Making things easy for customers on your site is not a ground breaking suggestion, but you’d be surprised at how many websites don’t actually offer enough information to their visitors. This often leaves them frustrated and pushes them to leave your site and find what they were looking for elsewhere.
In this post we’ll take a look at what makes for better website customer support, before offering some tips on how to do it.
Providing a website visitor with all of the information that they may need, whether about your company, your products and services, or the options are available to them, is an essential step in converting a visitor into a customer. After all, if you’re not providing this information, you can be sure that someone else will be.
So, how can you best support your online customers?
First of all, it is absolutely essential to make your contact information as accessible and easy to find as possible. Again, it may seem like I’m stating the obvious, but far too many websites conceal their contact information at the foot of the page.
Make sure that your phone number is evident and bold in the header. This will also ensure that it will appear on every page of your site. You’ll notice that this is the approach we’ve taken for our site:
Underneath our company phone number are links to our social media profiles. This gives customers numerous ways of contacting us online, as well as an opportunity for them to discover more about us as a company through our online activities.
Customers need this: if they have a query or are teetering on the edge of making a purchase on an ecommerce site, you need to make it easy for them to pick up the phone and ask you questions.
It’s also crucial nowadays to have a “Contact” or “Contact Us” tab in your website’s main navigation bar. As popular websites have these, it sets a precedent for other sites. This page needs to include all of the potential ways in which customers may choose to contact you. These may include:
- Your phone number, and a fax number if you have one
- Your office hours, to let your customers know when they can contact you over the phone
- Your address – or multiple addresses, if you’re based in a number of locations
- A map, so people know how to find you
Here is our example of how you can show your multiple office details:
Your contact us page might also include an enquiry form. Here is a guide on best practice for enquiry forms.
For both emails and enquiry forms, be sure to give an approximate estimate for how long you might take to respond. Customers like to know that you’ll get back in touch with them within 24 hours, but depending on your services this may vary. Indeed, if you have an impressive response rate of one hour, do not be afraid to specify that in this section, as it may well be the push that gets potential customers to contact you.
Other essential requirements on your website that will make life a lot easier for your customers – and in the long term, easier for you – include an FAQ section, testimonials, and case studies. Not only do these act as strong trust signals, they also allow visitors to see that others have used your products and services, and how they helped them.
All of these simple measures can really go a long way toward helping customers easily understand your products and services, making it much more likely that if you provide what they’re looking for, they’ll buy it from you.
Live chat is fast becoming the preferred method of communication between customers and ecommerce sites.
With live chat, there is very little delay in waiting for a response – unlike emails or social media messages, which could go unnoticed for days. It’s also preferable to phone communications, as there is no hold time, no charge, and both parties receive a record of the conversation. What’s more, it’s convenient, and allows the customer to multi-task, which is particularly helpful if the customer in question is called upon to provide reference numbers, banking details, or other information in order to proceed with the conversation.
According to a recent study by Tech Radar, as little as 20% of businesses in the UK and Europe are using live chat as a customer service option, so adding this functionality on your website could really put you ahead of your competitors.
If you’re thinking of adding this kind of software onto your website, here’s a handy list of the top ten live chat support software. And if you need a little more persuasion, here are more considerations on why live chat is a great option for modern websites.
Surveys & Feedback
Asking your customers directly is probably the easiest way of gauging whether people are having difficulties navigating on your site. You can do this by sending surveys to previous customers via an email marketing campaign – just remember to ask simple yes or no questions to ensure that more people take part.
It may even be an idea to get a friend to visit your site and share their thoughts on it. A fresh pair of eyes can reveal a lot. When you’ve already put so much work into your site, you may not be able to notice that certain key features are missing.
Finally, monitor your social media accounts and other review websites. See what people are saying about your website and services and find out if there is anything that you can do at your end to improve matters for your customers.
These steps should help to ensure that a customer finds it easy to navigate your website, find what they are looking for, and get answers to their questions. If they encounter no obstacles to understanding your business and products, and can buy your products without difficulty, you should expect your conversion rates to improve.