No matter what your business is selling, regardless of the industry, the target audience, the vertical, the geography, or the combination of all the above, one thing remains central to it – and in fact, can make or break it. And that’s none other than offering the right levels of customer support to all your customers, as well as (or perhaps especially) prospective clients.
Getting it right is something with a double meaning. On one hand, you don’t want to leave anyone unsatisfied. But on the other, you need to balance offering customer support with the other aspects of your business. And do it all within the 24 hours of the day too.
Fortunately, in the past couple of years, a number of tools have been developed which have allowed businesses to offer support in much more efficient ways. So here are a number of tools for your business to consider.
Instant Messaging Through Social Media
Definitely, the most accessible and fast way to communicate with your customers is through instant messages. Many of them are already using social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn so they’re very likely to ask for support in this way. According to Hootsuite, “1 billion messages are exchanged between people and businesses every month on Facebook Messenger”.
The first thing you need to do is prepare a dedicated handle for customer support through social media, in order to inform your clients that they can reach out. Some businesses even create dedicated accounts to help their customers, as you can see in the example below.
The most important thing is that you should have prompt and concise responses. Otherwise, the person on the other end might not get a good impression. It’s very helpful to have ready-made responses to the most common questions or issues.
If you actively receive messages on more than one platform, you could consider using chat software with social media integration. This way, you have access to all your channels in one place in order to manage them efficiently and keep the conversations focused in one place.
These days people are familiar with chat and want it also in their more business-like or official functions. Chat is immediate and allows for that instant gratification both your customer and you want for them. It’s especially suited for quick and easy clarifications and in cases where waiting for a day to receive an email answer is not an option.
Live chat software is a great resource for eCommerce customer support since it stores essential customer data, such as the recently visited website pages or the funnel stage. This way, your support personnel can identify in a glimpse the main characteristics of the person they’re talking to and make sure to address their issues accordingly.
Video or Voice Calls
The most direct but also costlier (in time and money) is none other than allowing people to contact you over the phone, in Skype voice, or any other web conferencing software. While as immediate and direct as it gets it’s usually something very few companies can afford to spend time on. It might be worth doing at the beginning when every customer counts, or for very important/premium customers. Eventually, it’s a huge investment to offer facetime to all your clients. But it’s also the most effective (especially if combined with a screen sharing method of addressing customer problems).
Help Desk Software
Help Desk Software is the most advanced solution when it comes to eCommerce customer support. It encapsulates the essential knowledge that the customer service and IT teams use to serve customers. It involves setting up an initial knowledge base and creating a community around it. This community can essentially answer support questions for you. Anyone with an issue can refer to the knowledge base and find their answer instead of addressing your staff.
If that’s not possible they can ask the community forming around your business. And only if that fails too will they fall back on your employees’ (or your) precious time. Of course, creating that community is a challenge in the beginning. And sure you can miss some of that business along this funnel but the tradeoff of efficiency is worth a lost client here and there.
What to Remember
Ideally, all four approaches can be put in place so you can see what works better. In any case, certain customers are more comfortable with one method compared to the other. So it’s a good idea to support all four methods if possible.
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Ștefania Bulgaru is a Digital Marketer for Megaventory, the online inventory management system that can help medium-sized companies synchronize stock over multiple stores. She believes that good communication can solve almost any problem and she likes to stay up to date with the latest digital marketing technologies.