When visiting a retailer’s website, shoppers search for warranty information, pricing, specs/model information, payment/financing information, sales/discounts, availability and shipping information. You can provide all this information in details, and still customers will want to contact you before making a purchase, or after it. Make sure that you are able to assist your customers via all the channels below.
1. Phone support. It is the most popular way of contact. If you offer phone support, make sure that the phone is always answered during business hours, and use voice-mail for off-hours. You need to decide if you want to use a local telephone number, or a toll-free number, depending on the nature of your business.
2. Live chat support. It is the second most popular of contact for offline business. You can provide 24/7 chat support or use a virtual agent for offline hours. Live chat is more convenient when customers need to pass account details, links, screenshots and other information that can be hardly passed over the phone.
3. Email support works when an issue requires time for investigation, or when a case is not urgent. Still the sooner you reply, the better.
4. Facebook and Twitter. Many customers nowadays prefer using social media channels to contact a company. Since public messages are available, you must monitor these messages daily, and provide timely replies. Otherwise your potential customers may think that you do not care about customers inquiries.
5. Forums. It is good to have your own forum where customers may share their experience, but not every business really needs a forum on their website. There are a lot of independent forums dedicated to various topics. You need to find those that are related to your business, and become their contributor. This way you will be able to assist your customers, and also attract new clients.
Providing great customer service means being available for customers when and where they need you.