Appearing approachable a core element of any successful customer service campaign. These days, customers expect lightning-fast response times, as they’ve seen what’s possible in the world of eCommerce. With that in mind, it is absolutely essential that you get back with prospective customers who reach out to your company. Not only that—this needs to happen as quickly and as personable as possible.
Keep the following pointers in mind as you are looking for ways to appear more approachable to your online clients:
• Answer Emails Personally.
Successful business operations are going to generate a lot of queries, requests and general correspondence. To be fair, many of the inquiries that land in your inbox are going to be very similar, which means that you’ll be able to answer them by directing potential customers to an FAQ on the website or by replying to their email with a standard template email. This sort of generic response is going to be necessary to some extent. However, you can still personalize your responses by addressing the person by name and including a few note indicating that you actually read their email or message.
• Operate a chat line on your website.
On on-site chat line is a highly practical tool that allows your customers to get in touch with you (or one of your sales representatives) throughout the day with little or no hassle. All they have to do is type a query into the chat line, and someone from your company will get back with them promptly. A chat line is easy to maintain, as the responded can work remotely and address concerns without having to meet the person face-to-face. It’s a good idea to have a picture of the person responding to queries next to the chat line, as this personalities the experience and adds a more human touch.
• Keep the phone lines open 24/7.
We may live in a hyper-connected world with fantastic digital communications potential. Even so, your customers still expect to be able to reach you on the phone. The problem is that they have been spoiled by the instant gratification of the information age. In other words, if they call your office, they are going to expect to have someone there to respond to their queries regardless of the time of day. A telephone answering service by Message Direct or a similar company is a valuable tool for small to mid-sized companies that don’t have the labor force to man the phones at all hours. Services like this give your company a landline number that customers can call at any time of day. The responded will be a trained professional who is prepared to take messages and address basic queries on your company’s behalf.
• Update the company blog regularly.
The company blog serves a variety of purposes, not least to boost the visibility the business website and enhance its search engine rankings. However, the blog is also a channel through which you can reach out to fans, clients and target customers. When a person stops by your site and sees that the blog has not been updated in weeks, they’re going to have a sneaking suspicion that there’s really nobody behind the site taking orders and responding to queries. Simply remaining committed to a regular stream of useful and insightful content is going to make the company seem more accessible.
• Take advantage of social media.
An enormous percentage of your target and existing customers make regular use of social media platforms. Failing to take advantage of this is akin to pulling your company and its products out of their lives. Hire an expert consultant to help build social profiles for your company across several platforms. Then, designate one of your team members to regular update the profile. You can post links to the company blog posts on social media, and can even reach out to colleagues, customers and even competitors. Given your presumed expertise in your field, you may even want to look for opportunities to share insight, answer questions and otherwise lend a helping hand. Above all, take a personal approach to social media engagement, and be sure to respond to those who submit questions, comments and feedback.