Social media has changed everything.
In your personal life, you have Facebook to keep up to date with your friends, so you're less likely to be on the phone to them or meet up for the latest gossip.
The same is happening in the business world.
More and more companies are ditching customer care phone lines for FAQs and difficult to navigate forums. Rather than getting an answer in minutes, you are now sent round and round the houses following a multitude of links until you give up.
In this increasingly disconnected connected world, there's one simple thing you can do to stand out from your competitors.
We want to talk to you
Too many companies are hiding behind their websites.
Many don't publish phone numbers or email addresses. Now if you want to get in touch with them they offer forums or FAQs. There's no human contact anymore.
What have they got to hide?
If you want to be seen as different, make sure you welcome your customers with open arms. Give them numerous ways to get in touch with you:
- Phone number
- Email address
- Physical address
- Live chat
Let them choose their preferred method of contact and show them you're a company that wants to talk to them.
Customer service comes first
It seems to me as though all businesses worry about today is having the flashiest website out there.
They want to be innovative and 'cool' by jumping on the bandwagon of the latest design fad.
Granted, it pays to stay current, but not at the expense of your relationships with your customers.
By all means be active on Facebook and Twitter (and any other social channel that takes your fancy), but make sure you monitor them as they are also a favourite way of getting in touch with companies - especially when something goes wrong.
Even though your customers love the convenience of shopping online, they still want the human touch.
If you can combine a great online experience with excellent customer service, you'll be on to a winner.
That means being accessible to your clients and having real people ready and waiting to chat with them and help them whenever needed.
Don't make your customers hunt high and low for a way of getting in touch with you. Have your contact details prominently shown on your site and make sure you answer your phone or respond to your emails quickly.
Most people still want old fashioned customer service but wrapped up in the 'I want it now' culture that the internet has made possible.
Stop hiding and start helping.
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