There was once a time when you only did business with people you knew. At the very least, you wanted to meet them first before agreeing to buy anything.
Then technology took off, creating a world where entities could do business with each other without ever meeting face to face. Over time, that evolved into the world we know today, where most of us buy and sell online without ever knowing the identities of the people on the other end.
Ecommerce sales are expected to exceed $1 trillion in 2022, which goes to show we don’t always need handshakes and eye contact to do business anymore. But when things go wrong, customers still want someone to talk to in an effort to solve the problem. At that point, failure to provide great customer service can quickly derail the success of an online business.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at six ways outstanding customer service is essential for online businesses:
Clever advertising and carefully crafted marketing can work wonders for building a brand. Many people will buy what you’re selling without stopping to ask themselves whether they trust your business. Satisfactory transactions build trust, but up to the point where something goes wrong. An inability to reach a representative or difficulty getting restitution will sour them to your brand fast. By having quality customer service ready to provide assistance, online businesses can instill an enduring sense of trust among their customers.
The last thing any business owner wants is people associating their brand with anger and unhappiness. Providing frustrated customers with top-notch assistance is especially essential for companies that depend on repeat business. For example, an online Ohio sportsbook service doesn’t want its recurring customers going elsewhere because of a delay in resolving account security issues. The same goes for any service where repeat business is the lifeblood of success.
The more accessible and accountable an online business is to its customers, the more those customers will rave about said company. A responsive business appears more honest and legitimate than those requiring customers to go through several hurdles before addressing their problems. That’s publicity you can’t buy, and that goes a long way in strengthening an online company’s reputation.
Lousy customer service can land an online business in legal hot water. While there’s no law against bad customer service, failure to provide paying customers with the products and services they purchased can be interpreted as business fraud in the eyes of the court. Quality customer service provides the best chance for both sides to come to a viable solution that avoids costly legal trouble. There’s also the matter of online ratings and reviews; poor customer service will drive up the number of bad ratings and negative reviews your company receives online.
The best professionals learn from their mistakes. By providing outstanding customer service, online businesses have the chance to identify chronic problems within their organization. You don’t get that kind of insight if you’re not hearing honest customer feedback. Oftentimes, these problems boil down to a mixup in communication or lack of detailed instructions, leading to relatively simple fixes. However, they’ll never be brought to your attention if you aren’t utilizing a comprehensive customer service apparatus.
Whether it’s answering prospective customer questions thoroughly or addressing current customer concerns swiftly, quality customer service is guaranteed to increase sales over time. With this in mind, online business owners need to see customer service through the lens of ROI. What might seem like overhead is actually a reliable means of boosting revenue. Given the affordability of outsourced customer service options, there’s no reason for online businesses to skimp on such a valuable part of their organization.
When it comes to online business, customer service should always be viewed as a top priority. Otherwise, you run the risk of looking like a fly-by-night operation in the eyes of your customers. While handshakes and eye contact are no longer considered essential aspects of doing business, the modern equivalent comes in the form of outstanding customer service.
About the Author
Julie Steinbeck is a freelance writer from Florida. She enjoys covering topics related to business, finance, and travel.