Cover Story Extra - More Best Practices
In the September cover story, Greg Gianforte, CEO and founder of RightNow Technologies, shared six best practices for providing top-notch customer service on the Web. Here are eight more to apply to your online customer service programs, followed by three big insights from Liz Kislik, founder of Liz Kislik Associates, on the future of effective telemarketing
Best Practices: Web-supported customer Service
1. Coordination between channel strategies.
Companies need a "champion" who will "own" the Web channel and ensure that it is well integrated with their overall business objectives.
"Much of the Web channel's value stems from its ability to constantly adapt to the changing needs of the company and its customers as new products and services are introduced, markets and technologies evolve, and use of the site grows," says Gianforte.
A champion represents the needs of the Web site, making sure that it remains dynamic and current, and that all channel managers support its contribution to the company's goals.
2. More links in more places.
Prominent customer service links need to be placed in a variety of locations throughout the site. This ensures that as browsers and buyers develop questions in their visit/transaction, they don't have to go hunting for the customer service area of the site.
3. Don't forget visuals.
One of the big advantages of a Web site is it's ability to deliver dynamic content. The more interactive you make your site, the more easily customers can find the information they want without the need for assistance.
For example, instead of forcing browsers to wander around your site, trying to gather enough detail to determine which product is best for them, create a menu-driven tool that allows them to choose from a list of variables to pinpoint their search. Once their selection has been made, connect them directly to the specified product page.