Quality customer service is one of the vital ingredients to differentiate a company from its competitors. For online businesses where personal interaction is limited, superior customer service is even more crucial. Here are why:
Experience is the key
Customers stay loyal to a brand not only because of the products but also because of the unique experience they have when interacting with the companies. It can be the way they are addressed, how their inquiries are attended to, how the company understands and recommends their favorite types of products, how their problems are solved, etc. For online businesses, providing great customer service experience is a real challenge as it is remote, more impersonal and intangible yet it is the only way to develop customer’s loyalty.
Online customers expect instant deliverables
Customers of online retailers usually demand clear, comprehensive and instant information, easy assess to many communication channels and a more sophisticated level of online interaction. In other words, online businesses need to be highly approachable and all deliverables have to be instant. Delay in correspondence is totally intolerant as Internet businesses are expected to run around the clock. Your customers can come from many territories with different time zones, therefore, there is no fixed operating hours and your service has to be truly restless. If your IT infrastructure and customer service do not commensurate with your customers’ expectation, you are out of the game.
Social media can dent reputation
Nowadays, when all sorts of information are available on the Internet (blogs, forums, social networks, etc…), a typical customer will likely search for the reviews of products or services before making decision to purchase anything online. Customer service, if not done right, will soon be badmouthed all around the social networks. Each of us all has at least a few social accounts at the same time: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and it is just so easy to post a complaint or a compliment on a product or a service provider. A significant percentage of customers will share their experiences this way and you cannot control them. Remember that it is easier for an online customer to turn elsewhere than customers in a physical shop as your competitors are just one click away.
To be continued..