A common mistake that entrepreneurs make when they build their website is that they make it hard for visitors to figure out how to contact them. This is kind of counterproductive. If your customers and prospects cannot contact you via your website or via some other way, they will get frustrated. They might not buy from you, or they might not buy from you again if they already did. They’ll leave the experience being frustrated.
Some of your audience may prefer to pick up the phone if they need help; others will prefer email. Here are eight ways that your customers may want to contact you.
If you’re a particularly small business, this might seem intimidating. However, today there are ways to create a phone line for your customers to call and leave a message. Tell them on the message that you’ll return their call within a specified time, and give them other ways to reach out in the message too. When you’re ready, you can hire a call center a lot less expensively than you may think.
Email / Ticket System
Set up a special customer service email so that people can get a response fast. Most customers and prospects want an answer within 24 hours. Set up your customer service email so that this is possible. And consider hiring a customer service virtual assistant to help you.
Another really great way that customers may like to contact you is via live chat. You can easily have a live chat customer service installed on your website, in many cases its as simple as installing a plugin. If you don’t wish to run your own live chat area you can outsource to customer service VAs, or you can hire a company to do this for you.
Some customers and prospects actually prefer to try to get their own answers before talking to a person. A great way to offer this type of connection is to offer a help desk. Help desk software is simple to use and already configured to work with your customers so that when they search a question they can find an answer without talking to anyone. And if they can’t find the answer, they can escalate the issue on their own by sending an email or calling.
Today with the advent of social media and all the technology that comes with it including live video chat, many people use Facebook as their customer service portal. All you have to do is start a page or a group on Facebook for your business. Then start answering questions there and getting people to ask you questions there.
Many people reach out to companies with questions on Twitter. If you’re on Twitter, ensure that you always check your direct messages. Customers and prospects will reach out that way to find out how responsive you are.
Website Customers Member Area
Another thing customers love is exclusive contact. If you have a members’ area and give access to customers to it, they can handle all their customer service needs in there – including having a contact number only for customers.
Another way customers like to contact you is via text messaging. This is especially true with younger audiences who prefer not to talk on the phone. Enable a text only line of communication so that your customers can text you easily (and you them).
Create as many ways as you can for your customers and prospects to contact you. If they don’t have to search or jump through hoops to contact you about any questions they have, they are more likely to buy from you and to stay long-term customers.