XL Web Services Blog

4 ways to provide old fashioned customer service in a high-tech world

In today’s high tech world we are often so caught up in email, text and social media that we lose sight of the real people behind those accounts. Those people are our clients and customers who appreciate a face-to-face meeting. They appreciate when a real person answers the phone and they appreciate timely professional responses to requests. Combining technology and old fashioned customer service will help you and your business to be at the top of your game.

Here are four ways to combine technology and old fashioned customer service:

1. Face to Face Meetings: Being able to see each other is a way to build trust so why are you solely communicating via email and text with your clients?
Most businesses are on tight budgets. Whether meeting a prospective client or training your team in another state or country, face-to-face meetings are important. Skype is a FREE way to have face-to-face meetings without incurring travel expenses.

2. Response time: How many times have you emailed someone and not gotten a response for weeks or months? It happens more than we realize and it makes for bad business. Clients want and expect a response within 24-48 hours. Set your out- of-office or auto-responder if you are not available for more than a few hours. Responding promptly could be the difference between keeping and losing a client. They will appreciate your effort.

3. Be the Solution Creator by getting to know the client. Ask questions, research and offer resources that will benefit their business. This could be as simple as emailing an article on a topic of interest. Those actions illustrate you’re listening to them and working to create solutions even when you’re not in front of them. Creating solutions is an effective way to impress and retain clients.

4. Going above and beyond client expectations can be as simple as picking up the phone instead of emailing back and forth for hours. You want to use technology to your advantage. Offer resources like video conferencing and webinars to teach or present to clients. Ask whether they prefer email, phone or texting as the primary form of communication. Little things add up to happy, retained customers.

Delivering customer service and being a solution provider make you an asset to any business.



Social Media and Your Online Reputation




Do you really know how you appear to prospects?  Gone are the days when eye contact and a firm handshake made your first impression on a potential client.  In this brave new world of the digital age, the first encounter prospects will likely have with you will be through search engines.  It’s an important concept to keep in mind as you create and build your online reputation.


Reality Check

Run a Google search using your name and industry.  This is likely to be the first thing people see regarding you.  Remember that old MySpace account that you haven’t touched since 2008?  The one with the pictures from that trip to Mexico with your old college chums?  It may not be the best first impression.  It’s time to delete dormant account profiles and restrict privacy settings on current accounts.  Keep your business and personal accounts separate.

Establish Presence

Social media is a great way to build your online reputation.  Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, blogs and other social media outlets score high in Google’s search algorithm.  Be sure to keep your reputation in mind when building your profile.  Include search words in your bio and descriptions.  Remember that by engaging in conversations, you keep your name and your reputation relevant.  Keep in mind that the adage for the digital age may well be:  Content. Content.  Content.  Create a photo album. Upload videos.  Create podcasts.  Maintain a blog.  Blogs are also especially helpful in establishing you as a thought leader in your industry but all of the above demonstrate desire, commitment and creativity. 

Maintenance

Once you’ve established yourself online, you’ll still want to know what’s being said about you.  Google Alerts is a free service that notifies you by email of any mentions of you.  This allows you to have a good feel for where you reputation stands and make you aware of any potential problems.  You don’t need to delete negative feedback but you do need to respond to it.  This demonstrates both maturity and your seriousness about customer satisfaction.