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6 Effective Ways to be Awesome at Customer Service

6 Effective Ways to be Awesome at Customer Service

Even if you master every single digital marketing technique out there whether it be sales, copywriting, SEO, e-mail marketing, or the rest—they’re not worth a cent if you consistently drop the ball on Customer Service or client relations. Indeed, as an entrepreneur, this is an area that you must pay close attention to – at least – if you want to be successful.

There is truth in the idea that a pleased client may tell two, three, or maybe even four other people, but a dissatisfied customer will tell 10! So, it pays to keep your customers happy; this is particularly the case when you operate a service company with an online presence.

Online, an unsatisfied consumer will not only tell ten individuals; they could easily tell many times more. In fact, in the digital age disgruntled customers can write a lengthy rant on their personal blogs, post comments to other people’s websites, share unfavorable reviews of your service online, or criticize you on forums and message boards. The damage can be very far reaching on the world-wide web.

Adding to the problem, when a client posts something online, getting rid of it can be difficult, if not impossible. Accordingly, the negative feedback will be there for every prospective client to see with a simple internet search.

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Great customer care might cost you some time and money, but bad customer service, whether in person or online could cost you masses of prospective buyers. It is tough to repair a bad reputation and in fact, can cost a lot more that what is required to maintain good customer relations.

Numerous studies reveal that building excellent customer care into your business operations increases a company’s effectiveness along with its sales. Here are a few simple ways to help you improve your customer service with the use of the internet:

1. Automate Your Sales Procedure to Keep Clients in The Loop

Use autoresponders to thank your customers for their order, invite them to your opt-in e-mail list, and send them confirmations and other transactional e-mails to update the client on the service status. Consumers are expecting this form of information and believe that it is an essential part of business courtesy. The problem is that not every service provider invests the time to make sure that they inform their clients on every step of the sales process.

You can add an element of surprise to these customer-service emails by providing a coupon for their next purchase or giving them valuable information on the service they just. Additionally, you want to make an inquiry of the customer as to whether they were satisfied with the service. The common mistake that service companies make is assuming that this type of detailed customer relations is for business selling and shipping a product.

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This kind of follow-up could ease any possible buyer’s remorse and facilitate positive feedback about your service even if there was an issue.

2. Develop an Extensive FAQ Page

A Frequently Asked Question page answers most of the concerns individuals might have about your service. It is also good to develop a FAQ email address and track the issues of your customers and visitors to your site. You can then use this database of information to put together your FAQ page.

When you take the time to address the common question, you free up more of your staff’s time to address other issues efficiently and faster. The quicker you handle customer’s concerns about your service, the more impressed they will be with your business.  A Pelorus Group study discovered that a shocking 42 percent of websites take five days or longer to react to clients. Don’t let this be you.

Even the angriest consumer can develop into dedicated clients if you take note of them, acknowledge your mistake, and fix their issue.

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3. Make It Easy for Prospects and Customers to Contact You

There will be times when a customer wants to talk to someone or email a representative. So, do not hide your contact information away in a dark corner of your site, and always offer contact information in every message you send out to clients or prospects.

You may also want to develop a customer support page on your site that includes your relevant contact information. However, the worst thing you can do as a service company with an online business appears like you’re hiding or simply don’t care.

4. Personalize Email Messages

When sending out emails to your clients, use your customers’ name in the email subject line and the body of the message. Customized messages have almost twice the click-through rate compared to bulk e-mail.

A service company can customize emails in the following ways:

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  • Individualizing emails with names and other info you have about the client or prospect.
  • Sending customers birthday, anniversary, or special celebration deals.
  • Sending out emails of new items you know they’ll have an interest in base on previous purchase.

The more information you have about your clients, the much better you can serve them with laser-targeted offers, thank-you messages, and information that pertains to their needs and wants.

This is where your e-mail management software makes your life simpler. It can do most of the work for you, so you can spend more of your time thinking of marketing your business online.

5. Ask Your Consumers How You Can Serve Them Better

People enjoy taking short surveys, and the customer satisfaction is rated higher amongst people who are invited to give their opinion. Simply asking what your consumers desire and how you can make your service much better makes them feel special.

6. Acting Upon Their Tips and Enhancing Your Customer Service Is the Gravy!

Excellent customer care does not need to cost much. You don’t have to spend a fortune distributing complimentary products or large discounts. However, not paying attention to the needs of your customers and potential clients can lead to a damaging online profile.

Try to incorporate different ways to use the internet to your company’s advantage. As mentioned above, if you do it properly you can improve your customer relations as a service company.

Featured photo credit: lineshapespace.com via cdn.lineshapespace.com

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How to Fight Information Overload

How to Fight Information Overload

Information overload is a creature that has been growing on the Internet’s back since its beginnings. The bigger the Internet gets, the more information there is. The more quality information we see, the more we want to consume it. The more we want to consume it, the more overloaded we feel.

This has to stop somewhere. And it can.

As the year comes to a close, there’s no time like the present to make the overloading stop.

What you need to do is focus on these 4 steps:

  1. Set your goals.
  2. Decide whether you really need the information.
  3. Consume only the minimal effective dose.
  4. Don’t procrastinate by consuming too much information.

But before I explain exactly what I mean, let’s discuss information overload in general.

The Nature of the Problem

The sole fact that there’s more and more information published online every single day is not the actual problem. Only the quality information becomes the problem. This sounds kind of strange…but bear with me.

When we see some half-baked blog post we don’t even consider reading it, we just skip to the next thing. But when we see something truly interesting — maybe even epic — we want to consume it. We even feel like we have to consume it. And that’s the real problem.

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No matter what topic we’re interested in, there are always hundreds of quality blogs publishing entries every single day (or every other day). Not to mention all the forums, message boards, social news sites, and so on. The amount of epic content on the Internet these days is so big that it’s virtually impossible for us to digest it all. But we try anyway.

That’s when we feel overloaded. If you’re not careful, one day you’ll find yourself reading the 15th blog post in a row on some nice WordPress tweaking techniques because you feel that for some reason, “you need to know this.”

Information overload is a plague. There’s no vaccine, there’s no cure. The only thing you have is self-control. Luckily, you’re not on your own. There are some tips you can follow to protect yourself from information overload and, ultimately, fight it. But first…

Why information overload is bad

It stops you from taking action. That’s the biggest problem here. When you try to consume more and more information every day, you start to notice that even though you’ve been reading tons of articles, watching tons of videos and listening to tons of podcasts, the stream of incoming information seems to be infinite.

Therefore, you convince yourself that you need to be on a constant lookout for new information if you want to be able to accomplish anything in your life, work and/or passion. The final result is that you are consuming way too much information, and taking way too little action because you don’t have enough time for it.

The belief that you need to be on this constant lookout for information is just not true.

You don’t need every piece of advice possible to live your life, do your work, or enjoy your passion.

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So how to recognize the portion of information that you really need? Start with your goals.

1. Set your goals

If you don’t have your goals put in place you’ll be just running around grabbing every possible advice and thinking that it’s “just what you’ve been looking for.”

Setting goals is a much more profound task than just a way to get rid of information overload. Now by “goals” I don’t mean things like “get rich, have kids, and live a good life”. I mean something much more within your immediate grasp. Something that can be achieved in the near future — like within a month (or a year) at most.

Basically, something that you want to attract to your life, and you already have some plan on how you’re going to make it happen. So no hopes and dreams, just actionable, precise goals.

Then once you have your goals, they become a set of strategies and tactics you need to act upon.

2. What to do when facing new information

Once you have your goals, plans, strategies and tasks you can use them to decide what information is really crucial.

First of all, if the information you’re about to read has nothing to do with your current goals and plans then skip it. You don’t need it.

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If it does then it’s time for another question. Will you be able to put this information into action immediately? Does it have the potential to maybe alter your nearest actions/tasks? Or is it so incredible that you absolutely need to take action on it right away? If the information is not actionable in a day or two (!) then skip it. (You’ll forget about it anyway.)

And that’s basically it. Digest only what can be used immediately. If you have a task that you need to do, consume only the information necessary for getting this one task done, nothing more.

You need to be focused in order to have clear judgment, and be able to decide whether some piece of information is mandatory or redundant. Self-control comes handy too … it’s quite easy to convince yourself that you really need something just because of poor self-control. Try to fight this temptation, and be as ruthless about it as possible – if the information is not matching your goals and plans, and you can’t take action on it in the near future then SKIP IT.

3. Minimal Effective Dose

There’s a thing called the MED – Minimal Effective Dose. I was first introduced to this idea by Tim Ferriss. In his book The 4-Hour Body,Tim illustrates the minimal effective dose by talking about medical drugs. Everybody knows that every pill has a MED, and after that specific dose no other positive effects occur, only some negative side effects if you overdose big.

Consuming information is somewhat similar. You need just a precise amount of it to help you to achieve your goals and put your plans into life. Everything more than that amount won’t improve your results any further. And if you try to consume too much of it, it will eventually stop you from taking any action altogether.

4. Don’t procrastinate by consuming more information

Probably one of the most common causes of consuming ridiculous amounts of information is the need to procrastinate. By reading yet another article we often feel that we are indeed working, and that we’re doing something good – we’re learning, which in result will make us a more complete and educated person.

This is just self-deception. The truth is we’re simply procrastinating. We don’t feel like doing what really needs to be done – the important stuff – so instead we find something else, and convince ourselves that “that thing” is equally important. Which is just not true.

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Don’t consume information just for the sake of it. It gets you nowhere.

In Closing

As you can see, information overload can be a real problem and it can have a sever impact on your productivity and overall performance. I know I have had my share of problems with it (and probably still have from time to time). But creating this simple set of rules helps me to fight it, and to keep my lizard brain from taking over. I hope it helps you too, especially as we head into a new year with a new chance at setting ourselves up for success.

Feel free to shoot me a comment below and share your own story of fighting information overload. What are you doing to keep it from sabotaging your life?

(Photo credit: Businessman with a Lot of Discarded Paper via Shutterstock)

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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