These three online communications ailments will always poorly reflect on websites and brands, even with a great service.
Here are the problem makers, what they do, and how to heal them.
#1 – Take days or weeks to respond
No one likes to wait one hour to get a simple question answered. Very few people want to wait a week to get their question answered.
- I sent an email to XYZ website and they replied to my difficult and anxious question within 3 days. By the time I read the email, I was already in “damage control” resolution. Their help was a slap on a wound.
- I sent an email to a retailer that had a really great service, but they responded to my question 3 months later. They gave me a brief “We got your email” notice and then I never heard back from them.
- I went to ask for my service to be upgraded via the Live Chat feature, believing it would be faster than email. It took me 20 minutes to have a conversation it normally takes only 1 minute to have in person. I didn’t get an answer I could use and I had to resolve the issue using Google search. I won’t bother with “Live Chat” again!
Many sites’ communication standards are lacking. Customer queries are answered many days, and sometimes weeks, after a “ticket” has been submitted.
LIVE CHAT “CUSTOMER SERVICE”
If it takes 5 minutes for a single line of chat with customer service to be understood by the agent, it’s creating NEGATIVE feedback for the company or product.
Remove ‘Live Help Chat’ if this is the type of customer service experience your website currently provides. Most likely, instead of creating trust, it is causing frustrations.
Create a canned email that let’s the customer know you’re unavailable to write a detailed response at the moment and that you’ll assist them within 2-3 hours, 24 hours or 20 minutes.
Whatever you truthfully believe you can do, say that you will do it and then keep your word.
- Getting an actionable and effective answer to your customer within 1 hour of receiving their email will do astounding things for a web based business.
- Create many more Frequently Asked Questions sections, using different kinds of visual or interactive interfaces to guide people through their problems and questions quickly.
A. EXAMPLE CONFIRMATION OF RECEIPT EMAIL:
“Hello dear customer,
We received your email about [SUBJECT]. Please excuse our delay in responding to your question, we will make our best effort to answer your question within the next 10 hours. If your need is extremely pressing, please reach us by text or skype: for an answer within 1 hour.”
B. LATE RESPONDING TO A CUSTOMER EMAIL:
Apologize truthfully and explain how you will help them with the problem or question. Be cordial, gentle and kind.
#2 – Say you can’t help
The reason a contact form exists is so that people can ask for more information or help. If no effort is being applied to answer the customer’s need quickly, accurately and effectively, then there shouldn’t be a contact form on the site.
- “We can’t help because we don’t do that.” (subtext: This customer’s need isn’t worth our time.)
- “You have to be a paying Pro customer.” (subtext: Non paying customers don’t deserve equal treatment.)
When a new customer approaches your site with a question and they find that you don’t give them an adequate response, even a show of your best effort to resolve a complex question, you lose the confidence of your new customer.
- Not giving a “best effort” response leads to a loss of trust and confidence.
- If a website’s unique position in an industry brings customers with problems that are unique and complex – outside the scope of its current services, it should be seen as an opportunity to make relationships with new vendors, expanding it’s offerings to meet a broadening customer base.
DON’T do customer service emails or contact forms if they aren’t being done well.
Use a big FAQ page with sections and improve it frequently, including visual and interactive features to assist customers in self-servicing their needs.
#3 – Provide no actionable solution
Saying what the problem is and offering little actual proactive help is the same as patting a person on the back when they have a severe toothache.
Take them to a dentist by car!
If a customer has a problem, give them TEN solutions and suggest the very best 1-2 solutions, gently and kindly.
Offer to assist more than necessary so that they feel taken care of and loved.
Kindness will be truly beneficial –as it will have a profoundly positive rippling effect in the customer’s life.
Finally, as a symptom, conversions will go through the roof if you exceed customer service expectations and resolve ALL questions with ABOVE adequate responses.
- 300-800 word responses showing it took time to consider their email.
- Links and proactive help that directs and focuses or achieves actual resolution.
- If no resolution is provided, then a follow up and additional solutions must be presented.
- Don’t leave a good customer out in the cold, reach them and sincerely approach their problem as YOUR PROBLEM. : )
- Fix problems, don’t just answer emails.
- Enjoy helping.
There are a lot of things an entrepreneur can do to help make their website stand out: from creating delightful interfaces to using brisk, creative copy and providing users exciting, time-saving software solutions.
One of the best ways to cement a good reputation online is by providing great customer service experiences.
Great customer service on the web is elemental to helping any new online business succeed: neglecting it will result in dissatisfied customers with unanswered needs.
Answering emails quickly, politely, effectively and resolving problem tickets will give a website an outstanding position in the marketplace, where questions often go unanswered and some have to fend for themselves in seeking a resolution.
- Some CS solutions will require additional effort.
- For multi-employee websites, customer service training programs may be mandatory.
- The medicine for these ailments will increase and improve the quality of conversions, and improve return visitor rates.
- Applying strong efforts to online customer service communications will help each customer achieve their goals and be happy.