Do you know what your customers think of your business? If you don’t know, you might need to find out because what they are saying could be affecting your bottom line (sales).
The Importance of Customers
Without customers you don’t have a business, because customers are the backbone of any business, this includes businesses online and offline. Customers want to be treated in the same fashion online as those offline, just as if they walked into an actual store and experienced it.
When developing your businesses online strategies, your online marketing and business website, don’t neglect to look at including some customer service aspects. Because potential customers don’t normally get to touch, test and lay their hands on products first, customers are shrewder in online dealings. They look for certain reassurances before they will buy a product and unless you provide such reassurances and act on feedback quickly, you won’t close the sale. This calls for more vigilance on your part.
The Viral Nightmare
Imagine not paying attention to this detail and the word spreading across social media and the internet that you are not a reliable business owner. Can you imagine how hard it would be to recover from a cascade of negative talk?
On the flip side of this, word of mouth advertising can be good but not if there is poor customer service. A wronged customer will often vent to whoever will listen and lots of people are often ready to jump on the bandwagon, even if your business was not necessarily the one they had a bad experience with.
Most people are smart enough to check a business out online, nowadays. Especially with a struggling economy, no one wants to waste money on poor products or services. Whether it is a restaurant, retail store, website promoted on the radio or television or your typical business website, people want to hear what is being said. Scathing reviews of your customer service, products or services will be read by others, and people can easily find somewhere else to spend their money.
If you Google a specific company you are interested in purchasing items from, others may have already written reviews on their blogs that you can access and read. As a business owner you don’t have the influence that your customers have, nowadays. So the best course of action is to treat them all the same and offer great customer service.
Another viral outlet are social media websites. Here, one person is connected with hundreds of others and one negative post and link about your business could reach 500 or more eyes in an instant. If they forward it on to their friends and then them on to theirs, you see where this is going, don’t you?
No one expects a business not to mess up from time to time, the problem is most often the solution to these problems. It is often best to take all negative feedback to heart and to take the temperature of your customers. If you have a blog, offer a virtual suggestion box, if you have a customer support ticketing system in place, give it priority. Encourage customers to come to you with their concerns and problems because you are dedicated to offering better products and services. And, correspond with your customers often so that they know that you care about what they have to say.
Empathize with customers, never argue with them… in fact remember “to win an argument with a customer is to lose that customer,” take this to heart even if you feel you are right. Head off poor testimonials that can negatively impact your sales by offering quality customer service and a solution to all problems in the beginning. By doing so, you’ll get less negative feedback and by acting openly and honestly with the feedback you do get, you can often turn a negative into a positive and turn a customer into a long term loyal customer.