You fulfilled your dream of starting your own business. You are your own boss, you have a beautiful shop, and your beautiful, functional website and social media channels have all the right touches. You are confident that you have done everything possible to set yourself up for success. You have thought of everything, right? Next thing you know, the questions and comments come rolling in and you feel completely overwhelmed from an online customer service perspective.
This feeling is completely normal, but it’s also easy to relieve. The below steps will help you to put a process in place so that managing your online presence will be a breeze. After reading, be sure to scroll all the way down to see this information presented in an inforgraphic.
- Anticipate and prepare for frequently asked questions (FAQs)
It is typically most helpful to create a list of questions you believe you are likely to receive from potential customers (i.e. “Where can I find your products?”, “What materials do you use?”, “My product was broken when I received it, can I get a new one?”, etc.”. Once you anticipate these questions, build an easily customizable response to those questions so you can get back to the person in a quick and efficient manner while providing a thought-out response. After a few months, you can edit this list to better meet the needs of your audience – we recommend doing this at least once per quarter to make sure your responses stay relevant.
- Respond in a reasonable amount of time
Ease of communication is key when it comes to gaining loyal customers, especially online. Customers want to feel heard and understood. They also want to receive a timely response from you. The beauty of the online world is that everything is so easily available, but this means customers expect quicker responses. The most common guideline to response times is about 3 hours. Maintaining this overnight is difficult, and that’s okay as long as you catch up in the morning, and maintain a quick response time during business hours.
- Maintain your brand’s voice in your communication
Remember that your brand voice is 24/7. All elements of your business need to be in this voice for continuity. If you are a clever and witty brand, this needs to be communicated in your customer service too. Don’t let this voice keep you from giving better customer service, but rather, use it to your benefit and reinforce what attracted customers to your brand in the first place.
- Keep the conversation logical
While it is important to show your customers that you care about them and want to keep them happy, conversations can still become heated. It is important to keep emotion out of the communication unless absolutely necessary. Keep things factual, concise, and understanding. We also recommend taking an unhappy conversation from public to private from the start to keep reactions controlled. How you handle these heated conversations is likely the difference between a loyal customer and a lost opportunity.
Getting your business customer-service ready for the online space is no small task. It takes preparation and forethought, followed by consistent application, but you will be happy you did it. Gaining loyal customers becomes easy when they know they can count on you to be there for them!