GET OFF MY WALL!: Improving On-Site Customer Service

by Kristy Bolsinger on Jun 28, 2010

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Customer service is getting a lot of attention in social media. For good reason. There’s a lot to be said for providing quality customer service on platforms like Twitter, Facebook and others. At this point it’s practically a necessity.

Providing quality customer service in the social space can take a great deal of time and if you’re a team of one (or few) that can be unreasonable. At this point it’s time to think about training your traditional CS staff in the ways of social. That is another post all together so I’m not EVEN going to touch that here.

There are things you can do to alleviate the time spent on CS in social space however, that don’t involve any more human resources than you already have. We are talking about your website, people.

Improving your on-site customer service experience for your visitors can lessen the likelihood of your customers turning to your Facebook wall or other social sites to vent or get help.

A few examples of customer service elements you should consider adding (or improving) on your website:

Chat

Adding both proactive and reactive elements of chat to your website can alleviate the need to contact CS through more traditional touch points and can also prevent frustration with your customers.

  • Proactive Chat: Users are targeted and invited to chat based on specific business rules
  • Reactive Chat: User initiates a chat session with you

Product Pages

Be sure that your customers can find your CS touch points from the product pages.  Often times this is when they need them the most.  Don’t make them search! Help them help you help them!

Request Feedback

Ask for an analyze feedback on your customer service material. Things like “Was this answer helpful?” have a low barrier for your customers and are easy for you to analyze the responses to (and then adjust content accordingly).

Rich Site Search

Include content from your knowledge base in your site search results. Not just products. Think about user behavior and this one seems logical but a surprising number of sites do not do this.

Forums

Users helpin’ users. Whats better than that?! There are a variety of different platforms you can implement ranging from plug-and-play options to more IKEA-y versions. Running and maintaining forums is an art form, but it can be so very worth it depending on your products. Allow your users to help one another without you necessarily getting involved. Also – helllllooooooo community building!!!

FAQ

Make sure this page is linked to from relevant product pages. Use the feedback you’re getting to constantly work to improve your FAQ.

Variety

This is insinuated in the points above, but remember, each of your users is bringing with them a unique set of preferences. If at all possible provide a wide variety of ways for your customer to get in touch with you. Phone, email, chat, snail mail, etc etc etc. Giving them a medium they feel comfortable with will increase the likelihood of use.

By increasing the number and quality of customer touch points on your website you are making it easier for your customers to get in touch with you and get the help they need. This provides not only a more positive experience for your customer, increasing their loyalty, but also may prevent them from moving to places such as Facebook and Twitter to seek assistance (at best, and complain loudly at worst).

Post Author

Kristy Bolsinger is currently employed as a Social Business Consultant with Ant's Eye View in Seattle, WA. Previously she was with RealNetworks. Prior to her time at RealNetworks Kristy was working as a Social Media Marketing Consultant and completing...