It’s not enough to have a great product, you need to have superb customer support along with it. For the customers, this all comes in after sales or while they are making that crucial decision to buy or not. Forget about the phone calls, many want customer support to be present on your website. They want the product/manual , they want the FAQs, they want the troubleshooting section.
If your website is not a great website, your customer will regret ever making a purchase. And, like a bad break up – your customer will tear your brand name apart online. This is not good for business.
So here’s how you build a great support portal.
Your website page didn’t load within 5 seconds? Guess what your customer is doing. Click – your website page is closed. Accessibility means a quick loading website that directs your customer to a support page.
The link to a support page must be visible on the homepage itself and the contact details must be clearly mentioned on the page. This does not mean you have to splash links to the page all over the homepage.
Honesty is the best policy
When an appliance or a software breaks down or malfunctions, the customer goes into meltdown or maybe even a doomsday panic mode.
Whether you’re telling them to contact you over email, through lead page or via social media, always give them a time in which you’ll get back to them. Don’t say, ‘We’ll get back to you in 1 hour’ if you don’t have the support system to do so. It’s better to say, ‘We’ll get back to you within 24 hours’.
The key is – DO NOT BUILD EXPECTATIONS IF YOU CAN’T STICK TO IT! Just don’t do it!
The furniture giant IKEA creates its stores like a maze to successfully keep people inside and enhance their shopping quantities. Try such a stunt with your support page and your client will want to behead your site developer. Instead, these links must be categorized and displayed correctly. An FAQ section may help your customer locate and resolve common problems faster. This will also help you save time and cater to more customers.
Know Your Customer
You may never know what is happening in your girlfriend’s mind, but your customers will be happy to let you know where you stand. Obtaining feedback from customers will help you accept all the bouquets and will reduce the number of brickbats hitting your head. Analyzing a customer’s suggestions and complaints can give you an insight into his mind. Using these insights, you can tweak your services and operations, streamlining the entire process.
Remember those crappy 90’s websites you saw and you’d go, “Yuck”. I do.
Well, that’s what is going to happen if your support portal is not mobile optimized.
People today are thumbing their way through terabytes of information available through their smartphones. They won’t take the effort required to switch on a laptop or a computer. They will want to sit on their couches and ride the air waves, capturing all the information in their fist.
A mobile site will help you not only to improve processing time, but also get very valuable exposure to your website.
Chatty Chat Box
Many customers love typing a query in a chat box rather than mailing or phoning it.
One of the best ways to provide on the spot support to a customer is have a chat box on your website. However, you have to have someone whois constantly logged in so he can instantly deal with customer questions on it. If no one is managing the chat box, ensure it doesn’t show on your website.
Your website may sometimes catch a cold or a bug may bite it. If you are in a position wherein you are unable to help a client, then it should reflect on website. A status page will tell the visitor whether you page is working or not. If not functioning, then the page should mention the time in which it will be back up and running.
If you have a bad support portal, customers will see you as Pontius Pilate. And that’s something you just do not want!
Don’t be that kind of business. Be one that has a great support portal.
Ali Salman is an online marketing strategist who have worked with Coca-Cola, Extreme Pita, Mucho Burrito, KIA, Honda and other Fortune 500 companies. Ali Salman now heads Rapid Boost Marketing - Canada's fastest growing search marketing agency. RBM clients include Fortune 500's and medium size businesses across North America. Ali as RBM CMO leads his team in building and managing quality, high-performing and cost-effective interactive campaigns and programs for our company's customers and partners. In his career, he has significantly improved campaign performance for large brands such as Government of Alberta, Liberal Party, Workopolis, Cathay Pacific, as well as medium to large retailers and high-tech B2B-enterprise niches.
Ali and his team develop online promotional concepts that spark viral growth through search and social media for RBM clients, devising strategies that use search engines and more to reach key demographic segments in the ways they're most likely to be receptive. Ali Salman also oversees corporate marketing initiatives for Rapid Boost Marketing, including strategic communications counsel, public and analyst relations and client education programming.