9 tips for online customer service management

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An unsatisfied customer will tell between nine and 15 people about the negative experience they have had. But as business and communication advance, so do our methods of providing customer relationship management that truly meets consumers’ needs.

Online customer service in the form of live chat is growing in popularity. According to our partners, ReachLocal, 44% of online customers say having questions answered live, by a person, during an online purchase is one of the most valuable features a website can offer. So is it time your business considered live chat as part of your web development and implementation strategy?

Customer relationship management takes many forms, both pre and post-sale. But with the advent of the internet and eCommerce, many of us were suddenly deprived of providing support as our customers shopped. With live chat offering us this missing link, it is important we get it right. Our digital and customer relationship management experts have devised a list of nine tips to help you implement live chat support within your business.

  • Provide comprehensive training and the right information to your customer support team. A team that can handle multiple chats simultaneously can save you time, money and improve efficiency.
  • Ensure your support is offered as many hours of the day as possible, but most specifically in your main shopping hours. Google analytics will be able to tell you what your busiest times of day are. This can increase sales, as customers can be talked through the sales process and have questions answered anytime, anywhere.
  • Ask your online customer support operators to collect feedback. Their live chats are a valuable opportunity to identify parts of the website that could be adapted to improve efficiency and usability. These insights can also give great ideas for blogs and ‘how to’ articles.
  • Encourage your operators to bring their personalities to work. People like online chat because it isn’t an automated phone message. Promote warm, human qualities in your teams.
  • Choose your online customer service team wisely — they are not only support operators but salespeople who should be able to cross and up-sell. Consider including sales experience as part of your job description when recruiting.
  • Integrate your communication strategy by asking operators to encourage satisfied customers to leave a message on FaceBook or other social media sites.
  • Enable a cue function but also let customers know where they are in the line so they don’t get frustrated. If you don’t do this, online chat can get confusing as customers may think it isn’t working or the operator has left the chat window.
  • Always remember accessibility. Like they can with an iBook, enable customers to change font size and display to make chatting more comfortable. Also provide the option to save a transcript as this conveys a message of transparency and accountability.
  • During web design and implementation, consider the best place to position your live customer support button so customers can easily see it.

At Platform Digital, we work with our clients to put in place the most effective approaches to customer relationship management. With our background in online customer support, we can help you choose the right live chat package for your business.

For more information about online retail and providing the best online customer support, please contact Platform on (02) 9911 7788.

Better Online Experiences™