Most businesses accept that they can’t make 100% of people happy 100% of the time. Even though mistakes can and do happen, after accepting this fact of like, businesses need to have a customer service plan in place.
Unfortunately, with the general public’s increasing usage of the internet, anybody with an internet connection now has a platform to speak their mind. Businesses need to accept that customer service departments and internet marketing teams need to work together to ensure your company maintains good customer relationships and a good online reputation.
- Be seen to be helpful – if a customer comes through your social media channels to complain about a product or service this is not necessarily a terrible thing. Respond to unhappy customers promptly and reasonably. Even if potential customers are put off by another customer’s negative experience, demonstrating how well you can sort out any problems turns a negative in to a positive.
- Don’t delete negative comments unless they are offensive, illegal or profane. Many companies have faced criticism for doing this and it really isn’t necessary when you take the previous point in to consideration. Most people are sensible and will make a judgement about other customers who they think are being unreasonable so give customers some credit
- Use your website to nip customer complaints in the bud. You can do this by providing a free or low-rate telephone number to speak with someone in customer services but do make sure this number is prominently displayed, no one enjoys trailing through a website to find a contact telephone number and by making the process more complicated, customers are likely to become frustrated even further.
- Similarly, providing a contact email address which is checked regularly e.g. every 2 hours during office hours is also useful to customers who may not like using the phone.
- Part of a good internet marketing strategy for e-commerce websites is to encourage reviews. Ann Summers uses an external review website for many of their products and if a customer has made a purchase off the back of a review, they are likely to It is against many review website’s terms and conditions to explicitly request that customers submit good reviews. However, it is fine to contact customers using neutral language to encourage them to submit reviews about your products or services.
There are many more ways to incorporate your customer service into your online marketing strategy as the two are no longer exclusive of each other. If businesses keep the two departments regularly in contact and remain open to new ideas about improving customer service through internet marketing, there is no reason why your company (with support from an experienced internet marketing agency) shouldn’t lead the way by providing an example of how this can and should be done.