best assistance possible to your target audience.
Consider what technique will work best for your customer or those who may need to reach you. By considering their needs and tailoring your contact process to their preferences, you’ll keep them happy and more likely to buy from you again.
Lexie Lu is a designer and writer. She loves researching trends in the web and graphic design industry. She writes weekly on Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner.
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