Customer service on the web is possible, if not more geared up because of its 24/7 + 365 capabilities.
However, many small businesses with an e-commerce web site are still floundering whether they are doing it correctly or not.
While your inbound call center is buzzing with calls, the online business must be properly fueled to serve customers who prefer using your web site for product purchases.
If you are selling on the web, here are some of the things you need to remember or refresh:
1. Telephone numbers (we recommend 1 800 numbers) should be highly visible in the home page and possibly in ALL pages. Customers cannot miss them.
2. Live chat should be working and be manned by one of your inbound call center agents. If a customer is in middle of a research, it would be good to help him or her through the buying process especially that live chats can be opened as a separate window.
3. Indicate your office hours. Let the customers know your schedules especially during holidays and vacations. If customers are expecting answers within a specific timeframe, they will have an idea how soon they can expect a feedback.
4. Great and persuasive call to action statements hyperlinked to your Contact Us page for easy contact. Even if your Contact Us is a mail-to form, it is wise to indicate your e-mail address.
5. Update your product offers. If your web site is an e-commerce type, make sure that the status of a particular item is updated. If the item is out of stock and sold out, update that part ASAP. This is where complaints occur if the customer finds it and confirms to your call center.
6. Have a quick and easy check out process. No long and complex steps to follow. Keep it short and simple.
7. Send notification e-mails. Update your customers through e-mail confirming your receipt of their payment or status of delivery.
8. Immediate shipment. Deliver in 3 to 5 business days if possible. If delivery has a slight delay, offer something like a free item of the same or lower price.
9. Clear returns policy. Be explicit about indicating your company’s guidelines on returned items.
It is the ultimate goal of small business owners to adequately serve customers and knowing how positive they are with the product or service offers. There is a renewed sense of energy that drives us to move our enterprise a notch higher and we may need professional assistance to achieve this. To serve your customers powerfully, consider 2 choices: Setting up or outsourcing your online customer service to an inbound call center.