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Customers Logging Off? How to Improve Your Online Customer Service

Providing customer service online requires the use of a different medium, but the philosophies that guide in-person support remain firmly in place. For online stores seeking to build positive relationships with their customers and clients, the importance of effective and personal online support cannot be stressed enough. Fortunately, effective customer service can be achieved by adhering to a few simple principles.

Stay Simple

Customer service isn't just about being available when needed, but knowing when to stay out of customers' way. Good content is a service in itself, and as such it is important to keep online content streamlined and easy to understand. Documentation, tips, FAQs and video tutorials will help customers take care of their own needs while freeing up representatives to deal with misunderstandings as they come. Customers, especially online shoppers, are busy people who prefer to get what they need as quickly as possible. Online merchants can best accommodate customers by being out of the way when they aren't needed and immediately available when they are.

Maintain Transparency

Customer support representatives should be as open and honest as they can without sacrificing an expected level of professionalism. Customers will be more upset if they are given a chain of incorrect responses and delay tactics than if representatives simply inform them if they are unsure about a question and provide a reasonable time frame to find the answer. With strong preparation, these incidents will be rare, but dealing with them humbly will save customers a great deal of frustration.

Understand Consumer Needs

One of the simplest ways to stay effective is to know what customers typically need help with. A machinist for an online CNC machine shop says being prepared for common questions makes it substantially easier for specialists to offer prompt and knowledgeable answers to customers. All online customer service needs to be consistently helpful in order to make a strong impression on a community, and the key to consistency is preparedness.

Make Every Experience a Positive One

Online stores can salvage potentially bad or even just acceptable customer experiences by providing surprise incentives and rewards for staying loyal. Few things will smooth over a negative experience or solidify a new relationship like a free gift or discount will.

When leveraged correctly, customer support is not just a troubleshooting tool, but a cornerstone of brand establishment strategy. Satisfied customers will provide excellent publicity and support if they are treated well every time they engage a business.

Emma Sturgis

About Emma Sturgis

Emma is a freelance writing currently living in Boston, MA. She writes most often on business and technology. When not writing, she enjoys watching old movies and rock climbing

Emma Sturgis

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