Managing online business requires different skills and abilities than managing a business in the 'real world.' Customers can easily detect the size and determine the prestige of a business when they have the ability to walk in and take a look around.
Not only do 'real-world' furnishings and location tell the customer what level of professionalism to expect, but "real world" personal encounters allow first impressions to be determined by how the business approaches its customer service.
Client service is the service provided to the customer for his satisfaction during and after the purchase. It is necessary to every business organization to understand the customer needs for value added service. So, customer data collection is essential. For this, a service is important.
The easiest way to lose a client is because of the poor service. The importance changes by product, industry, and customer. Client service is an important part of every business organization. Each organization is different in its attitude towards customer service.
It requires a superior quality service through a careful design and execution of a series of activities which include people, technology, and processes. The service starts with the design and communication between the company and the staff.
In some ways, the lack of a physical business location allows the online business some leeway that their 'real world' counterparts do not enjoy. Location is not important, furnishings are not an issue, and most of the visual first impression is made through the professional design of the business website.
However, one thing still remains true. Customers will make their first impressions on the service they encounter. Unfortunately, in online business, there is no opportunity for front-line staff to make a good impression.
Website Design for Easy Access
In planning a web business, there is often, much thought given to the professional graphics and to the design of the site. Certainly, good graphics and a professional layout are extremely important to the client's view regarding the reputation of the online business.
Many times, customers have to roam the entire site seeking a "contact us" link. Worse yet, many businesses fail to monitor the correspondence that they receive from their website, leaving unhappy customers to either fend for themselves or choose to buy elsewhere.
Most often, if the customer cannot get the information they desire in a timely manner, they will move on to another online business and buy what they want there. Lack of instantaneous contact loses many sales. When planning the design of a website, or when amending the design, it is important to keep your customers' need for contact at the forefront.
The biggest difference in shopping experience between purchasing goods online and buying them at a 'real world' store is not the better deals which can often be found online, but rather to the dismay of most online retailers, the lack of a real world person to answer questions and assist in the buying process.
It is important that online business owners spend some time creating a service plan that will provide immediate, accurate and reliable answers to the customers' questions. Once a plan is made, it is important that each and every web page have a prominent, working link that provides the customer with a timely response to their questions.
Outsource Online Service Provider
Many online business owners automatically think that providing ongoing and speedy access to customers' concerns is too costly a venture to undertake.
However, studies have shown that it takes ten times the advertising revenue to get ONE customer as it does to keep one that has landed on the business site. Keeping this in mind, it is far too costly not to provide quick answers that will satisfy clients. There are many ways to provide client satisfaction and great service.
If the business is run by just one or two people, consider enabling chat or text message functions so that the customers can speak with a representative directly. Simply by adding a "chat" button on the website that links to a representative's text message or IM, the customer will feel looked after.
In this case, locating freelance assistants to answer questions that may come via this route is a fairly inexpensive matter. Adding a contact service like this will not cost anything in new technologies.
Only with an efficient talent management system, an organization can manage training logistics, monitor the customer, partner participation and performance, increase profits, increase product awareness, and customer satisfaction.
The relation building with the customer should not be without the customers' consent. Satisfied customers will talk positively about the business. Hence, word-of-mouth advertising is an effective form of promotion. The client service which exceeds the customers' expectations is superior service. It is a major factor in getting a lion's share of the business.
If the business is too large for one or two people to handle client services well, research online "Help" desk businesses (such as Getahelpdesk.com), which provide 24 hour, rapid assistance for online customers. Once again, the cost of such services is insignificant when compared to the business lost by poor service and client miscommunication.
Companies or organizations appoint representatives trained for the job. These customer executives are responsible to ensure proper service or help and concerns received by customers. The executives should interact with the customers, to provide information of products and services and also to handle and solve complaints or problems related with the products.
The executive should solve the complaints according to the guidelines of the business organization or the company. These executives can help the customers for deciding the type of product that is best suited to their needs.
The executives can help the customer in completing the purchases and the transactions related to the purchase. Good communication skills and problem solving ability are the essential skills needed for a customer care executive. The executives play a vital role by standing as an intermediate between the company and the customers.
Important Factors to Consider in Customer Service
- Hire people or executives with a service attitude. Hire those people who enjoy serving others, their employer and even their communities.
- Every time shared with a customer should be considered as an experience.
- A representative must know the happenings or changes inside the company.
- Every decision should be made keeping the customer in mind so that it is easy to make the customer approve any new business or launch.
- At every staff meeting, make it a point that the customer has importance.
- Continuously improve and add value.
- The employer should encourage the employees to do the right thing.
- Create and atmosphere of excellence.
- Do things unexpected or some thing different and exciting.
- Customer should be contacted only by a trained employee.
- A welcoming environment should be created for the customers.
- Be sure that there is enough staff.
- Listen carefully to the customer and also offer enthusiastic practical help.
- Practice courtesy and respect.
- Take both positive and negative feedback for improvisation.
- Readily accessible and always available for the customer.
- Timely service.
Online business is still in its infancy, especially when compared to centuries of "real world" trading, bartering, and selling which has taken place. While 'real world' solutions will not fit every online business concern, both types of businesses become successful only when their top priority is client satisfaction.
Internet businesses may struggle to find the best solution to close gaps in client service (such as poor response times), but new ideas and services are rapidly being developed to help online businesses succeed in their goals.
By taking the time to research online service possibilities, taking advantage of developing internet technologies (such as Skype) and by re-visiting the website designs frequently, online business will no doubt become better responders to their clients' needs and customers' satisfaction.