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7 Virtual Customer Service Tips

Marketing

7 Virtual Customer Service Tips image 7 virtual customer service tipsAnybody in business knows that keeping customers is a LOT cheaper than finding new ones. One way that companies keep their current customers happy is through customer service, which has definitely changed due to online sales. Here is a list of 7 ways you can let your clients know that you care:

1. Over Communication. Just like with your virtual workers, your clients cannot look over their cubicle wall to see if you are busy at work.  Once you accept an assignment let them know. This can be through an automated message or a personal one. Another form of this is “thank you for your order” confirmation emails.

2. Timely Response. In addition to letting clients know that you have accepted their order be sure to ask any questions or return items in an appropriate time span. For example, as a content writing service we ask clients questions during the first 24 hours of accepting a project. That way a client knows we have not only accepted the project but are actively working on it. Imagine having a 5 day turnaround and then asking questions 3 hours before the deadline. That speaks volumes to your client.

3. Make a Personal Connection. With social media this is pretty simple. A quick scan of any social platform lets you know the client’s interest. If you work with clients all over the US like we do, leverage their physical address. Maybe they enjoy the same sports you do or they live in the same place as an old college buddy. Taking the time to make those connections, however minute can make a big impact on a client.

4. Establish Boundaries. When you work online you are free to have any schedule you like. Establishing customer service hours or letting clients know when to expect a response can go a long way in showing your clients you respect their time. Are you going to be out of the office for a few days? Be sure to use your out of office email message. Is your company in EST but for some reason you only work overnight? Whatever your schedule, let your clients know.

5. Broadcast Effectively. When you run an online business you have multiple venues of promotion. You have a blog, email, social media feeds, etc. If you have company news be sure to post it everywhere. Don’t assume that your clients read your blog and your Facebook and your email newsletter. Most clients are only going to pay attention to one type of medium. Especially for items that effect clients like a site being down for maintenance or a change in billing, be sure to post all over and frequently.

6. Ask for Feedback. Ever wonder why big box companies send you those feedback emails after a purchase? It’s because it works. And it works in two very different ways. One, the company receives feedback on a product or service. This is great because the company can modify if necessary. The other reason is much more important – clients feel like they have been heard. When you provide an opportunity for feedback you are making a connection. You are sending the message that you care what this person thinks.

7. Goodies. Whether you send Christmas cards or gift baskets, sending physical goodies to your clients is a powerful tool for keeping current clients coming back.  Coupons, referral discounts, etc are great as well if physical gifts are out of the budget. Just because your business is virtual doesn’t mean your are limited to virtual interactions!

Imagine customer service as the wrapping paper around your product. The product itself is important, but the customer service often makes the biggest impression. In this fast paced virtual world the most important thing you can do is remind your clients they are more than an email address.

What are some of the ways you make your clients feel special? Can you remember a phenomenal customer experience as a customer? Who do you think made that happen?

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  1. Customer says:

    I liked the “ask for feedback” point..many co’s fail in this..if they could get genuine feedback of consumers…they will know their flaws and plus points..

  2. One of the key things with customer service is to keep your promises – all of these are great tips, but too many companies seem to fail to deliver within their own set timeframes. We did research in the UK that found a huge gap between promises and reality – see http://eptica.wordpress.com/2011/08/16/scaling-the-email-mountain/ for more details

  3. Kassanndra says:

    That was quite an insightful article. I have tried multiple things over course of time to keep our customers happy and recently started using Happyfox, a customer support tool and ticket management software. HappyFox has helped improve our efficiency in handling customer requests and has also played a role in retaining customers.

  4. Luke W says:

    Great tips. Keeping your promises is certainly key, and with solutions that can track a project from ideation right through to delivery then support, it’s never been easier to see what you promised to whom, when and why. OneDesk helps keep your team on the same page, deals with large volumes of queries efficiently and ultimately helps you build and maintain great customer relationships by helping you keep those valuable promises.

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