Have you noticed lately the line for the customer service desk at your local Wal-Mart or grocery store? If you haven’t paid any attention to it lately, take a look. Chances are you will probably see a very short line, or no line at all. So why is the line at the customer service desk disappearing?

Well it’s because everyone is taking their service concerns online. When someone encounters a problem with a product they purchased, a majority of these people head directly to their computer and look for the customer service tab.

And why wouldn’t they? It’s a heck of a lot more convenient to sit at your computer than have to head to the store you made the purchase from. So what does this all mean? It means you have to make an effort to provide solid online customer service. So here’s a few tips to make sure your online customer service is top notch.

Stay in Contact

First and foremost, online customer service is much different than the customer service within a store. With online customer service, you shouldn’t be sitting back and waiting for the customer to come to you. It’s your responsibility to reach out to them and keep in contact. Creating an email campaign for previous customers is a great way of doing this. Provide links back to your site and keep your customers coming back for more. It not only gives customers an incentive to come back, but it lets them know that you care about their business with you.

Return Policies/Exchanges

Let’s face it, if you’re marketing products and/or services, you’re going to have your share of returns and exchanges. Which means you need to create a seamless strategy for your return/exchange policy. It’s all about making it very convenient for your customers. Also make sure it’s easy to find your return/exchange policy on your website. If customers can’t find this info quickly, it will lead to frustration, which is the last thing you want.

Email Opportunities

This may sound like an obvious one, but allowing your customers to email you with any issues is a must. Again, not everyone likes to speak on the phone or engage in face-to-face communication, so by providing an email for people to contact is a huge bonus.

Also, when you have email, the last thing you want to do is keep your customers waiting. If customers have to wait for more than a day, you’re making them wait too long. If you have to designate 1 or 2 or more employees to respond to daily emails, then do so. If you don’t, your phones could be ringing off the hook with unpleasant customers.

In The End

These are obviously only a few things that can help with your customer’s online experience, but there is one rule to always use: the customer’s needs always comes first. Obviously mistakes are going to happen, or a customer who thinks they are right might be wrong. But it’s always best to handle these situations with a level of professionalism by putting the customer’s needs first. If you can do this, your customers will appreciate a high level of online customer service.