Every company has had to deal with angry, pesky and persistent customers at one point or another. As a business, it simply comes with the territory.
But can you ever, in a million years, imagine you or one of your fellow workers ignoring a customer? Or more extreme yet, hanging up the phone on someone? Regardless of how difficult that person is being, ignoring them is simply not an option in face-to-face and over-the-phone encounters.
Guess what? It's also an unacceptable practice in the digital world.
Shoppers these days don't just appreciate a rapid response when a company delivers service to them online - they expect it. Ignore my Twitter or social media complaint? Fine, I'll take my disposable income elsewhere. Take too long to answer my question via chat? I'm gone before you can say, "I'll be with you in minute."
My advice to you, then, is to treat digital questions, inquiries and complaints the same as if they were made over the phone or physically on-site. Because, trust me, customers expect you to deliver the same service.
Take advantage of autoresponders
If you're a small business owner, you might be wondering how your company - with its small internal marketing and customer service team - can possibly respond to every online inquiry in a timely manner.
You might think that all this new technology is only causing you complications, but it's arming you with solutions, too - such as autoresponders.
Using autoresponders for your marketing automation - and using them correctly - can help you accelerate better, more personalized relationships with prospects and customers. These are basic steps that every company can adopt - no matter what size.
According to a recent study:
- Less than a quarter of companies have integrated immediate autoresponders into their marketing campaigns.
- Only 30 percent answer back within an hour.
- Fewer than 40 percent send out follow-up emails within the week.
As we already established before, ignoring customers is never an option, regardless of how miniscule their inquiry may be. Autoresponders are such a valuable tool for smaller companies because they buy the firm some extra time.
The message can be simple - but it assures the consumer that (1) his or her complaint was received, (2) the company is working to resolve the issue, and (3) a business representative will be in touch soon.
Remember: treat online conversations like traditional ones
Just like phone and face-to-face communication, consumers don't like to be kept waiting when they ask a question or voice a complaint online. While autoresponders are not an effective solution in isolation, they can be invaluable tools for small businesses with limited resources.
If you're worried about taking too long to respond to customers, use them.