Why your website could be damaging your business
20 April 2015
Customer service is important to every business, and as we all know, developing and maintaining strong client relationships is the key to customer retention. In the cleaning industry, customer service doesn’t stop with a phone call or email; it extends to a solid after-sales service in which customers can approach suppliers for training, help and advice on how to get the most out of their cleaning products.
However, customer service isn’t limited to human interaction. It covers all channels that you use to communicate with your customers, including your website. More often than not, companies build a website only to let it become stagnant. You concentrate on developing your business, establishing good levels of customer service, adapting products and services to meet the changing needs of customers, but at the same time you fail to develop your company website in line with this.
Sound familiar? Keep reading!
First impressions count
We all know the expression “first impressions count” and this is particularly true for websites. Remember that your website represents your company and your brand and it should do so in a professional manner. With 88% of website visitors less likely to return to your site if they are unsatisfied with layout and functionality*, your website should be designed in such a way that it instantly offers good customer service and experience. And no, we’re not talking big budgets and a technical team of experts. You most certainly don’t need to be Apple or Nike to achieve this. Your website simply needs to do what your customers’ require. And that’s what good online customer service means; providing customers with a tool that meets their needs and helps them to find what they are looking for.
People are constantly talking about the need to have an “online presence”. Yes, having an online presence is vital in this day and age where 85% of consumers use the internet to find local businesses - however, the overall aim of a website should not just to “be online”. The purpose of your website should be to support your business, give a good customer experience and help visitors achieve what they came to the website to do.
This means that you also need to encourage customers’ to go down the desired path that you want them to take. If you have a new product, tell your customers about it. Don’t just hope that they find it on your site. Add an article to the news section or update your imagery and banner to promote it. Let’s take the case of a cleaning company as an example. Customers may arrive on a cleaning company’s website to learn more about their cleaning services. But don’t just tell them about your services, encourage them to take action. A simple call-to-action such as “Enquire now” directing them to the contact us page would encourage visitors to pick up the phone or email you. Or perhaps you want to give them more detailed information about alternative services. For example, from the Office Cleaning Services page you could add a link directing users to an interesting article speaking about the pros and cons of daytime cleaning vs. night-time cleaning. Alternatively, you could direct them to a case study or review from a previous customer who availed of this service.
Listen and learn
As mentioned previously, a company website should support the business. By listening to what your customers want, you can adapt your website to meet these needs. Here at Brightwell we listened to our customers’ requirements and have recently redesigned certain sections of our website to meet these demands.
We had been receiving calls from customers asking us to send them product imagery as they found it difficult to download the images from the media library on our website. Customers also couldn’t preview the imagery meaning that they had to download all images from the range as a bulk ZIP file. In response to this, we re-designed our media library and re-launched it as a modern and user-friendly Resource Hub. From the Resource Hub customers can now access all the latest product information such as brochures, manuals and videos. It includes a high definition image gallery which shows a preview of all the images and enables customers to download each image individually removing the need for bulk downloads and ZIP files.
In addition to this, we created 3D Product Showcases giving users an interactive product experience. This tool is particularly useful for our distributors and stockists who can easily access all product information at the click of a button. The 3D Product Showcases are multi-lingual and highlight product USBs and operation as well as offering video demonstrations and literature.
“By improving our website experience, we were able to give users and potential customers the information that they wanted. We also freed up our sales and customer service team to follow up leads and customer queries instead of dealing with minor administrative tasks that our website should have been equipped to deal with”, comments Lesley McKenna, Brightwell Dispensers Marketing Executive.
Treat your website like any other channel that you use to communicate with customers and optimise it to ensure that it offers the best customer experience. After all, your customer service and sales team strive to offer the best level of service possible to attract customers, so why wouldn’t your website do the same!