Every website your organization puts up is going to reach a moment when it is obsolete, out of date or buggy.
How will you know?
With this quote Seth Godin starts his blog post And when it breaks? The most important takeaway is: Sometime every website breaks. Be prepared and allow your customers to reach you and let you know: “Where can our users report defects on this page?” The most common and easiest thing is a feedback form on your website. You should put a feedback form on your website right from the launch.
If you are concerned that such a feedback form won’t work all of the time, just put a contact email in the footer of the page. That works always, but most visitors and customers prefer a contact form.
How to increase customer loyalty
Customer loyalty is scarce and hard to get. At least, according to many sources on the internet. And loyalty is easy to loose, if your customer service is not doing what your customer expects. Here’s a tactical method to increase customer loyalty.
The method works by using a simple and not well-known approach to increase customer loyalty through customer service: Work together with your customer to resolve an issue and co-create the solution with your customer. Your customer in effect becomes their own customer service (with your help!). They get invested in the solution.
Getting started with co-creation is easy: Have a question and answer section in you knowledge base and in you online help. Let customers add questions and provide answers, visible for your other customers.
You can even make this method more effective by using the co-created solution in a FAQ or knowledge base as an example. Other customers will take note and see that you are working together with customers to proactively solve issues.
Customers are changing their views of support. When they need help, they expect an answer NOW! It doesn’t matter if you are a small business or a large organization, your customers compare how you handle support to companies like Zappos and Amazon. And if your support isn’t up to the standard your customers expect, they’ll tell the world. Or at least Twitter and Facebook.
In the past websites and software applications had extensive manuals. These were written by technical documentation specialists. For complex products this is still the norm, but for simpler and more agile products a different approach is needed. Manuals and documentation were written once a product was finished. But today most online products are never finished. They change all the time. From small changes in form fields to changes in how a product is designed.
The old approach of writing manuals and documentation after the product is finished no longer works. Compounding this problem is that most smaller organizations miss the resources to write the documentation in the first place. Besides, how can you foresee what questions your users and customers have? When you are a building a product you learn so much that the “curse of knowledge” comes to hunt you. This means that you know so much about your product, that you can’t imagine what (you think simple) problems users have. Add to that the pain of users waiting for a response from you, when they need to get their job done now.
A new way for support, be it manuals or help inquiries, is needed. Changing customer support to the needs of your users and customers is needed. Research has shown that your customers get disloyal if they need to put to much effort in resolving their support issues. You need to make it simple and fast for your customers to get support. Reduce effort as much as possible. For your customers and for you. Write a basic manual for your product, based on a standard template. Let customers add questions and support requests. Add the questions and your answers to the manual. And put the manual right into your website or application. That is the start.
“Everyone knows that the best way to create customer loyalty is with service so good, so over the top, that it surprises and delights. But what if everyone is wrong??”
Matthew Dixon, Nick Toman, and Rick Delisi start with this basic question in their exploration of the drivers of customer loyalty and excellent customer service. Their book The Effortless Experience describes their research and shows (with data) how word-of-mouth, customer support and customer loyalty interact.
- Customers with a negative experience are more likely to tell about and reach more contacts than customers with a positive experience. This implies that you need to concentrate on avoiding negative customer experiences, instead of wowing a few select customers.
- Think of this as a customer mantra: “we pick companies because of their products, but we often leave them because of their service failures.”
- Most customers prefer fast and effortless self service over waiting for a company to help them.
One of the key elements of effective self service is an online manual, available for your customers when and where they need help.
Reduced Customer Effort
is better Support
Is customer support eating your time? It’s even more frustrating for your customers. They’d rather not open a ticket or chat. They want a job get done now.
Helpcreator give customers immediate support to do their job by providing effective contextual help.
And you can focus your time on your business instead of answering the same support questions over and over.