Simple ways to improve your online customer service

Think about your most recent customer service experience as a consumer. Whether it was good or bad, you're able to recall what happened fairly easily. There’s also a good chance you’ve probably already told your family and friends if it was a bad experience.

Positive customer service experiences help you increase your sales.

Positive customer service experiences help you increase your sales.

For better or worse, your customers feel the same way about their customer service experience with your business. They’ll tell the world if their dealings with you were negative. Consumers are starting to engage online in greater numbers as shown by the growing number of users on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. Because of this, it’s never been more important to improve your online customer service experience. Here are a handful of ways to resolve customer concerns and grow your brand:

Make it as personal as possible

It’s vital that you make your business about the customer who needs your assistance. A simple way to personalize the customer service experience is to address each individual by name. A generic ‘sir’ or ‘ma'am won’t get the job done. Be careful not to rush each conversation whether it’s a Facebook message chat or you’re talking on the phone. Always keep the long game in mind. Happy customers are more likely to buy more products and services when they’ve had a positive experience with your brand.

Follow up quickly

Respond quickly and effectively to any and all messages you receive.

Respond quickly and effectively to any and all messages you receive.

When you’ve received an inquiry on your website or a message on Instagram, don’t wait to respond. The longer you wait to respond, the more frustrated customers will be. Customers want answers and they want answers fast especially if they received an incorrect order or the product is faulty. 42% of consumers expect a response from you on social media within 60 minutes so time is key. After being in business for some time, you’ve probably started to realize which questions are the most common. You can be more proactive by having a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page on your website. This FAQ page will have your most common questions such as questions about shipping times and what to do when something is broken complete with answers. You’ll be able to save your company time and money in the long run and will also improve your SEO.

Ask for reviews

Reviews give satisfied customers the opportunity to rave about you.

Reviews give satisfied customers the opportunity to rave about you.

When someone raves about your brand on social media, shoot them a direct message and ask for a review. Reviews are a great way to build credibility online since 92% of consumers read online reviews and 63% of shoppers are more likely to buy from a website with reviews. They are also an effective way to help customers understand the benefits of what you have to offer and the problems your business helps them solve. When you’ve received a positive review on Facebook, respond immediately and thank the customer for the positive review. The same goes for reviews on your Google page.

Make your contact information easy to find

Don’t hide your customer service hotline and customer service email address. Not every customer will want to send you a message on Instagram or leave a complaint in the comments section on your Facebook page. Some prefer a chat on the phone or email to resolve any issues they may have.

Hire a customer service representative

Hiring a customer service rep will save you time and money in the long run.

Hiring a customer service rep will save you time and money in the long run.

If you’re drowning in your business responsibilities and can’t keep up with customer service demands, consider hiring someone to do it for you. This individual doesn’t need to work in the same office as you. It can be a remote position for even just 10-15 hours a week. Sure, it’s not the easiest way to improve your online customer service since it involves the use of capital but consider it an investment in the long run. When you have someone handling the day-to-day demands of customer service on your behalf, you’ll be able to focus on your strengths. The quality of your customer service will be able to improve thanks to having someone dedicated to it.

How To Create An Instagram Account For Your Business

So you want to start an Instagram account for your business. Whether you're a brand new business or an established institution, you're making a smart decision in deciding to use Instagram. As of December 2017, the social media platform boasted over 800 million monthly users, and it's only growing. That's a lot of potential customers depending on the industry you're in.

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In this blog post, we're going to lay out exactly how to set up an Instagram Business profile, step-by-step:

1. Choosing a username: It can be fun to come up with creative usernames but make sure you don't get too crazy. You want to be easy to find, so using your business's name (or as close to it as possible) will ensure that people can always find you and that they will always know it's you posting. For example, if your business name is Happy Days Dog Care then you want your username to be @happydaysdogcare. If the name of your restaurant is The Best Salads then your username should be @thebestsalads.

What do you do if someone has the username you were planning on using? This is possible since fewer businesses and accounts have original usernames. If you want your username to be @sarasyummybakedtreats but it's already taken, don't add numbers such as @sarasyummybakedtreats101. Try adding spaces between words such as @saras_yummy_baked_treats.

It makes everything less confusing for the consumer and makes them more likely to check your business out. The last thing you want is a confused consumer who really wants to buy one of your products but can't recognize your username.

2. Making your account a business profile: Head over to your own profile page and tap the gear (iPhone) or vertical ellipsis (Android) icon in the top right corner. Once you're in your settings scroll until you see an option called "Switch to business profile." Click on it and it'll take you through an orientation slideshow. Once you've clicked through the slideshow, it'll prompt you to connect your business's Facebook page, if you have one. If your Facebook page isn't showing up make sure you're listed as an admin on the page. If you don't have a Facebook page for your business you can skip right past that and choose a category and subcategory for your business (e.g. Category: Brands & Products, Subcategory: Clothing (Brand)). It will then have you fill in the email, phone number, and address for your business. And voila, you have an Instagram business profile!

3. Creating the perfect bio: Your bio is absolutely crucial to your profile. It's the first thing people see when they click on your profile, and it should tell them everything they need to know about your business. No one wants to read a novel in the bio, so make sure it's concise, but informational. A good template is to state your business's mission statement, then add around 3-5 relevant hashtags. Hashtags are awesome to put in your bio because they'll show your profile when someone searches that hashtag.

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4. Choosing a profile picture: This is an area where we've seen many people struggle. Many people will do pictures of themselves, or a picture of their product. The best thing to put as your profile picture is your logo. Think of how important logos are to a brand. You see a swoosh you know it's Nike. You see the interlocking, back-to-back C's, you know it's Chanel. Having that visual aid will help people to alway know it's you, and if ever they see it out and about, or even see something similar it will automatically bring their mind to your brand.

It's incredibly important now more than ever to have a strong social media presence for your brand. Take your time and really make your profile exactly the way you want, because it will open so many avenues for your growth.

Now that you have your Instagram all set up for business, what should you be posting? Check out our blog, "Posting on Your Instagram Story vs. Your Instagram Feed" for everything you need to know!