Improving your online customer service

Kelly  | we go - it's January. We've all got a fresh year ahead - a whole year to make all those customer support improvements we recognised were needed last year. Easier said than done! Here's a short guide that will help you stick to your New Year’s resolutions, one of which surely is about improving your online customer service, isn't it? Improve your responsiveness level with live chat

Some traditional brick and mortar stores can maintain a stable customer base simply by being in a convenient location. It’s a lot harder when your store is only to be found online, and all your competitors are equally accessible, just one click away. Maximise your attentiveness with live chat and notifications, and your bottom line will be rewarded. How? Just install the Casengo live chat widget on your site (add code or install the WordPress, Drupal or Magento plugin popup: true) and create notifications so you’re alerted when a new case (or an update to a case) arrives. You can respond in a snap via your smartphone or tablet - so no excuses that chat isn’t not for you just because you’re not a desk-jockey. Improve your efficiency level with macros

How important are canned responses (macros) in the world of customer support? If you find yourself shrugging your shoulders, do yourself a favour and try it. Macros are crucial for online retailers, big or small. With an inventory of macros, you can autofill responses to frequently asked questions, saving you time whilst ensuring consistent messaging. If you’re not in the habit of using macros, you may not be in the habit of updating the status of inquiries either. Use your time more efficiently by marking outstanding emails as ‘pending’ and urgent inquiries as ‘high priority’. You’ll never lose track of what needs following up, and you’ll be able to prioritize your time before your potential customers go somewhere else. Careful though! Don't overdo it - be wary of the Macro Overuse Syndrome... Improve your social service level by becoming a Facebook King

More and more consumers are using social media for customer support, and though they may be part of a minority, they’re finding it strange and disappointing if you they can’t reach out to you via Twitter when they want to (so get yourself a free Twitter account right now), or if you don't respond to their question or complaint on Facebook (so get yourself a Facebook Page here)

* UPDATE Dec 19th 2013: The Casengo application now support Facebook Pages. Connect your Casengo account easily to your company's Facebook Page, and respond to new posts and comments from within The Casengo application! Never miss another post... Don’t think of this as yet another tool to manage, but another way to create dialogue with your customers and engage them via the mediums they’re using most. Cut down costs by providing excellent self-service options

These days, we love helping ourselves. More than half of all consumers will first search online for answers to their questions, before seeking customer support - and the number is rising. So why absorb all the costs of customer support, when you can help your customers find their own answers? Get yourself an intuitive knowledge base. Every Casengo account includes a fully customizable, customer-facing support portal. Just load your knowledge base with answers to FAQs, and you'll see the number of interactions with support staff drop. Combine this with live chat. Each time your online visitors fill out the ‘enquiry’ field of the chat form, they are presented with possible answers from the knowledge base you’ve built. Only if they’re still not satisfied do they continue to connect to an agent for more customer support. So: the better the knowledge base, the fewer connections to support. So: self-service, Facebook, macros and live chat. A super combo.