You’ve built a great website, opened several social media accounts, wrote some great copy, and tested to make sure everything works as expected. Now you’re ready to flip the switch and open your virtual doors to the world. That’s a good start. It gives you an online presence.
You need to make sure, however, that your virtual presence is “staffed.” That is, when customers come knocking, will you be there to answer? Or better yet, when they have questions, will you be there to answer. If you or your web designer have done their job correctly, contacting you should be an easy process for your customers. An email address posted in your header/footer, a contact page with a form, your Twitter account, your Facebook page, etc. All of these are potential means by which your customers can engage with you.
Are you ready for that? Are you ready to respond in a timely manner? You’d better be. A lack of response or even a slow response will most likely result in a lost customer or worse yet, a dissatisfied customer. According to Peter Coffee, a vice president at Salesforce.com, “The typical customer tells an average of 16 other people about a poor service experience, but only tells nine about the good ones.” Can your business afford that? Probably not.
I’ve read before that “customer service is the new marketing” and I can see how that can be true. According to Customers: Brand Ambassadors or Enemies for Life?, “We buy things from businesses that treat us well, and boycott those that don’t.”
So make sure that your online presence which you’ve worked so hard to establish, is backed by real engagement with your customers. Make them feel special and you’ll create long-term customers. Now doesn’t that sound nice?
Agree? Disagree? Let me know what you think in the comments below.