Make Your Customer Service Shine with These Marketing Tips
June 19, 2019
Customer service is as important in ecommerce as it is in brick and mortar shops; even more so, perhaps, due to the inability to see your shopkeeper in person. In fact, some online shops have no real form of communication with their customers, making it difficult to determine how friendly or helpful a brand is. This could be the deterrent to a new consumer considering a product or service from your business.
Having a plan in place to appease customers while still achieving the bottom line is the best plan of action for any business. So, how can you go above and beyond to show your customers that your brand has an ambassador who cares? Through social media, a few customer oriented marketing tactics and a keen knowledge of your target audience, you can revamp the way your outreach works. Try these tips to improve customer relationships and brand reputation.
Reply Quickly Even When You Can’t Be Live
One of the greatest tools the modern marketing world introduced to us is chatbots. These automated online helpers answer your messages when you can’t physically be there to do so. Whether you require a long drawn out auto reply, or quick FAQ response – chatbots can help. Working through your CRM dashboard, or other software tool, chatbots are programmed to deliver information to customers quickly and efficiently. This detracts from the possibility of missing a sale if your designated staffer leaves work at 5, but a client requires information at 6.
As a 24/7-hour service, there’s no fear of missing a chance to engage with a prospective client. Chatbots are a short-term solution to a big problem many businesses face online. Chatbots keep customers informed but shouldn’t be used as an ongoing solution during standard business hours. If a customer never gets the opportunity to speak with an actual employee, it dehumanizes your brand. This makes your company seem unapproachable and decreases the personal attributes which consumers find so attractive.
Reach Out Without Prompting
It’s not only when customers message your brand that you should engage with them. Reaching out to your consumers regularly keeps your brand relevant and promotes a personal connection. It’s important to keep these communications meaningful and minimal in terms of how often they are sent and what they say. Long winded emails which appear every day could be misconstrued as spam. It’s better to send one monthly newsletter or customer contact to extend an invitation to revisit your website or converse with your team.
Employing a newsletter signup on your website encourages customers to receive this contact. You can also engage with previous buyers through contact information left during the sale, to revisit past purchases and ask how they’re enjoying the product or service. This method of communication works two-fold: as a way of engaging the customer, and to receive feedback in the form of a review. The review can be used on-site as a promotional tool, or as analytical research for future production.
Acknowledge Critical Reviews with Positivity
The first thing any company wants to do when they see a bad review is delete it or turn tail and run. This is the opposite way to react if you’re looking for favorable results. It sounds corny, but if you consider each bad review as an opportunity to improve, it could better your customer service image. Consumers want to know they’re being heard, even when they’ve had a negative experience. Deleting a comment could lead to speculation that the company is avoiding something. Replying with something negative in return might seem confrontational or defensive. Rather than put any of these thoughts into a potential buyers’ head, it’s best to face the situation head on and with positivity.
The questions to ask yourself are:
- Why is the customer upset?
- Is a product or service of your brand at fault?
- Could you improve the outcome of this customer experience with an additional offer?
Even if a customer is upset through no fault of your company, a simple, “we’re so sorry you had a poor experience. We’d hope you’ll try our product again in the future so we can make it up to you”, goes a long way.
If your product or service was at fault, offering a refund, exchange, or discount on future products or services is usually the best answer. You’ll have to gage each situation individually.
The Customer is Always Right
Though it may appear that customer service is a dying industry in the ecommerce world, this notion couldn’t be farther from the truth. When companies use customer service strategies to better their brand, consumers notice. These are the differences that create greater brand awareness and online presence. With hundreds of thousands of businesses trying to make their mark in their respective industries, it takes a lot to stand apart.
Customer service has always been an important component to business. How you use it defines your brand. Whether you use the tips in this article or choose to invent your own, what’s important is that it’s present in your business plan. A great way to determine what makes great customer service great is by researching other strategies in your industry. Even a quick visit to a competitor site could show you how another brand is using social media and marketing efforts to their advantage in a way which benefits the customer as well.