Customers expect access to you at any time of the day. These tips can help you stay alert at all times without burning the candle on both ends.
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March 15, 2017 4 min read
The opinions expressed by the entrepreneur’s contributors are their own.
The following excerpt is from Jill Schiefelbein’s book Dynamic Communication. Buy it now on Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound
In today’s digital world there are no longer any business hours because a company can never really be “closed”. That is not to say that your physical office space will not be closed, but your customers and your prospects will expect 24/7 access to you. Whether it’s finding information on your website, engaging and interacting with your social media channels, or leaving a review on a third-party website, your business is always “open”. You can never stop paying attention.
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With the technology available today, this is easier than ever. The appearance of a 24/7 availability tells your customers that they are your top priority. Here are some principles of 24/7 service:
The ability to communicate at all times
It is important to offer your customers open communication channels with your company at all times. This means an up-to-date web presence with easily accessible contact information and a support team.
When customers use your product, they should be able to ask for and get help regardless of the time of day. Even if it’s just an automated response, letting them know your service and support times and providing links to possible workarounds, it’s better to leave them in the dark without knowing when they’ll get a response. For websites with live chat capabilities, the best users share where they are in the support queue and how much waiting time to expect. This is how you show your customers that you are there, you realize they have a need, and you will address them as soon as possible.
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Multiple points of contact after purchase
After purchase, customers are more likely to contact you within 90 days of purchase – five times more likely, in fact. This means that you have to take control of your customer’s onboarding process and provide multiple communication touchpoints and proactive support offerings. This type of convenience is essential in order to avoid regrets when shopping, especially when shopping online or when making purchases with a high or high value for money. You often see great examples of this style of service and convenience from ecommerce merchants: you quickly receive a thank you email and direct links to support and contact information. At the very least, you should touch the base every quarter. Also note that it is important to personalize this communication. While you may be sending the same message to all new customers, include at least the customer’s name in the email. Studies show that personalized emails are more likely to lead to action.
Pay attention to your customers’ needs
As a company, you are there to serve and support your customers, but smart companies also monitor consumer behavior so you can see what your customers are doing with your product, how they are using it, and what they are doing with the knowledge that you are have helped them. To better understand how to serve future customers and add even more value to your existing consumers, it’s important to pay attention to what your customers are doing on social media, in their businesses, and in their achievements – especially in terms of Using your product Base.
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This observation also includes understanding how current trends and events can affect your customer’s relationship with you, your product / service, and the results they can achieve by working with you. For example, if you sell a payroll solution and find out about a new invoice that could affect payroll processing, let your customers know and check how it is presented. State the facts, let them know that you are monitoring the situation and provide the necessary information so that your customers feel they are in the right hands.
If you can offer your customer value beyond your product, then you’ve taken the next step in the customer relationship and provided true 24/7 service.