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BUSINESS for BUSINESS Internet Marketing | Book & Articles | Articles | Customer Service and YOUR Website

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Customer service and YOUR Website

By Nigel T Packer

Customer service is defined as: ‘the provision of service to customers before, during and after a purchase’.  Unfortunately, so many businesses treat customer service not just as an after-thought, but as something that occurs after-sales, and it’s no different on the internet.

The concept and practice of customer service should inform every touch-point that you or your business has with your customer, whether they are still at the stage of being a ‘lead’, or if you have a long standing relationship with them.  Websites are now the primary initial touch-point for business, and in many cases represent the whole of the sales acquisition or decision making process.

A poor customer service can result in no purchase or enquiry, a disgruntled customer who tells others, and moreso nowadays, a damning review on one of the many and varied forums, review websites or social media, where it is likely to be read, shared and commented on by others.  You may not even be aware of it and there is very little you can do about it.

Essentially the internet is a self-service environment, where an essential factor of success is to ensure that every user need is considered and provided for, however small or insignificant it may seem to you.

A poor website user experience (the result of this failure to provide for your users’ needs) is very rarely due to one thing.  It is often a result of lack of focus on the customer (many businesses mistakenly think their website is for them, not their customers); a combination of many small issues, every little ambiguity, barrier, or problem that combine to damage the overall effectiveness of your website and inevitably results in damage to your business and brand.

So where do you start to improve your online customer service?  First, aim to get a much clearer understanding of who your customers are, and in turn their needs (not yours).  Then, identify if your website is meeting those needs by assessing its effectiveness and performance against the criteria (the needs you have identified) as well as adhering to website conventions and online standards.  This will in turn take you a step closer to your website working for your business, helping meet business objectives and in turn increase your return on investment.

Website user experience evaluation is a fast track way for you to understand how your customers deal with your website. 

Arrange a website evaluation session by calling 01792 817270.

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