This is a guest post from Keith Barrett at Offer UK
If you sell your products and services online then you may feel somewhat distant from your customers. To some extent, that’s a natural by-product of the way in which online selling often works.
It’s not like having your own physical store, where you may see individual customers on a regular basis and will probably find it easier to strike up a good relationship with them.
Despite this, it is perfectly possible to provide your customers with what they want when you are selling online. As ever, the key to running a successful business is to ensure that you maintain a high level of customer service. This is the best way to guarantee that customers will keep returning to your online store.
When it comes to the internet, you need to think about how potential customers will react from the moment that they arrive at your website.
You should be aiming to create a site that is professional, that’s easy to navigate around and where everything is transparent.
In particular, you should obviously provide a secure payment facility and also make sure that you make it clear that you have done so. Ensure that you don’t hide any costs – be up front about how much it will cost for you to deliver items, for example. Customers like honesty – they don’t want to feel that you’re holding back any information.
If you have a great deal to offer then certainly make the most of it. Many people associate internet shopping with cost savings, so there’s no harm in demonstrating that they can save by shopping online at your store. Just make sure that you avoid making any false claims. Again, the key here is to be honest and transparent.
What about when it comes to customer contact? Many sites have live chat software that allows the business to interact in real time with the customer. Some internet stores like to deal with all contact by email. Although this is certainly possible, you really need to think carefully about how you deal with such emails.
You should certainly always try to reply as quickly as you possibly can. Make sure that your replies are always professional and informative. You should try to avoid standard, automated responses. It can be absolutely infuriating to receive emails of this nature and you certainly don’t want to annoy your customers.
Keeping your customers happy is all about being professional, efficient, honest and transparent. If you stick to these basic principles then you won’t go far wrong.
Keith Barrett takes a keen interest in consumer issues. He writes about shopping and discount codes for Offer UK, a leading consumer website.