If you’re an online seller, then you’re all too aware of the things you need to bear in mind when running a successful business. From fulfillment to translation, logistics to trying to grow your business overseas; there are many things to think about.
But of all of these considerations, there’s one thing that you can’t forget, and it’s right up there on the list of basics when running a business – excellent customer service.
Customer service can sometimes get lost with all of the other things that have to be dealt with, and its importance can sometimes be overlooked or underrated by some online sellers who feel that simply getting their goods to their clients is service enough. Also, staff numbers can be short and the workload high, and it may seem like there’s just no time to go the extra mile. However, finding the time to invest in your customers will pay dividends.
One mistake can destroy your reputation
There are now so many ways for a potential customer to research whether they should give you their business. Information is so readily available and with review sites, forums, social media comparison sites and more, you’ve got to cover all of your bases. That’s why every time you deal with a customer, they have to be looked after and given the best service possible. If they end up dissatisfied then you can be sure that people will get to hear about it, and that could seriously damage your reputation.
It’s just not worth the risk. Provide high levels of customer service every time, and you’ll protect your brand and your reputation.
Adopt a customer service policy that benefits the customer
Most online sellers have a customer service policy. However, many of these policies actually help sellers instead of customers. For example, no returns policies are only going to make your customer feel suspicious towards you and may put them off using your service again.
The reason online sellers put such policies in place is understandable to an extent. The fear of a customer using your product for free and then returning it is a valid one. However, the proportion of people who indulge in such untrustworthy behavior is small. Most of your customers will be honest and decent, and those needing to make a return will have a genuine reason. Adapt a customer policy that actually helps your customers out, rather than yourself, and send out the message that you are completely committed to providing great service.
What else can you do?
There are plenty of other ways to use customer service as a vehicle to maintain a more successful business.
You can start by sincerely apologizing if you make a mistake, then work really hard to make it right. Your response to a complaint can end up with the client loving you and telling all their friends about your excellent client service.
Find out what your customers are saying about you and your service, and put right any issues that come up. Checking and following up on all of your customer feedback is incredibly important. Also, check out what your competitors are doing and see if their levels of success are linked to the online sentiment surrounding their business. If you’re lucky, your business will be able to learn from their mistakes and mimic their success.
Have a telephone number displayed loudly and proudly on your website. Nothing gives customers greater peace of mind than knowing there’s someone at the end of a phone line to help them if there’s a problem. World First goes one step further by promising that a real person will answer every call within three rings. Along with their pledge to provide great exchange rates, their customer service is core to the success of the business.
Once you’ve nailed customer service, enter some awards that will back up your claim that your levels of service are as great as you say they are. When you win one, stick the logo on your homepage and give your company greater credibility.
Put customer service at the core of your offering
By getting on the customer’s side, you’ll get them on yours too. By investing in your customers, you could end up with brand champions on your hands, which will have made the effort well worthwhile.