In a recent blog post for Daily Deal Media, Marc Horne addresses the importance of referrals in the online business world; According to Horne, “in today’s socially-connected world, referrals have an even greater ability to drive new customers.” The likelihood of your customers being connected to Facebook is very high meaning a positive recommendation can go a very long away. Keeping customers satisfied has become more important than ever and this post details the “3 primary ways to make your subscribers and customers happier, more loyal, and most importantly more likely to tell their friends about you.” By focusing on exceptional customer service and implementing a seamless referral program, you will be able to grow your userbase and simultaneously gain more revenue.
Read more of Marc Horne’s blog post, 3 Easy Ways to Increase Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty via DailyDealMedia.com
-Julia LaSalvia, Lexity
Need to build brand awareness, but not overly burdened with extra marketing funds? Most small business owners are in the same boat as you—which is why today’s recommended reading on brand awareness is Lauren Drell’s 8 Tips for Building Your Brand on the Cheap. Lauren suggests providing “Killer Customer Service” and “Collaboration” as inexpensive techniques for expanding your brand’s reach.
Read all of Lauren Drell’s tips in her article 8 Tips for Building Your Brand on the Cheap via www.mashable.com
Without seeing the products for themselves—in person that is—customers are oftentimes initially hesitant to make a purchase online. Adding a “live chat” feature, however, can easily solve this dilemma of last-minute hesitation and improve your site sales. Take, for example, this story posed by Armando Roggio (practicalecommerce)—”‘Laura’ wanted to buy a shirt for her husband, but did not understand how the color and size options worked on the retailer’s site. She liked the price and was pretty motivated, so she called an 800 number listed on the web page, a customer service representative helped her pick out a couple of nice plaids. A sale was saved.” If you realized that “Laura” didn’t engage in live chat, you’re absolutely right. Live chat, however, addresses this sort of issue just as well as (if not, better than) an 800 number.
To read more about how live chat can improve your site sales, check out Armando Roggio’s article, Live Chat Can Improve Service, Sales.
-Christopher Lin, Lexity
Linda Bustos (Getelastic.com, @getelastic) has recently shared an infographic detailing the perils of bad customer service shown below (click the image to view the infographic in full). Good intuition reminds you to prioritize keeping a customer happy. But how impacting is bad customer service?
“It costs significantly more to acquire a customer than keep one,” says Bustos. Sure, maybe you already knew that. Nevertheless, heed Bustos’s comment when she says bad customer service can lead to permanent effects on your online store. Regardless of the fact that you’re probably interacting with your customers through email, live chat or over the phone (as opposed to physically in-person), building strong customer relationships necessitates over-the-top customer service (i.e. going above and beyond).
Although only 8% of respondents in the infographic poll said they would post comments on social media sites after a positive experience, that 8% can still impact whether or not new or existing customers knock on your door. Providing a positive shopping experience encourages existing customers to want to share how positive their experience was. Take a look at the infographic to see more, and head off to Bustos’s article, How Consumers Respond to Bad Customer Service.
-Christopher Lin, lexity.com
Matt Winn, for @Volusion, released a short and insightful vlog entry a while back, detailing the parameters of how to develop good customer service through live chat. “Live chat” itself can easily set an online store apart from its competitors who only allow “contact by email.” After all, who wants to wait a day for a response?
If you do intend on using live chat, however, Winn recommends that you keep in mind both (1) the placement of your “live chat” option in your web page and (2) the consistency of your “live chat” services. Firstly, embed your live chat into the actual template of your webpage. Secondly, provide a consistent live chat time frame (for example: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 1PM-3PM PST).
This post has been intentionally short – to learn more (i.e. how best to use live chat), watch Matt Winn’s short video for onlinebusinessvolusion.com, 6 Easy Ways to Improve Customer Service with Live Chat.
-Christopher Lin, lexity.com