Posts

Learn How To Use Live Chat To Enhance Customer Experience

Every small business owner knows that customer service is a critical part of achieving lasting success. Without taking proper care of your customers, you can’t hope to grow, expand and prosper. There are many ways to enhance the customer service capabilities of your e-commerce business, but live chat is among the most effective options. Still, simply adding live chat to your site isn’t enough. You need to know how to use it properly to ensure that it actually benefits your customers, and these tips will help you get there:

  • Use the Right Technology – There are lots of live chat solutions out there, and some are far better than others. The best software allows you to chat with your customers quickly, easily and efficiently. You shouldn’t have to jump through a bunch of hoops to make it work on your site. With a cloud-based live chat service like HelpOnClick, you can quickly implement a live chat solution that will dramatically enhance your site’s customer service capabilities.
  • Keep Your Audience in Mind – Your live chat representatives should be trained to understand who they will be assisting. As a small business owner, you should already have a clear idea about your target audience. Who does it consist of, and what kinds of expectations do they have? Whether you’re targeting a young, hip demographic or an older, more professional one, your reps should know how to communicate effectively with them.
  • Be Aware of the Most Common Issues – Like many e-commerce businesses, you may notice a pattern when it comes to the kinds of questions that people pose to your live chat reps. It’s in your best interests to try to address these questions to keep the same problems from occurring again and again. Your site should have a FAQ that includes the most common questions and answers too. Still, your reps should be made aware of these questions as well and prepared to address them quickly and efficiently.
  • Support should be Easy to Find – The last thing you should do is bury your live chat support on a random page. Instead, prominent links to initiate live chat should be placed throughout the site. Regardless of what a person is doing on your site and where he happens to be, he shouldn’t have to dig around to access live support. When people can quickly get the help they need, they’re more likely to stick around long enough to become paying customers!
  • Be Warm and Personable – Train your live chat reps to be warm, friendly and personable at all times. If possible, include at least one photo of a friendly, smiling rep near the link to your live chat service. Show people that they will be treated with respect when they ask for help. Monitor chat logs to make sure that your reps are following through.
  • Be Aware of Your Customer Service Demands – Some e-commerce businesses handle a very small volume of questions and issues from customers. Others are positively swamped with such activity. What kinds of customer service demands does your business deal with on a daily basis? Will your live chat support be able to accommodate them? Keep at it until you are able to handle your customers’ needs properly.
  • Don’t Make People Wait – When people see that your site offers live chat support, they’re going to expect to be helped promptly. Nothing is more frustrating to a customer than trying to initiate a chat and being put “on hold.” Fortunately, services like HelpOnClick have virtual agents that can fill in when all of the live chat representatives are busy. This eliminates long wait times and keeps frustration at bay.
  • Learn from Live Chats – A lot can be learned by keeping track of live support chats. Create a log of them and try to classify them in some way. Patterns are sure to emerge. What can you learn from those patterns? Perhaps one of your products has a flaw that can be addressed in some way, or maybe you can add a little more information to your product descriptions to cut back on confusion. In this way, live chat software can actually help you improve your business to give it an incredible competitive edge.
  • Offer Around-the-Clock Support – Like the vast majority of e-commerce businesses, yours is probably patronized by people from all over the place. You don’t shut down your site during non-traditional business hours, and you shouldn’t shut down your customer support, either. Your live chat support should be available at all times.

Be a Customer Service Star with Live Chat By keeping these tips in mind, you will be able to give your customers the support they need. As your company grows, its customer service needs may change too. Make sure to use a live chat solution that can adapt to suit those ever-changing needs.

Featured images:
  • License: Royalty Free or iStock source: istockphoto.com

Neran Ashkenazy, Founder of HelpOnClick LTD. A global provider of live chat solutions. When he is not working on his next chat script version, you might find him writing in his private or HelpOnClick company’s blog.

eCommerce Suppliers are the key in an online business

So – I’ve been blogging for the past couple months about my motorcycle fairing project.  We have seen a few orders so far…the first one has been a disaster and are working on the next 2.

eCommerce Suppliers are key

tail_fairingleft_logo_mismatchThe problem with the first order has been (I wish I could say was – but, its still going on) the factory who was making the fairing.  The had no problem quoting the fairing and taking the money, but when they shipped the order to the customer – it has issues.  Logos were misaligned and colors didn’t match as they should – one piece had paint bubbles in it too.

Second Fairing Supplier

So – as I have heard from a few different eCommerce businesses – you need to have backup ecommerce suppliers, especially if you are in a drop ship business.  By not having leverage and options – you can paint yourself into a corner if you’re not careful.

1We will soon see how the second vendor works out – here is the “pre clear coat” version from supplier #2.

The customer wanted the Monster style paint, clean – without logos for their Kawasaki Ninja.

The one thing I like that #2 did was give myself and the customer pictures so they could visually inspect the paint prior to finalizing the order.

What to do?

The game plan right now is see if the customer wants a refund or new fairings.  I hope the former – new fairings will cost an arm and a leg…but the goal here is to keep the customer as happy as I possibly can.  I’m not sure how that is going to work for now – we’ll soon find out.

We’ll know more soon…

Lets hope this one turns out better as well as the third order, which we have yet to see pictures for yet from the #2 ecommerce supplier.

Stay tuned for more eCommerce fun in the future.

Branding – What It Should Accomplish And How To Get There

When it comes to building a successful company, focusing on branding is a largely important facet. Creating a strong brand is invaluable as the market becomes increasingly competitive day by day, and you want potential customers to notice YOU. Being proud of the company you run is evident when branding is displayed prominently on the website, and when the people behind the brand are proud and supportive, it in turn creates a sense of trust and excitement in the consumer.

A good brand needs to achieve specific objectives:

  • Deliver the message clearly and concisely and deliver a single message
  • Confirms and maintains your credibility and reinforces your value proposition
  • Evokes an emotional response in target customers
  • Motivates potential customers
  • Cements customer loyalty

Certain steps can be taken to achieve successful online branding:

Consistency

This goes to say that each interaction with the client, whether it be in person, via telephone, online, through website design, physical appearance (uniform), or on your sales products like a point of sale display stand, should be the same and convey the same message.

The client needs to have a feeling of uniformity to really drive the message home. All employees, whether they be sales, Help Desk, or CEO, need to be on the same page and employ common methods and tools no matter what the situation. If you have a white board sitting in your office write down your brands motto. Having your brands motto clearly identified for each employee will guide each interaction correctly. If you brand focuses on customer relationships that could elicit a very different interaction than if your brand is focus on results or ROI.

Repetition

Often utilize your marketing strategies to ensure the logo, motto, product and service are in the mind’s of your potential customers. Repetition is key! It is important to evaluate every single word on your website to make sure the message is repeated and consistent. It is very easy to identify how each facet of the brand is so connected.

Customer Service

Excellent customer service determines whether that customer becomes a returning one. This can be achieved by giving the client a satisfying experience, either through successful handling of a situation, following up with them, or by following proper protocol with a positive attitude. A happy customer is also a free marketing tool.

Determine Strategic Partners

Determining your strategic partner is a process that involves coming up with like companies who are highly recognizable by your target audience.

Choose Strategic Partners

A strategic partner allows the opportunity for oh-so-great cross-marketing, while also creating value and differentiating your business from the others out there. They must positively impact your company and offer something more than you could provide without their partnership. Co-branding is beneficial for both companies, adding honest credibility but must be relevant to both of you.

Choose Yourself First

While co-branding is beneficial as a marketing tool, do not display the co-brand on the first page of your site. Display your company logo proudly on the home and subsequent pages, as having a partnership with a reputable company is great, but you do not want their logo or company to take precedence over yours. Besides, it’s your company, wear it proudly.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Do’s And Don’ts Of Social Media For Small Business

As competition continues to get fierce in the business landscape, social media comes to the rescue of those business owners who are desperately seeking means to float their boat. If on the one hand, social media has the potential to turn any business into a money-making machine, on the other hand, there are certain dos and don’ts associated with social media as well. One wrong step can bring a brand down on its knees. Therefore, it is crucial to use social media carefully to avoid any hassles.

We will now take a look at the do’s and don’ts of social media for business.

 Do Set Realistic Goals

Social media can amplify the effect of your efforts. However, expecting it to bring your business overnight success is not going to get you anywhere. It takes time to build a social media campaign from scratch. Similarly, it will take some time before you will be able to see the profits pouring in. Don’t get restless for results and don’t let anything encourage you into taking desperate measures you may regret later on.

Do Update Regularly

Social media is about putting your business on auto-pilot mode. In the business arena, the key to success is reminding customers of your existence frequently. Going out of a customer’s mind is tantamount to going out of business. Have an active presence on a variety of social media platforms for things to work the way you want.

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Let’s face it. In a world where every other individual is on the go, who has time to read an overwhelming amount of text? Use pictures or videos instead. Give your creativity a chance and get the gears going in the right direction.

Don’t Confuse Customers

One of the biggest mistakes a business can make is to send mixed messages. You have to be clear and concise about what your business is all about. If you are present on three different social networks, the content on every platform should be in sync. In fact, the color schemes, graphics and layout should also be consistent. Uniformity facilitates the creation of brand-awareness.

Don’t Ignore Customer Comments

Customers are the lifeblood of any business. Social media has empowered customers to immediately scream their opinion of your goods and products. No matter how hard a business tries, there will be unhappy customers. It is crucial to address their disappointment at once. Ignoring them will give everyone the impression that your business is only concerned with happy customers. This can be devastating for your business. It will be a bit difficult not to lash back at negative feedbacks but one has to remember that a business needs customers more than customers need a business.

Don’t Ignore Your Stats

Unless you find out whether or not your efforts are paying off, you won’t be able to make the most out of social media. It is crucial to keep track of how a business is doing. These stats not only provide the desired motivation, one finds out the most effective strategies to attract desired client base with them as well.

Use the tips listed above as these are the little details that can make a big difference.

Mark is Social media consultant, currently working in Globalserve an International company formation firm, providing fiduciary services for Business

6 Reasons Why You Should Translate Your Website

Thanks to the Internet, a lot of businesses are now reaching out to customers from all over the world. However, many of these business websites fail to attract potential customers simply because the content is only available in single language. If you are planning to make the most out of your website and take your business to the global scene, you should be aware of the following reasons why you should translate your website.

Not everyone speaks English

People from the other side of the world can visit your website, but simply being accessible won’t be enough to secure regular visitors. Remember that more than 50% of the countries in the world do not use English as their primary language. Most people won’t bother with a foreign language website even if they are able to understand this language to a reasonable level. Translating your website saves them the hassle and prevents you from losing potential customers. See this translation case study Infographic on how you can increase your potential reach on the web via translation.

It shows that you care

Translating your website is more than just making your website readable. You are basically acknowledging the presence of foreign users simply by having your website translated, allowing you to build rapport and earn their trust. This will greatly help potential foreign customers feel comfortable browsing your website and potentially buying from you.

It’s good for growth

Since translating your website has the potential to increase your foreign customer base, this means it also increases the potential for your business to branch out. With enough foreign clients, creating a country-specific branch can be a viable course of action. This also works the other way around: If your business has a foreign branch in another country, translating your website could help improve your customer assistance in that particular area and establish your foreign customer base.

It impresses the local market

It’s natural for people to prefer a more established company. With a website that caters to foreign clients, the local market will get the impression that you’re running a world-class business. This means translating your website can also help improve your local customer base.

It’s easier to partner with other businesses

Going global doesn’t just impress the customers; it also makes you look good in front of potential business partners. It’s natural for some business owners to look for foreign partners, and having your website translated will make your business look like something worth partnering with. This can further establish your business in the area, which means even more business growth.

The benefits far outweigh the cost

Translating your website is not as expensive as most people think. If you are using a content management system which supports multilingual publishing it will be even more affordable. The sheer number of benefits compared to its affordable cost makes website translation a no-brainer for most businesses. Being competitive at a global scene requires plenty of strategizing and having your website translated is always a good way to start. It’s amazing how the act of acknowledging people from outside your own boundaries can turn your business from your average small-time company to an international-level competitor in the industry.

This guest blog post was provided by Globalme. Globalme provides translation and localization services for web sites, apps and videos. Find them on Twitter at @globalmedotnet.