Customer Service and the Internet

Great customer service has become much more important to businesses with the popularity and increased influence that the internet now has. The internet provides an instant outlet for customers to rant or rave about a specific product, service, or business. Though not just for consumers, the internet has made providing customer service a lot easier for a business. So, what do you need to be aware of when coupling the internet with your customer service? What kind of options should you be looking for? How exactly can you provide customer service? Let's take a look.

  • Accessibility 24/7/365 - At the very least you should have a website that has your business name and information on it. What you must keep in mind is that this then puts your business out there for consumers to access any time and any day of the year. Make sure you have a phone number, address, and hours of operation on your homepage in a place that all visitors can see. This way they'll know when and how they can reach you.
  • Contact Form - A contact form on your website is a simple way to collect information from curious visitors. This allows for your business to gain information about your potential customer and cater to the needs that they're specifying. Make sure the person who will provide the best customer service to their inquiry responds in a timely fashion.
  • Online FAQ - Have a Frequently Asked Questions page on your website. Look at your business objectively (consider having someone else help you with this) and see what questions they could have. Then, answer them in the easiest terms that you can. Doing this will save you and your customers time. There's nothing like finding a quick answer to a question!
  • Social Media - Services like Twitter and Facebook make publishing thoughts about a business utterly instantaneous. Make sure that you monitor these outlets for mentions of your brand, products and services. Social media is all about transparency, so be sure to address issues quickly and in the medium that they were initially voiced.
  • Google Alerts - Set up a Google Alert for your business. Each time your business is mentioned on the Internet, you will be notified via email. Keep track of what the online world is saying, and address any issues that may arise.

Your business can't hide on the internet. Once your name is out there, it is nearly impossible to take down. Positive remarks about your business could lead to new customers, increased sales, and more online buzz about your business. On the other hand, negative remarks on the Internet could prove deadly. Address negative remarks about your business immediately, offer to fix the issue and provide an incentive for continued business.

What's the best way to avoid negative remarks on the internet about your business? Provide excellent customer service from the start.