5 Online Customer Service Mistakes and How To Do It Better!

Today’s online shopper has higher expectations than ever before. A 0800 number, buried deep in the last subpage of the online presence, or a generic email contact field are simply no longer sufficient. Customers expect personalized and one-to-one digital contacts despite the anonymity on the Internet. But where exactly can companies uncover their weaknesses?

#1. The Wrong Channel

The first simple mistake in online customer service is to simply use the wrong channel to approach customers. For digital enthusiasts, the right channel is naturally digital — be it the website, mobile sites, apps or social media platforms. This is exactly where online shoppers can be reached better. Beauty companies are experimenting with video chat to offer their customers makeup advice. Other companies are even going one step further and contacting their customers via snapchat. More and more users, across different generations, are using these real-time channels.

#2. Intrusive Sales Tactics

The wrong content at the wrong time is often associated with spam instead of informative content. In the worst case, it can even be disturbing and completely irrelevant. Nobody likes the feeling of being sold very aggressively — especially if you are dealing with something else at the time. With regard to their online customer service, companies should ask themselves the question about their own website, who the target group is and what exactly might interest them.

Information is provided by search terms that lead to the site, visitor behaviour and analyses of purchase transactions. Based on this, valuable, target-oriented content should be created and shared, appropriate to the individual channels. The motto is: individual, interesting content versus a one-size-fits-all approach. For example, can the service team collect a lot of questions about the purchase and the shopping cart? If so, it might be a good idea to create a tour video for the website that takes up and explains any ambiguities.

#3. No Personality

Studies on online customer service show that consumers prefer to communicate with companies via digital channels, i.e. via e-mail, social media or directly via the website. But even in this digitally driven world, online shoppers want personal customer service. They don’t want to feel as if they are talking to a robot or receiving ready-made answers. And the result of this impersonal digital customer strategy? Annoyed customers and a loss of existing and potential customers. The solution? Online customer service needs to be more human. New possibilities must be created to contact users directly, for example via live chat, video support or social media.

#4. Unclear or Unreachable

Studies showed that most users wait an average of only 76 seconds for support. If support does not reach them in time, potential customers jump away and look for alternatives. Waiting is rarely an option, the alternatives are too numerous. Best case? A 24-hour online customer service. 31% of online shoppers expect immediate help and 30% leave the shopping cart without buying anything because they can’t find online support immediately. The advice? Fast, intelligent help in real time, for example via chat buttons that can be found immediately, no matter where you are on the website, are the tool to keep up with the fast pace of life on the net.

#5. Mobile and Socially Not Networked

According to Google we are in the age of ‘’participation’’. Here the question arises whether your own website promotes or prevents this participation. One sure mistake companies make when dealing with their online customer service is to deny their customers the opportunity to share the content of websites on social media. The ‘’click to share’’ option, whether on Twitter, Pinterest or Facebook, must become the standard. After all, users who interact with companies via social media are also very likely to become customers. The comment function should always be switched on and buttons for sharing should always be clearly visible.

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