Sometimes we think the worlds of online and offline sales and customer relations are different. They’re note. The only difference is one is digital and one it physical. One is with bytes and bits and one is with hand shakes and smiles. The goals are the same – loyal customers.
Neal Creighton, CEO of RatePoint , a company which makes tools to help you gauge customers and nurture your relationship with them, has some specific guidance (4 tips) for us in how to have better relationships with customers online:
Not proactively asking customers for reviews. When you ask for reviews, they’ll generally be positive, and if there’s an issue, you’ll nail it before it becomes worthy of a negative review. A sign or note posted somewhere is not enough, you much reach out multiple ways including verbally and through e-mail.
Promoting products that you don’t have in stock. This is self-explanatory, why are you selling something you don’t have? This happens often to small businesses that don’t have great online-inventory updates.
Confusing policies. Keep it simple. Complex policies can only lead to miscommunication, especially in regards to shipping and refunds. A good policy is one that makes things run smoothly for the business and is fair to the customers. Many business owners ignore the latter, creating policies that make it difficult on the consumer.
You treat customers differently after they’ve made a purchase. The worst case scenario here is that once someone has paid, you ignore them. Paying customers aren’t necessarily customers for life, in fact they may be more negative in a review because of your change in heart. This especially applies to businesses where you have a monthly payment.
There’s many tools you can use to engage your customers, such as blogs (receive comments), online video, newsletters, surveys and more.
RatePoint offers many of these solutions. Instead of using several different services you can use one company to manage your surveys, email newsletters, receive and display customer testimonials and more.