What is the goal of your business? It’s a very important question, for sure. However, there’s one of greater significance we need you to really think about: how do you want to accomplish your goal?
One good way to fulfill said goal is to become more responsive online. Here are some ideas as to how to do just that.
Why Being Responsive Online Matters
Any business with an online marketing strategy in place should have this one, clear, visible goal in mind: to build trust via personal relationships with customers. The name of the game is no longer to sell to just anyone. That may be how it used to be before the Internet became so integrated into our lives, or back when websites were hosted on Angelfire, but now the stakes are higher and the awareness of being offered something for sale is greater than before.
Direct selling channels are now based on one-on-one interactions between independent owners or influencers and customers or viewers. But what does this say about the relationship between a customer and the company? What happens when negative comments appear online about your business? And, most importantly, what can be done to keep building trust between you and your customers regardless?
One answer for sure: being responsive online can help.
Make Customer Service a Good Experience
Comments and online reviews are closely monitored and scrutinised online. More weight is placed on word-of-mouth recommendations and more often than not people are waiting until someone they trust has tried out a new product or service from a new brand. This is why you need to step up your online customer service; being responsive is a good start.
Live chats on websites and social media are also good ways for you to become more responsive online; questions from customers can be answered in real time and any issues can be solved at once. But it’s not just having this tool that matters; it’s how you use it to connect with customers that will matter.
For example, a hilarious talk was shared by LinkedIn between an Amazon customer support representative and a customer who had not received their purchase. The outcome, spurred on by Thor and Odin (think Marvel) roleplay, went beyond a fun time and a happy customer—trust was built between the brand and the customer, and the instant sharing of the experience with the online community boosted said trust.
Does this mean you need to use popular culture to build trust between you and your customers? No, but it goes to show that making interactions fun goes a long way in forming a lasting relationship between customer and company. The lesson to learn here is that customers want something very simple from you: to listen to them and help them out with their issues. How you approach their situations will make all of the difference between good customer service and exceptional service.
For Online Comments, Responsiveness Matters Big Time
It’s better to say something to online comments than nothing at all, no matter where the reviews are posted. Anytime a review is published online, you should at least respond to it within 48 hours of when it was posted. The longer you withhold from responding to an online comment about your business, the less likely a happy customer may recommend you next time. Plus, unhappy customers will feel they’re in the right for being displeased about your company!
Customers are definitely who you need to respond to as well, more so than other actual companies. According to a recent study, which analyzed how shoppers evaluated brick-and-mortar store reviews online, 65% of the shoppers wanted companies to respond to their online comments. More than 3 out of 4 of those shoppers wanted the responses to be personal; more than 80% reported they would be more likely to shop at a store that responded to their reviews; nearly 75% thought online reviews were important, while only 6% said they weren’t important.
These are not numbers we can ignore. Monitoring online comments is one thing companies do, but if they’re not responding to the comments, they’re already losing their customers to the competition. With so many options available to us now, online reviews can either make or break a business’s long-term lifespan. The takeaway, therefore, is to be as responsive as possible to everyone’s comments, even the less than pleasant ones. The customers may be behind a computer screen, but they’re still people—treat them as you would your in-person customers!
Don’t Just Have a Website—Use It, Too!
Your website is one of the most basic and yet valuable resources you can have for improving online responsiveness. More and more customers are heading online to buy products, find information, and communicate with others, and any website they click on when they’re searching on Google will be the first thing they use to try and reach you. That means you need to use your website, not just have it online.
Anyone can have a website, however it’s the quality and the overall experience using it that will make or break your chance to engage with the customers. Responding online is one thing, but if the site’s design is preventing you from reaching out sooner than later when you need to be there in real time, that customer is going to leave your site feeling pretty frustrated.
This is why we keep offering to build our clients websites—we know people are in a rush and need to find something fast. Each website we build is very responsive and fast across both desktop and mobile devices; don’t let it go to waste by not using it!
Lastly, Don’t Just Be There—Be Helpful
This is by far the best piece of advice we can give to you. Being responsive online is one thing, but to be helpful to someone at the same time will undoubtedly make their day and even their online experience even better. In a world that’s brimming full of skepticism (some of it founded, given how many online scams exist now!), being helpful above anything else while on the job and online is the best thing you can do for customers.
If you want to see a greater level of success for your business in the coming years, keeping all of this in mind will help but most especially being helpful—a website, in addition, can further boost this sense of helpfulness. Give us a call if that’s what your business needs to improve online communication and build trust. If you still have doubts, why not go over them in a one-on-one consultation? It may just change your mind for the better.