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9 Ways To Improve Your Online Customer Service (with Review Response Templates!)

Great products, services, and marketing are instrumental in getting customers to choose your business. However, it’s customer service, more than anything else, that will bring them back to your company and prompt them to recommend it to others.


It’s kind of amazing what customer service can accomplish. A poor experience can drive away customers from an otherwise exemplary service, and a great experience can compel a customer to forgive mistakes and give a company a second chance.


Here, we’ve collected 9 of the best ways to improve your online customer service support experience so you can build positive word-of-mouth and increase your repeat business:


Focus on Customer Experience


People are willing to pay more and become more loyal to brands with good customer experiences. Thus, you can experience real benefits by focusing on your customer experience.


Statistic by Business Insider about customer service on a blue and gold background

Customer surveys are an excellent way to accomplish this task. The simple act of proactively inviting and accepting customer feedback leads audiences to see you more favorably.


Simple surveys such as customer satisfaction surveys, customer feedback surveys, or even product surveys, can not only help you gauge how you as a business is doing but can also help your clients feel a better sense of loyalty to your overall brand, incentivizing them to purchase from you more often or in larger quantities.


Invest In Chatbots for You Websites


Most small businesses can’t afford a 24-hour human customer service presence. However, it’s a major benefit to include chatbots on your website: artificial intelligence programs that can direct visitors to information, solve simple problems, or collect their feedback so a human can get back to them as soon as possible.


Chatbot animation where he solves a problem

Many chatbots today are surprisingly dynamic and able to handle a wide range of tasks without human input. These customer experience tools are a significant help in making your customers feel supported and cared for even when your team is off the clock.


In fact, 30% of US consumers rate chatbot interactions as “very effective” in dealing with customer service issues.


Become a Better Listener


Always remember that your customers are real people who want to feel understood, heard, and served. This may seem like a simple truth, but it can be challenging to keep in mind during heated exchanges, busy days, or periods of struggle for your business.


Three bas customer service statistics in yellow boxes

Our best advice is to focus on the customer and their concern.


Why are they upset?


What options do you have to resolve their problems?


Ask clarifying questions to ensure you have a complete understanding of the issue and the customer’s immediate needs. Try to get everything taken care of by the first person who speaks to the customer since an overwhelming 72% of consumers see having to explain their problem to multiple people as poor customer service.


All customer service conversations should end with a summary of the discussion to ensure a complete understanding of the situation and your forthcoming response. The outcome may not be exactly what your customer wants, but they will respect it more if they are completely clear on what will be happening and when.


Admit Your Mistakes


How do you respond to a customer complaint? We've all been misunderstood, made an error, or failed to do something correctly - it's a part of our human nature. Everyone makes mistakes, and admitting to them is often the quickest way to resolve the situation in a positive light.


Forbes quote about making mistakes on a purple and blue background

You may have good reasons that a situation turned out in a way that left a customer unhappy, but it rarely helps to explain or excuse. Customers respect it when you own up to a mistake, and it clears the way to a happier business relationship going forward.


In fact, if the company’s customer service is excellent, 78% of consumers will do business with them again after a mistake. So don’t be afraid to acknowledge a failure- your customer likely knows it was an error, to begin with, and your honesty can help reassure them that you intend to make things right.


Engage with Your Audience Online


Starting and consistently posting on social media is a good starting point, but you’ll never really be able to build on that success without engaging with your audience. Be sure to respond to comments, messages, tags, and questions as often as you can and as much as you can.


It helps your business feel like it’s run by living, breathing people who care about the experience.


In your posts and comments, offer your customers real value through substantial and original content that connects with your target audience. Build a community, and encourage interaction between your customers.


Customer service statistics on purple and orange background

If you can, be entertaining with your posts, as humor and visual interest play a big part in making content spreadable and shareable.


Create Memorable Experiences


Customers offer a lot of loyalty to companies that go above and beyond for customer service.


Our favorite example of this is when Anjali Kumar, an exec at eyeglass maker Warby Parker, discovered that a fellow train passenger left their Warby Parker glasses on their seat. When the passenger ordered a new pair, Kumar tracked them down and sent both the new order, the old glasses- repaired, and a personal note with a gift of On The Road to top it all off.


All of this was at no extra charge and immediately became trending news around North America. Those small, additional steps increased Warby Parkers’ reputation by leaps and bounds without ever having to spend a dollar on advertisements.


Customer service important experiences in a bar graph

You may not have the resources to go above and beyond for every customer like this. Whenever you do, though, the benefits often go beyond that single purchase or account.


Memorable, helpful experiences like these can build a strong reputation for your small business customer service.


Reward Loyal Customers


Speaking of loyal customers- they’re a valuable asset that shouldn’t be underestimated. If someone trusts your business and enjoys working with you, they have the potential to bring in new customers far better than any advertisement.


Don’t ignore them at the possible expense of their loyalty- the average American company will lose 23% to 30% of its customer each year due to a lack of customer loyalty.


Instead, create a rewards system, and offer discounts for customers who spend a lot of money at your business. Or reward customers who refer new, paying customers to you.


an opening a tray with a globe in it to represent loyalty

You can even invite customers to trial new products and services. These personal touches give customers the feeling of being invited into something unique and exclusive, and makes them feel justified in being loyal to you.


Provide a Thorough Self-Help or FAQ Section on Your Website


While many aspects of customer service call for a personal touch, there are also plenty of times where a customer just wants a quick and easy answer right away. If they can’t find the solution they’re looking for on your website, they could quickly get frustrated and look for other options.


Don’t forget- 53% of people consider it more important to resolve service-related problems by themselves when possible.


For these situations, it pays to have a thorough self-help or FAQ section on your website. Don’t just put up the hours and location and call it a day- think about all the information you might want to know if you’re a customer.


If you find yourself answering the same kinds of questions on the phone or in person, add those questions and answers to your website so customers can quickly understand what you’re all about.


5 tips for creating a great FAQ page on purple and orange

Respond to All Reviews - Positive and Negative


Getting positive reviews is always great for business, but not taking the time to respond to them can negatively impact how those customers continue to view your brand. Not only that, but reviews and how you react to them can influence your search engine ranking.


Customer management statistics on orange and blue

By responding to positive reviews, you can affirm your customers and show them it’s worth engaging with your business. By responding to negative ones, you demonstrate that you’re interested in fixing your mistakes and learning how to better meet your customers’ needs. It’s a vital part of improving your online customer service.


Positive Templates:

  • We are excited to have you as part of the [COMPANY] family! Thank you for sharing your kind words with us. It means the world to our entire team that we were able to hit the mark. We look forward to serving you again soon!

  • Hi, [NAME]! Thank you for taking the time to give your feedback. We really appreciate it and look forward to seeing you/service you again soon!

  • Thank you so much for your review, [NAME]! The [Product/Service] is one of my favorites as well. Next time, you should try our new [Product/Service] and let us know what you think.

  • Thanks for leaving such a great review. You’re right, [Team Member] is always going above and beyond! We’ll be sure to share your praises with them and look forward to working with/seeing you again soon.

  • We are happy to hear you had a positive experience at [COMPANY]! We value your input and encourage you to let us know more details about your experience with us whenever you come in next. Thanks, [Name]!


Negative Templates:

  • [Name], we want to apologize first that your experience did not match your expectations. Please reach out to us as [email] or [phone number], and we would be more than happy to see how we can fix this situation. Thank you for your time, and we hope to hear from you soon.

  • We understand your frustration. It’s crucial to [COMPANY NAME] that our customers are more than satisfied with our product/service, and we would like the opportunity to resolve this issue immediately. Our manager has been notified and should be in touch shortly.

  • Hi, [NAME]. Your review is very concerning to us. We would appreciate it if you would contact our customer care team by calling [Phone Number] to speak with a customer care representative about your recent experience. Your satisfaction has and always will be our top priority!

  • [NAME], you’re right. You expected [result], and you should have received that, but that’s not what we delivered. If I were in your situation, I’d be pretty upset too. Our manager will be reaching out shortly so we may fix this situation ASAP.

  • [NAME], thanks for reaching out. Your concerns make sense, and we appreciate you taking the time to notify us about this issue. Please give us a call at [PHONE] or send us an email at [EMAIL], and we would be more than happy to do whatever it takes to resolve this issue.


Neutral Templates:

  • Thanks very much for your balanced and fair review of [COMPANY]. I'm glad you felt [POSITIVE DETAIL]. It's something we've worked hard on, and we're pleased our efforts resonated with you. Regarding [NEGATIVE DETAIL], we are working with our management teams to ensure this is not a common mistake. Thank you again, and we hope to see you again soon!

  • [NAME], thanks so much for your thoughtful and detailed review...this is incredibly helpful! I wanted to let you know we've taken the good and the bad elements you've mentioned in your review to heart. Here are some changes we'll be making based (in part) on your feedback: [ENTER CHANGES]

  • Thanks for sharing your feedback, [NAME]! We’re glad you feel satisfied with [POSITIVE DETAIL] but are sorry to hear you’re having difficulties with [NEGATIVE DETAIL]. Please give us a call at [NUMBER] so our manager can discuss with you better ways to resolve this type of issue in the future.


Improving Online Customer Service Is Worth It


Devoting extra time and resources to customer service can be difficult for small businesses, but the results are absolutely worth it.


Good customer experiences play a huge role in which businesses last more than five years, which companies get to expand, and which ones become a household name. By using some or all of these online customer service tips, your customer service can experience a big boost, and you’ll learn lots about how to continue to refine and improve it going forward.


If you’re not sure how to implement some of these website customer support initiatives, not to worry! Zoek’s web design and SEO services are at your disposal, and with a 94% retention rate, we understand how to deliver excellent customer service.


If you’d like to learn more about how we can help, visit this page to schedule a design session with one of our Wix site designers. We look forward to hearing from you!




 


Ryan Sargent is a Content Specialist at Zoek, an SEO, Web Design, and Digital Marketing Agency that assists small and medium-sized businesses with their online footprint. He’s been a writer for over ten years, handling everything from pop culture coverage to video descriptive services to marketing copy and SEO text. Outside of work, Ryan also spends time as a game designer and podcaster, and enjoys watching movies and visiting new places with his wife.

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