Cover Story: 5 Customer Service Tips to Satisfy Online Holiday Shoppers
In the heat of business, companies sometimes forget that without customers they don't exist. They think it's about their products, their services, their internal systems, etc. The people in said companies spend time dealing with personalities, politics, worries and fears. In short, they tend to forget about their customers in the day-to-day din of doing business.
In the not too distant past, people could walk into a store and be greeted personally by the owner and his/her staff. Customers had personal relationships with retailers. Store owners greeted us by name and knew our preferences and buying habits.
Today's digital age has become impersonal. Sure, we still get greeted online and retailers know our preferences thanks to cookies, but the human element is gone for sure. Within this impersonal, digital world we live in, however, there are huge opportunities for retailers to step back and become more personal. Consider the following customer service tips as you prepare for the busy holiday shopping season:
1. Re-evaluate your IVR system. How many steps does it take to reach a real person? Can the steps be shortened? Can you do away with IVR altogether (do the math on this and see if your business can support a live operator)? Reaching a live person to direct your call has become the exception rather than the norm. Can you give your brand an edge by going back to live?
2. Put your phone number in a prominent place on your website. Do the math on how much revenue you lose by not making a live customer service representative (CSR) accessible to your online visitors. The average conversion rate for online retailers is less than 5 percent. Where are the other 95 percent going? This alone could justify adding a phone number to your site.
Jim Gilbert has had a storied career in direct and digital marketing resulting in a burning desire to tell stories that educate, inform, and inspire marketers to new heights of success.
After years of marketing consulting, Jim decided it was time to “put his money where his mouth was" and build his own e-commerce company, Premo Natural Products, with its flagship product, Premo Guard Bed Bug & Mite Sprays. Premo in its second year is poised to eclipse 100 percent growth.
Jim has been writing for Target Marketing Group since 2006, first on the pages of Catalog Success Magazine, then as the first blogger for its online division. Jim continues to write for Total Retail.
Along the way, Jim has led the Florida Direct Marketing Association as their Marketing Chair and then three-term President, been an Adjunct Professor of Direct and Digital marketing for Miami International University, and created a lecture series, “The 9 Immutable Laws of Social Media Marketing,” which he has presented across the country at conferences and universities.