Often a digital channel will be the first interaction with a potential customer so it is vital that you give a great first impression.
Most of your digital enquiries will come via email and social media so regular monitoring of these channels is the first step in digital customer services and should form part of your sales process. You need to set up systems and processes to make the customer experience one that is enjoyable and fits with your brand’s personality. Start with these steps:
- When you get an email enquiry, DO NOT just answer an email with only what someone asks. Take it the next step and give them additional information. Plus don’t send a form or automated response. (automation is OK as a first email but it needs to be clear they will you will be giving a personal response to their enquiry). Go above and beyond and really listen to what the customer is asking. Ask more questions if you need to in order to answer. And whatever you do, do not call someone Babe or Honey (yes has happened to me with the company in question not understanding their audience at all)
- Reply quickly. Sending an automated reply that says you’ll respond in 3-4 days is NEVER EVER acceptable and just bad service (something I recently experienced with a well known fitness company) We want information fast, because we can and should get it quickly now so taking days to respond is a sure way to lose this customer for life.
- Don’t ask them to contact you on another channel. The reason they are contacting you on email for example is because 1.they are comfortable with it or 2. You haven’t responded on another channel (such as Twitter or Facebook).
- Consider the overall customer journey. Put yourself in their shoes. Would the journey from query to purchase make you comfortable? What would you want? What would make you a raving fan? What is the wow?
- Don’t send a copy & pasted form response. Unless you want to lose the customer forever. LISTEN and PERSONALISE your response. I see this constantly with large companies that think a form response is OK when it is not (hear that Telstra)
Remember that when a prospect is sending you an enquiry email they are ready to buy. These digital enquiries should take priority and you will see a return if you think of them as customers walking through your door, not annoying emails.
Digital is 24/7 and being able to do business in a global economy is amazing if you understand that simply being responsive from Mon-Fri 9 to 5 is no longer acceptable. You need to commit to monitoring all your channels outside of hours?
Digital customer service is particularly important in the lead up to Christmas as online shopping continues to increase. By not responding you handing sales to your competitors on a platter, literally!! As a consumer if someone doesn’t respond, I go to their competitor and buy from them within 24 hours. And not only have you lost the sale, you have pissed me off to the point of not wanting to do business with you in the future. I’ve had companies contact me 3 weeks (and one took 2 months) after I had sent an email enquiry and were surprised by my response. C’mon get with the program.
I see companies spending thousands of dollars on advertising then committing the cardinal sin of not replying to their sales enquiries that come via digital channels. Crazy!!
This is a no cost tactic that will increase your sales & conversions. Do it and stop making excuses!!