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.

24 holiday marketing ideas for your business

It’s that wonderful time of the year when people are looking to purchase gifts and services for themselves and others! It’s key that you are positioned to take advantage of spending habits this holiday season. Below are 24 holiday marketing ideas you’re welcome to take and use for your business. They’re organized into different categories:

Restaurants: If you’re marketing for a food establishment, here 8 ideas you can use this holiday season.

  • Offer a free fountain beverage to anyone who posts about your restaurant and tags your business on Instagram.

  • Do a BOGO (buy one, get one free) sale for appetizers the week of Christmas.

  • Create a holiday special that’s only available throughout the month of December.

  • Set up an Instagram-worthy Christmas tree for customers to take pictures in front of to capture the holiday spirit.

  • Donate $1 from every order of $10 or more to your favorite charity.

  • Run a giving tree at your restaurant in collaboration with an orphanage or homeless shelter.

  • Offer a 10% discount on catering for company Christmas parties from now until December 31, 2018.

  • Add a little holiday cheer by serving a special Christmas-inspired beverage the week of Christmas.

Holiday specials are a great way to drive additional sales.

Holiday specials are a great way to drive additional sales.

Salons and spas: There are quite a few ways to increase foot traffic and total sales during this festive time of year. Below are 7 ways to market your salon/spa.

  • Discount select hair and makeup products to any client who brings in a can of food for the local food bank.

  • Offer a free 10-minute head and neck massage to anyone who gets their nails done through the month of December.

  • Give a goodie bag worth $15-20 of select products to any customers who spend $200 or more in a single visit.

  • Promote gift cards on social media accounts as a great option for stocking stuffers and presents for co-workers.

  • Sell BFF or “Mom and Daughter” self-care packages that are composed of any three of your services at a 10% discount until the end of 2018.

  • Hold a giveaway on Instagram offering a free spa day or free eyelash extensions to the winner.

  • Do a Facebook Live video sharing makeup tips twice a week.

Offering a free 10-minute massage to customers who come for other services such as manicures is a great way to increase sales.

Offering a free 10-minute massage to customers who come for other services such as manicures is a great way to increase sales.

Gyms and martial arts academies: Whether your business is a weightlifting gym or a karate school, these 4 tips can be tailored to your needs.

  • Offer a special holiday discount on gear such as hand wraps and Gi’s.

  • Make a large box available at the entrance so clients can participate in donating to a non-profit you choose to align with whether it’s a food bank or homeless shelter.

  • Host an open mat where percentage of entry fee go towards a charity.

  • Invite a black belt to teach a seminar with proceeds committed to scholarships for underprivileged youth.

Providing opportunities for people to experience a class is a great way to increase memberships.

Providing opportunities for people to experience a class is a great way to increase memberships.

E-commerce store for products: The holiday season is the perfect time of year for sales which you’ll get thanks to these 5 ideas.

  • Set up a limited-time discount that runs until Christmas day.

  • Work with influencers to distribute discount codes to build brand awareness and increase overall revenue.

  • Run a giveaway on Instagram to spread the word about new products you’ve released.

  • Announce holiday sales on email newsletter.

  • Partner with a complimentary company for a holiday giveaway i.e. dog toys and dog treats, workout clothes and workout supplements

Instagram is a great platform for giveaways and gaining brand recognition.

Instagram is a great platform for giveaways and gaining brand recognition.

Which holiday marketing ideas will you use for your business? Let us know in the comments below!