Avatar News : Internet Marketing from a Kiwi Perspective

October 2013

Written By: Mark Rocket & Katie O’Neill
Published by: Avatar Ltd

Greetings All,

Has your website grown in leaps and bounds over the year? Before you put your jandals on for Summer, think about doing an end of year push to get your site humming for next year by evaluating your design, marketing and conversions. This month’s feature article discusses how to provide top customer service in an online environment, as well as our usual selection of sites of interest, tid-bits and statistics.

How To Provide Great Online Customer Service

With more businesses conducting their sales partially or even fully online these days, it’s essential to provide just as high a quality of assistance and sales support as you would with a traditional store or service. What’s more, not having physical premises can make it more difficult for potential customers to ascertain if you’re trustworthy, so it’s extra important to appear reliable and professional. Here are some ways you can improve customer service and encourage both new and repeat customers.

  1. Be prompt. The longer you wait between the initial enquiry and your response, the more likely the customer will lose interest and shop elsewhere. Responding within the first hour is ideal for making the sale conversion, but it should never be longer than 24 hours at the most. Getting a quick response not only prompts customers to buy while the impulse is still strong, it also shows them that the business is active and responsive, which is reassuring in case there are problems further down the line.
  2. Be personal. Customers don’t want to hear a generic, computer-generated response. They want to know that someone has read and understood their specific query. Respond professionally and personally, referring to their issues and asking questions about it to clarify if necessary. In many cases a friendly, conversational tone can be very effective in inspiring confidence and rapport with the consumer.
  3. Be an expert. It’s essential that all staff dealing with customer support are experts on the product or service being sold. They should be able to answer any lingering questions about the product, as well as provide support and advice for care and service after the initial purchase. This is where it becomes important to invest in staff who have fluent communication skills and, if necessary, offer them the proper training so they’re well-versed on your product range as well.
  4. Be compliant. Not every customer will be a happy one, and sometimes it’s through no fault of your own. Rather than being defensive and refusing a return or refund (even when you weren’t the cause) it’s often better to simply make a concession. It turns their experience from a bad one into a good one, and usually will happen so infrequently as to be worth the value of the returned sale.
  5. Be honest. Rather than over-selling and under-delivering, it’s better to be honest about the limitations of your product and your store. Promising that the product will work in a certain way or will arrive within a certain timeframe without being sure isn’t fair on the customer and only leads to problems if your claims prove false. Saying “I don’t know,” or “I can’t guarantee that,” is much better for both parties, and if anything proves to the customer that you’re honest and trustworthy.

Overall, it’s useful to think about developing a positive ‘tone’ for your online interactions. Can you make it fun? Engaging? How can you stand out from your competitors?

Statistic Of The Month

55% of all commerce-related conversions occur within an hour of the initial mobile search. Mobile audiences are made up of motivated sellers, as they are often looking for something that meets an immediate need in front of them. This highlights how important they are for businesses selling products and services online, and if you haven’t already it’s time to ensure you’re addressing this niche with a responsive or even custom designed mobile site.

Tidbits

Search Results ‘(Not Provided)’ – A big change to Google Analytics will have a large impact on how you analyse keyword data.

Mainstream Solar Energy – As costs fall, solar power is being seen less and less as the “alternative option” for businesses.

The Dark Internet – The darker side of the internet has long been a hive for criminals, but with recent  governmental threats to the freedom of the net, it’s starting to be put to use by average citizens too.

Welcome to Li-Fi – A research group in China has achieved wireless internet access through flashing lightbulbs.

Build Better Landing PagesSeven tricks to show you how to make your landing pages more effective and convert visitors.

That’s A Nice Space Rock – Possibly the coolest looking meteor ever has been discovered in Fukang, China.

Groovy, baby? No, not at all! – A video of Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates as Dr Evil and the shagadellic spy Austin Powers has been uncovered. It is impossible to watch without cringing.

Sites Of Interest

A selection of sites we’ve worked on recently in web design, WordPress setups and/or web marketing.

Circle Auctions
Specialist auctioneers of agricultural equipment based in Ashburton in North Canterbury.
Hoon Hay Medical Centre
Providing a range of quality health services in the suburb of Hoon Hay, Christchurch.
KiwisSTAT
Medical locum jobs and opportunities throughout Australia and New Zealand, with a range of placements.
AusSTAT
The sister site to KiwisSTAT, providing the same medical placement services for Australians.

Cartoon Of The Month


Reprinted With Permission

 

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