Owing to rapid growth of digital technologies and wider availability of cheap, fast internet service the customers are more empowered than ever before. Amidst stiff competition, businesses need to utilize every possible means to woo new customers while retaining existing lot. However, aggressive marketing campaigns and lucrative discounts are not going to be enough to win the customers. This is what most companies resort to nowadays. To get an edge over segment rivals, your company has to offer exceptional support to the customers. Since most companies have online presence, offering quality online customer support has become a prerequisite for survival and long term growth.
Effective ways to improve your brand’s online customer support
The existing and prospective customers visiting your brand website should be given excellent quality service. This makes them feel privileged and they will return to your site for future shopping needs. Top notch customer service also helps build positive brand image.
Listed below are the top tried and tested ways to enhance online customer support for your company:
Time matters a lot- help the customers save time
The majority of customers visiting your company site are short pressed for time. One of the reasons people love online shopping is the time saving they can obtain. Same can be said about the first time buyers. The customers also expect the support given by your company to be prompt and they will not put up with delay. So, you should make sure the customers do not have to wait for long when they want to contact the company’s customer support. This can be done in many ways.
First of all, there should be many ways of seeking customer support online. Phone based support is passé and so you should try to offer email and live chat based support. The latter is more effective in saving time both for the agents and the customers.
The phone support setup should be equipped with modern IVR system where the waiting delay is minimized.
A standard time should be set for email based response system, and your support staffs should adhere to that timing.
Using feature rich cloud based helpdesk software can be useful for saving time for both parties.
The online support should not be mechanical
While the customers expect your company’s online customer support to be prompt- they will not be much pleased if your staffs adopt robotic, mechanical approach. Whether it is through email or live chat, the agents should adopt suitable response approaches to make the customers feel good. Most of the times, the customers contact for lodging grievances and they are likely to be worried and stressed. A robotic response from the agents is not ideal to calm them down. Based on the situations, the agents can respond in fitting manners and occasionally using a touch of light humor can work too- especially in live chat. They should be especially careful when interacting with loyal customers online.
Ensure the customers are answered at all times
You can never predict when the customers are likely to contact your company’s customer care section- for various needs. You would not want a section of such customers to leave without getting any response when they contact the support team. This can happen if the customers try to contact when the support agents are offline or it is a holiday. In such situations, resorting to advanced technological means can be ideal. You can equip the live chat setup with chat bots. The chat bots can be pre programmed to answer to basic queries of clients when the agents are not available. This will ensure no customer leaves the site without getting response.
Asking the customers for suggestions and feedbacks can work
You may have deployed all possible means to ensure the customers get top notch support online. However, it is prudent that the customers are asked for suggestions as well as feedbacks. The suggestions may not necessarily be restricted to products and services of your brand. The customers can also be asked about support improvement possibilities and areas that can be made better etc. This can be done by adding a small survey at end of each live chat session. You may use a few questions with answers given in multiple choice format. The feedbacks collected from the customers can later be analyzed and changes can be deployed later.
Making the support options easily visible in the site
Your company may offer various means of online customer support. However, it is quite important that the site visitors- including regular customers and first time visitors, can find the support options without hassle. So, the site should be designed in such a way that the customers can find the contact information and options without much delay. The live chat button should be located in a position that is easily identifiable. The links to email and help line number should be accessible from every page of the site. It would be a good idea to give a bright color to the live chat icon or button so that it stands out against the background of the page easily.
Other ways to enhance online customer support
There are some others ways using which the online customer support system can be improved. These are:
Offering pro active assistance-While the customer support section is there to resolve customer queries and answer their grievances, it can be used for some other ways too. Sometimes, the agents can offer pro active assistance to the customers and site visitors, based on situations.
For example – the agents can offer suggestions and assistance to first time site visitors if those visitors keep browsing specific sections of the website for a period of time. Some such site visitors may actually be curious but lack motivation to contact the support team through chat or phone.
Sometimes, offering pro active assistance to the visitors and returning customers can help in thwarting instances of shopping cart abandonments. The visitors sometimes leave loaded shopping cart because they face some problems before or during the checkout process. They may have doubts on issues like payment and delivery too. At this juncture, the agents can offer assistance in a pro active manner through live chat and help those shoppers complete the process.
Make the online support provisions mobile friendly- A major section of your customers are probably using mobile devices to access the site and they will use such devices to contact the support team too. So, the online support provisions should be mobile compatible too. This is especially applicable for live chat as it is preferred by a huge number of people these days.
Offering a detailed FAQ section- A section of the customers may like troubleshooting minor issues without calling up the customer support team or shooting emails to them. To cater to need of this lot, the FAQ section should be developed with care. It should be extensive and links to relevant websites and online resources (including e-books, white papers and videos) should be present.
Summing it up
Enhancing quality of online customer support is not tedious. By focusing on the customer needs and using advanced technological means like cloud based helpdesk software, you can retain existing customers and woo new ones.