Providing seamless and memorable customer service should be the end goal of your online business structure.
Unlike a bricks and mortar store that rely on face-to-face interaction to support customer satisfaction, your online business has to run in a way that leaves visitors happy with the experience from welcome to check-out!
This requires having a sound structure and some fundamentals in place, no matter what niche or who your target audience is. You can consider your website as the gatekeeper between your visitors giving up their email addresses or opening their wallets! Like a gatekeeper, it has to be convinced that you are worthy of their time and the experience you provide will help them decide.
Here is a list of 5 things you must have in place to create a memorable experience for visitors to your online business:
- Fast load times: if your website is not loading quickly on every browser and device, changes are many of your visitors have given up and left. If your site is running on the WordPress platform like this one, installing Cache plugin will help. I use Quick Cache
- Clarity: visitors should be able to tell what your business offers by taking a quick, cursory glance at your home page.
- Easy navigation: navigation around your site should be easy and relatable and there should always be an easy way for visitors to return to the home page.
- Browser friendly: Be sure that your website loads correctly across all browsers. You can check at www.browsershots.org
- Mobile friendly: Since it is likely many people will get access to your site on a mobile device, using a responsive theme is no longer an option.
The website browsing is just a part of the customer experience. Once a visitor to your site decides to engage, the experience that follows will determine just how memorable and valuable the engagement will be.
Here are 5 things to help deliver a memorable customer service experience:
- Easy way to connect: most websites have a contact form but you should also provide other options to be contacted. A direct email link or social media profile where they can post questions or concerns. Be sure you are set up for notifications so you can respond in a timely manner.
- Get value: providing visitors free or affordable content that can solve or address an issue, without having to involve a person, and without having to give up their first-born, is a proven strategy to encourage engagement. BUT, making sure all the pieces are in place is key: e.g. using a simple sign-up form that leads to the seemless delivery of the content etc.
- Opportunity to ask for help: it surprises me how many people never follow-up with people who engage with them either through joining a list or making a purchase. Your structure should include a series of follow-ups that reminds your contacts of ways you can help. Afterall, isn’t that why they engaged with you in the first place? Using an automated auto-responder system is a great way to carry out this.
- Clearly defined expectations: One of the biggest mistakes business owners make, especially those of us in the business of providing services etc. is overpromising. Be realistic about timelines and your level of expertise then make sure you follow them or communicate any delays ahead of time. Managing deadlines can be challenging so using effective project management tools can be the difference between success and disaster. A few that I like are Trello, Google Calendar and Basecamp.
Naturally this list is not exhaustive but just implementing this 4 things can go a long way in turning your contacts into long-term customers and supporters.