John MacDonald is the Director of Business Development with the Business Examiner News Group

Customer service is about solving the problems of your customers. Now, with a dramatically different business environment companies have to manage customer service across multiple channels.

Whose job is it anyway? The truth is, customer service is the responsibility of everyone in your company. Building a brand means delivering on a promise again and again. It means consistency and maintaining effective customer relationships.

  1. Respond to reviews quickly

Nearly nine in ten consumers read online reviews to determine the credibility of a business, and it’s important they see that the business has an active, responsive voice. All reviews should be acknowledged by your business. The only exception to this is star-only rating reviews. These are permitted on Facebook and a few other top review sites.

  1. Provide a consistent experience

Depending on the type of product or service that you offer, customers may interact with several people at the company before the final transaction. Your business needs to make sure that throughout the entire experience, that your customers are having positive interactions. The same story should resonate throughout your customer service efforts, and that story should be customer-centric.

  1. Experience your customer journey

Most businesses have put together their online presence somewhat piecemeal—create an account on one social platform, add chat integration to the website, build a blog, expand offerings, etc. While this is the most common way to build out a business, it doesn’t always equal the most seamless customer journey. Go through your buyer’s process. Search for yourself online, look at the website content, sign up for the newsletter, etc. Note any bumps and bruises you find along the way and how you can make the whole experience more cohesive.

  1. Use social media as a two-way street

While social media can be tiresome, let’s be sure we don’t ruin one of the best things about it—the fact that consumers can have conversations with businesses. Share helpful content, engage with consumers and occasionally share promotional info about your products or services. Asking questions, holding competitions and sharing content relevant to your audience are all good ways to engage with consumers. Don’t just talk, listen.

As businesses race to transition their businesses, digital customer service will play a crucial role in their ability to make it through these challenging times

  1. Have a high performing website

People visiting your website are not patient so your business needs to have a webpage and assets that load quickly. Nearly 50% of consumers expect a page to load in two seconds or less, anything longer than that, consumers start dropping off.

  1. Open communication and transparency

Consumers can detect sales-y language from a mile away. It’s best to be direct about your offerings, and even your shortcomings. Nail your sales approach and provide consumers the information they’re looking for. Even if you are unable to solve every problem your customers have, they’ll appreciate your honesty and will be less likely to leave.

  1. Get your listings right

Having a thorough understanding of listings is essential in the digital space. Getting business listing information accurate (name, address, and phone number) across the web, though, is one of the most important things your business can do to create a better digital customer service experience.

  1. Positive attitude & authenticity

The power of a positive, authentic attitude and its influence on customers should never be underestimated. Optimism is a cornerstone of customer service. Small changes in language and wording can make a huge impact on customers:

  1. Use email effectively

Make sure when you email your customers, that you have something to say. The communication should be timely, relevant and helpful. Having an effective call to action is essential—give them a reason to read and engage with the email.

John MacDonald is the Director of Business Development with the Business Examiner News Group. Call him at 604.751.0819, or email BEDigital@businessexaminer.ca.