When you run a small business, a vast majority of your customers may interact with you online instead of in person. Because of this, one of your most pressing duties as a business owner is to ensure that your customers’ virtual experiences are in line with what they can expect when you’re face-to-face. To do this, you’ll have to offer services and solutions that will both boost your business and keep your clients happy.
How Do I Do That?!
The question of how, exactly, to make your online endeavours every bit as enjoyable to your customers as those you partake in offline isn’t always easy to answer. Of course, exactly how you go about your online customer service will be different depending on what you offer and how you communicate. But there are a few things that are universal. Things like:
- Keeping your customers’ information safe. If your customers enter information into your site, such as for online shopping or to receive a newsletter, this data is vulnerable. Hackers are everywhere, and your customers’ names, addresses, and credit card numbers are valuable assets. Because of this, you have to take extreme caution with your cybersecurity, both online and with your physical devices, such as your smartphone and servers. Make sure that your website developer has included things like SSL certificates and regular software updates, which can both keep your site secure.
- Offering online tech support. There are few situations that are more frustrating to customers than logging onto a website only to hit a glitch. Unfortunately, due to the complex nature of technology, it happens, and you can’t always help it. For these moments, online tech support is one of the best ways to keep your customers interested and engaged. Tech support is also important if you make or sell items, such as cameras or other electronics, since many of your customers may need a helping hand once their package arrives.
- Regularly interacting on social media. Your digital world is not solely comprised of your website. You also have to pay attention to social media. According to All Business, there are more than 2 billion social media users across the globe. This puts you in an excellent position to reach far beyond your hometown. Make sure to claim all of your listings, including Google My Business and Facebook. These and other platforms are valuable avenues for communication with your customers.
People That Can Help
If you’re a little overwhelmed with the three tips above, it’s probably time to start onboarding some help. But, since your customers’ data safety is your number one priority, you want to make sure that your new employees and freelancers are on the up and up. Do a background check once you’ve made an offer of employment. Complete Check explains that rules vary from state to state (for example, you may not be able to use un-prosecuted arrests in your decision or information older than seven years) so confirm what you can and can’t do first.
A few of the people that can help you with your online efforts include:
- Search engine optimization (SEO) Specialist. This is an individual or service that understands how search engine algorithms work and knows how to structure your content to rank on the first page.
- Social media manager. Like an SEO specialist, your social media person understands how search engines work, and can ensure your posts are being seen.
- In-house IT. You do not have to have an entire information technology department, but you should have at least one well-rounded technology buff. This person can work with all of your other employees to ensure your website, social media, and other online outlets, as well as your internal technology, remain functional.
When you run a small business, you can’t afford to leave anything to chance. Take action now and put people into place that can bolster your online efforts, and you won’t have to. Remember, our world is online, and you can’t afford to neglect this important aspect of your business, even if your primary source of revenue comes from brick and mortar activities.