Customer service and Websites
Customer service is defined as: ‘The provision of service to customers before, during and after a purchase’.
Unfortunately, when it comes to websites the only customer service that can be identified is after a purchase is made. Returns and complaints information is dealt with in the terms and conditions with no thought of the journey made by the customer when they decide to purchase the product or service before they get to your website and when they are on it.
The concept and practice of customer service should inform every touch-point that you or your business has with your customer, whether they are still at the stage of being a ‘lead’, or if you have a long standing relationship with them. Websites are now the primary initial touch-point for business, and in many cases represent the whole of the sales acquisition or decision making process.
Poor customer service and your reputation
A poor customer service can result in no purchase or enquiry, a disgruntled customer who tells others, and more so nowadays, a damning review on one of the many and varied forums, review websites or social media, where it is likely to be read, shared and commented on by others. You may not even be aware of it and there is very little you can do about it.
Essentially the internet is a self-service environment, where the number one factor of success is to ensure that every user need is considered and provided for, however small or insignificant it may seem to you.
Website user experience
A poor website user experience (the result of this failure to provide for your users’ needs) is very rarely due to one thing. It is often a result of lack of focus on the customer (many businesses mistakenly think their website is for them, not their customers); a combination of many small issues, every little ambiguity, barrier, or problem that combine to damage the overall effectiveness of your website and inevitably results in damage to your business and brand.
So where do you start to improve your online customer service? First, aim to get a much clearer understanding of who your customers are, and in turn their needs (not yours). Then, identify if your website is meeting those needs by assessing its effectiveness and performance against the criteria (the needs you have identified) as well as adhering to website conventions and online standards. This will in turn take you a step closer to your website working for your business, helping meet business objectives and in turn increase your return on investment.
Website user experience evaluation is a fast track way for you to understand how your customers deal with your website. It identifies the barriers that your customers experience when they use your website to find the information they seek.
The more barriers you put in your website the lower the conversion rate is and the lower the sales or leads that you could generate.
Conversion rate optimisation
The process and feedback from a conversion rate optimisation review will help you to understand the problems that your customers have on your website. Removing them will increase the conversion of visitors into customers and result in higher sales or leads.
If you would like to arrange a conversion rate optimisation review of your website please compete the form on the left hand side of the page or give PelaTis Online a call on 01639 680248.