What is the importance of customer service on your website or in your business? Well if you only have customers who know what they want, and are happy to keep what you send them whether it is right or wrong, you have nothing to worry about. In the real world, our company deals with a lot of customer service interaction. These interactions of our customer service department and our prospects and customers are vital in our survival and profitability. The old saying of “it is much easier to keep a customer than find a new one” is as true today as it was fifty years ago. The playing field though has changed a lot in fifty years and customer service is currently viewed with less importance than it should be.
A few simple solutions to the customer service issues that we face today can create great profits and opportunity. I have run several businesses, and have consulted on thousands. The same ratios always happen for certain processes in every business. People who get billed have a higher average order than people who pay by check. You may never get your money, but you will have an impressive average order. Orders taken by a human, are higher in average order than those placed online. Normally I see a ten to twenty percent increase in average order when taken by a person over an online order. Does that mean we should not take orders online? Absolutely not, but we should not be afraid to invest in a quality staff of people or a person that can take an order by phone and solve a problem when needed. If the average order is ten percent higher, how many orders does it take to pay for the staff? Also consider that many people want assistance in placing their larger order, and appreciate and give their loyalty to a company that makes that happen. Often a complaint or a return can be turned into an order and a loyal customer. If we only provide instructions on how to return an item on our website, then it is highly unlikely to sell that customer the correct item or provide them with guidance on why the item they purchased is the right item for them.
A simple way to improve website conversion rates online through quality customer service is to put your phone number on your website where it is visible. Providing the phone number for customer service builds trust and shows the importance you place on providing access to the expertise your customer service department can offer. We are in business to make a profit. For some time it seemed that reducing or eliminating customer service departments was very cost effective way to improve profits. When the higher average order values and better conversion rates are taken into account, it is far better to balance the channels. If a customer wants to place an order online, then we make it happen with a great custom eCommerce site. If a customer wants to place an order with a person, make sure you have a highly trained person to take it. How important is customer service? It can be the biggest profit center you have.