Why Consumer Reviews Are Crucial To Business


Over the past years, online reviews have produced a new structure of communication and marketing. This definitely linked the breach between plain tittle-tattle and a viral form of feedback that can create a big impact for businesses. The significance of online reviews for businesses is truly surprising – from boost of brand awareness to an increase of profit overall, sooner or later.

For business owners, it always feels great when you read great reviews online and scored a high rating from your customers. The feeling is awesome and it makes you even more driven to provide great service or quality products etc.  But if it’s the other way around, that could be bad for your business. If this is the case, how do you respond to this situation if you’re a business owner?

Essentially, online reviews are vital to any company that wishes to keep control of its reputation online. Reviews and online ratings have pretty much created a big impact in online marketing ever since the worldwide web became known to almost every household member (even grandma knows how to shop online). Online reviews basically allow businesses to hold, positive and dynamic participation from customers. It also gives consumers a strong foundation to generate a great bond with those businesses. Keeping control of this matter is vital and it really pays off.

If your business has quite a lot of good online reviews, it can definitely help make your business more important in the eyes of search engines. Sites like Bing Places, YELP, and Google Places for business, when you have several reviews on these following sites, then its great sign for you. You have to take note that the goal of a search engine is to show the most valuable content possible for an online reader, based on what they are looking for. Practically, search engines distinguish that online users are likely to read product or service, and local business reviews, and that is the reason why they find it irresistible to display them as well. You will frequently be compensated when it comes to appearing in localized search results if you have online customer reviews for your business.

Here are major reasons why customer online reviews are important to businesses, especially to small and midsize companies:

  • Improved Sales – First and foremost, this is what all is about in business – profits! It’s the biggest reason why online reviews are essential to businesses. It eventually increases sales by giving consumers the information they could do with to make the decision to acquire a product or service from a business.
  • Understanding what the Customer Wants and to Serve Them Even Better – These reviews are capable of telling you whether you are doing an excellent job or what you are doing wrong and how to improve your service.
  • Reviews Generate More Reviews – It appears to persuade other online readers and visitors to give their own views when a business, product or service has already received good reviews online. If other readers can perceive the number of reviews about a particular business, it is convincing enough to give new visitors the confidence to leave their own evaluation on that particular product or service.
  • Boost Search Rankings –It does not only create a healthier relationship between businesses and its consumers; but they work towards improving your websites ranking on search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo! and a lot more.

Others:

  • Higher Keyword Content
  • Allow Consumers to Have a Voice and Create Consumer Loyalty
  • Create Consumer Engagement

Do online reviews matter? Share your comments today.

Put Some Order (Taking) in Their Holiday Madness

Homemakers whipping up a feast for Thanksgiving dinner, parents juggling between work and getting the latest new toys for the little ones, shoppers hunting far and wide to complete their seemingly growing Christmas gift list—these are just some of the most stressed people during the holiday season.

Wouldn’t it be nice if something could be done to lessen the madness, so they could really enjoy the season of good cheer—not just during the festivities, when all the preparation and shopping are over?

Here is where your business can come in, particularly your order taking call center service.

If you had an order taking customer contact center service, Mrs. Fielding can simply call up the hotline to buy ingredients for the Turkey, pudding, and other holiday treats—items that she purchased at your online shop. The same order taking service can help parents who saw the cutest doll and hot new Hot Wheels track set their kids have been singing praises about all year round. And of course, it can be a shopper’s best friend since they can simply order up after checking out gift ideas on the website.

So come on, be a stress-buster this holiday season and allow them to “order in”.

Channel Those Orders and Win Over Customers’ Hearts

channel those orders and win over customers hearts 2You’re always looking for new ways to stay competitive in your respective industry. Bravo! This is a good move as innovation always helps to keep clients happy and likewise entices new customers to order your gods and services. And these can only be a good thing.

So have you ever considered a “multi-channel” ordering management system? As the name suggests, a  multi-channel ordering service employs various types of media or “channels”, if you will, to take in such requests as subscriptions, claims processing, and of course, product orders. The trick is to cover all the channels that customers usually use—and then some.

One of the most popular media where people usually order is the good old telephone. Studies have shown that at least 78 % of clients still prefer using the phone over other types of media because it somehow makes it more personal. Hearing a human voice assist you in your time of need assures clients that help is, indeed, on its way.

Then of course there is live chat. Just like the telephone, live chat allows you to “call” and order that shirt and cap on the Mercedes-Benz Lifestyle website without fear that your credit card information might be “stolen” by a virtual thief on the shopping cart of the online shopping site, security measures notwithstanding. Again, it is security and personalization at your fingertips.

And then there are email and social media. When you’d rather put your orders down on “paper” and make sure that everything is in “black and white”, these are the ways to go. They make take a bit longer than voice calls, but they do work if handled properly and monitored constantly.

If you still aren’t convinced of such a move, maybe Chris Martin’s words can sway you. He notes, “Keeping your competitive advantage in today’s multi-channel retail marketplace” is the way to go.

We couldn’t agree with him more.

 

Your Store’s Checklist for a Merry Christmas with Excellent Customer Support

With consumers set to spend more money during the Holidays, online retailers and even shopping establishments are facing a tougher challenge this year. Sales from 2014 is expected to swell significantly this time around, as shoppers are unstoppable from buying a bunch of items and stuff either  for them or for gift giving.

However, not all retailers are able to handle the amount of visitors to their websites with everyone flocking to purchase online. As a result, some customers will be looking for a good deal elsewhere, and rather frustrated for not getting the product they have wished for at first. That’s how critical contact center support during this season. Obviously, customers are still look forward to immediate customer service across various means. As the demand rises this Holidays, so as the pressure on contact centers.

In order to meet the demands of online consumers, business organizations should further strengthen their contact center support. Here are some guidelines to help your business boost amidst these challenging times – and how your business can have a merry Christmas:

Deliver an Excellent Customer Experience

Here are the situations to think about:

·         Is your contact center support ready for a busy holiday season?

·         Are your systems all set to handle further holiday site traffic?

·         Have you planned bigger staffing for anticipated high traffic shopping days?

It’s important to make sure all sales and service representatives and live chat agents are knowledgeable on your products or services and capable of efficiently support both your website and mobile site or app.

Prepare for the Unexpected

If you think deeper, holiday shopping isn’t just about the product. Essentially, it’s the delight of gifting and receiving the present. Contact center representatives should be authorized to make every customer experience a joyful one. The customer is reasonably annoyed when the wrong product is delivered, the product is defective, or delivery is behind schedule. Make sure your agents are sympathizing with your customers and providing them discounts, freebies, credits to keep customers happy and satisfied when needed.

Employ proficient workforce or representatives who can connect with your customers

Keep away from a hiring style that merely tries to pack a concert theater with empty seats. The call center service representatives you employ should have interest most importantly. They should have the passion for the products that they are selling. Take your time to screen candidates properly in order to generate a team of contact center workforce that will accomplish and solve a customer’s troubles no matter what.

Keep Track of Your Numbers

Keeping track of all your business activities can be very tough. So making use of call calculating software to analyze the activities is practical. You will be able to project when calls will hit the highest point with this software, and consequently blueprint the timetable of your staff to go with the time when customers’ calls come in.

During the Holidays, the most essential thing should be the customer, and the experience brought to them – whether a business operates online, offline, or both. These guidelines will guarantee that you will be included on the “nice” list of your customers rather than on the ‘naughty’ list. And being on that side of the list will surely affect the future of your business.

The Impact of Email on Customer Service

email-support-philippinesSocial media is said to be the most powerful and efficient tool used for both marketing and customer service. That is now a fact given that most people are into social media nowadays – talk about Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc. On the other hand, the power of email is still as effective, or better yet, more efficient than social media (especially in business). It all goes down on how you execute it, how to effectively use technology to improve customer service that is.

The Email is Dead. Long live the Email

Some people may say email marketing and customer service via email is dead. No, definitely not. Here’s a surprising fact – this year alone, it is likely that more than 3 billion email accounts would have been setup with estimated 70 percent of those are created by consumers. Statistics also reveal that almost 60 percent of consumers prefer email as a means to be in touch with customer support. This goes to show how email is an important part of customer service. There are several ways to improve your customer support and increase efficiency, and exceptional email management is one of these.

On the other hand, the obstacle nearly all businesses deal with is the sheer amount of emails sent and received on a daily basis. The majority of sellers online sell from numerous marketplaces, including their own web site and other social media accounts. Now this makes email management an overwhelming task that greatly affects reviews, feedbacks, and purchasing behavior of consumers. Slow response time can result to poor reviews or negative feedbacks since majority of customers expects a response in an average stretch of 6 hours. Consumers have high expectations on customer support as well, not only do they expect businesses to reply promptly to emails.

If these concerns are not properly and quickly attended, businesses might lose their customers to their competition. Most demanding consumers look for an alternative after reading a negative rating or review about a certain product or service.
Here are some tips on how to improve email management for customer service:

Efficient Response – Customer service representatives often times spend a needless amount of time composing email responses to customers which are relatively duplicates. Writing down a regular response is a suitable approach to answer professionally to FAQs (frequently asked questions) such as product description, return policy, shipping etc. This will allow you to save up time and at the same time, you will sound consistent to the customers. There are agents assigned to handling email responses.

Email Consolidation – This is where the steps to effective email management begin. To start off, consolidate the entire incoming email into one location. This is very important especially for businesses that have stores on multiple marketplaces online. This eradicates the need to log in to multiple accounts to receive and reply to emails.

Report and Diagnose – Monitor response times, email resolutions and staff productivity in order to guarantee representatives are keeping the utmost level of customer service.

Categorize and Automate – Save time by automatically routing incoming emails into suitable folders or assigning them to specific customer service representatives.
Now that you already know the importance of emails in the customer service, now it is time to reinforce your business’s email management plans and continue to serve your customers with efficiency and excellence. Eventually, customers will keep coming and boost your sales drastically because of your efficient email customer service.

In this age of social networks, how does email help? Leave in your comments below.

Image source: FreeImages

 

 

Top Ecommerce Retailers Know Excellent Customer Service

retailers-know-great-customer-serviceHaving an easy-to-navigate sales process and quality customer service support via chat, email, or phone becomes exceptionally critical particularly for ecommerce businesses that don’t interact with customers at a physical location.

Why? For the reason that customers with concerns can’t simply approach a customer service desk and get the attention of the representative available. Each point of contact, the customer becomes specifically important to the business, especially ecommerce retailer companies. Furthermore, the opportunities of e-commerce businesses are limited to make a positive notion on the customer. That’s why top ecommerce retailers don’t lose this chance and they make sure to leave a first impression to their customers.

Consequently, an e-commerce retailer’s company customer service is classified by a little number of small interactions and information. Companies can make noteworthy developments to their customer service overall by making small amendments to each part of these processes. E-commerce companies such as retailers are looking to provide excellent customer service to improve customer retention and loyalty.

We are very sure that the top ecommerce retailers today has the best customer service, and it numbers can tell – and they don’t lie! An excellent example would be Amazon. This popular online superstore established a reputation of having the greatest most reliable customer service in the world. Forbes.com reported that Amazon is number one in customer service a couple of years ago. According to Forbes, Amazon notched the top spot in the Top 10 2011 Customers’ Choice Award.

So how does Amazon rank #1 in customer service?

The digital age has forced the evolution of customer service. In a world where emails and texts have replaced more intimate forms of communication, where shoppers can complete a sale 24/7 via online transactions, and where showrooming is linking the physical shopping experience with the virtual, the modern definition of customer service seems to have downgraded the importance of direct human interaction. And, let’s not forget that customer service in the traditional sense has also been crippled in recent years by an economy fostering a trend toward part-time, minimum wage, less “invested” sales associates.

As the world’s largest online retailer, Amazon has been a driving force behind the e-commerce movement and changing standards for customer service excellence. Some of the words consumers used in their reasons to nominate Amazon for Customers’ Choice included “efficient,” “fast,” “reliable,” “no hassle,” “easy,” and of course, “free shipping.” Note that these terms differ vastly from those who nominated Nordstrom, THE purveyor of traditional customer service: “experience,” “friendly,” “personal,” and “knowledgeable.”

Amazon is by far the largest e-commerce website and retailer company in America. It was reported that the superstore obtained revenue of $13.8 billion in its last quarter a couple of years ago. This goes to show how efficient and excellent Amazon’s customer service was in the past few years, garnering significant numbers that led to their success up to this very day.

Other retail businesses can achieve success too if they follow the right formula for establishing a strong customer service support along with efficient methods in handling customer demands. There are 7 pillars for providing exceptional customer service for ecommerce, and this should be a guide for each and every business, particularly ecommerce retailers that aims to reach their full potentials.

It’s a whole new world today in the commerce industry, and customer service is considered as the ‘Ace’ of retail business that significantly generates profits for companies. Like Amazon, every ecommerce retailer can achieve success when you have a powerhouse of efficient, fast, and reliable customer service ready to take on any challenge.

In your opinion, what retailers offer outstanding customer service?

Better ROI: Maximizing the Advantages of Up-selling

better roi maximixing the advantages of up sellingUp-selling is a common practice applied in the e-commerce world.

But what exactly is up-selling? And how does it affect the performance of businesses?

Up-selling is when the seller, mostly call center representatives, persuades the purchaser (or the customer) to spend more than they had wished-for in the beginning and this is by recommending an alternative which is priced higher than the item the customer is currently mulling over.

There are also other types of up-selling. “Bundle sales” or “add-on sales” are combined with up-selling as well. However, with the purpose of having an exact view of what is the most efficient, it is essential to look at these aspects as completely separate practices in e-commerce.

Here’s a great example of an effective and pure up-selling: A sales representative gives a recommendation to a customer to just spend an extra $75-$150 on a more premium Smartphone than spending her money to get an extended warranty for the cheaper smart phone. This is a genuine up-sell since it used a unique type of logic, written or oral, that indeed made sense.

Product recommendations are responsible for the 10-30% average of e-commerce site income according to Forrester research analyst Sucharita Mulpuru. Amazon reported that 35% of its revenues were as a straight result of its up-selling and cross sales efforts back in 2006.

Knocking on opportunity’s door

There’s one way to guarantee what revenue-boosting approach will offer for a particular business – and that is to test and apply this strategy.

A study of the Predictive Intent’s e-Commerce customer base on the other hand, has revealed that showing slightly higher priced alternative than those in your visitors’ immediate view drives an average of over 4% of sales – over 20 times the normal found on most e-Commerce sites “recommended products” options.

What should call center reps do to help boost revenues through up-selling?

Segment Offers. Divide offers without hesitation so that call center representatives can recognize and suggest to suitable customers immediately. Sales representatives may segment offers by new customer and existing customer for example.

Create customer personas. Once you have established these customer personas, apply them to each product or service offer. For example, if you are an internet service provider and speaking to a new client who has a couple of young adult children, you would offer and suggest to the customer to avail the family phone plan offers. With this technique, it will allow the sales representative to proficiently direct the customer towards purchasing a higher priced product leading to a higher sale.

Share additional valuable information. Representatives should always be reminded to share any product or service information that will add value to the sale. If a customer is buying a new air-conditioner for example, be sure to let them know about the patented noiseless technology, almost zero carbon emission and other cool features. Given all air-conditioner models have these standard features; it’s always an excellent move to remind customers of the benefits they’ll get. And this will boost their brand loyalty and purchase satisfaction.

Provide more room for improvement. Train your representatives further. Guide sales representatives to look at up-selling as the supreme form of customer service. Learning the excellent approach in persuading customers to buy for future needs boosts both revenue and customer loyalty.

Customers nowadays are too clever to distinguish when a sales representative is trying to persuade them to spend more. But what reps should push is the value of the product or service – which is the bottom line. Guiding customers to get exactly what they need and making them feel good about their purchase WILL not only generate sales and revenue, but also make them happier as well.

Widen Your Market Reach through Online Order Taking

1279442_85131437Businesses such as restaurants, clothing or flower shops have conventional ways when it comes to order taking. Usually, they take orders through phone calls. And most of the time, customers just allocate some time to visit the store to decide and pick up the merchandise they want.  Only those people who have heard about your business or the ones nearby are going to be your regular clients, and that’s it. How about those people from different state or provinces? How can they learn about the services and product you offer? That’s where the idea of taking your business online comes into the picture.

To increase your market scope, you need to put your business online as well, aside from your physical store location. This will absolutely generate a large range of customers that will definitely drive them to buy what you offer. Of course, it will also depend on the convenience of how order taking is handled and how you deliver the goods safely and on the dot.

With these crucial factors that may significantly affect the business in a positive and negative way, companies opt for relaying the order taking task to a group of highly skilled workforce to manage orders and other online web purchase by customers, and making transactions smooth and convenient for everyone. Online order taking should also provide the information needed by customers in order to learn more about the products they are about to get. Also, the goal of these online order taking customer service is to secure and closeout deals that will eventually convert into profits.

Today, online order taking is the trend in most businesses. Customers may now order food easily with just one click. You can purchase flowers online and have them delivered to someone guaranteed fast.  Moreover, businesses are taking it to the next level. Many of them are now developing apps for smartphones to make it even more effortless for customers to place their orders online. Furthermore, online app purchase is being used more often nowadays to make online shopping fun and it provides unlimited options for online customers.

A great example of this is Taco Bell which recently started taking orders via smartphone. The mobile ordering solution was developed “built on the moment of now,” showing a variety of greetings based on the time of day a customer is ordering. Also, pricing and hours of operation are detailed to your nearest store, and you can save your favorite orders for quick access later on. Payment is accepted via Taco Bell gift cards or credit cards.

With this type of system for instance, or a group of people tapped to accommodate and manage your orders online, there is no doubt customers will come rushing in because of the excellent service the business provides. Your target market will progressively expand as your order taking and customer service system improves significantly. With this great customer experience businesses provide, there’s no need to look further for possible customers because they will come looking for you instead.

Improving Contact Center by Revamping Companies’ Hiring Engine

call center agentsThe demand to convert regular order-taking contact center to a revenue-generating profit hub is escalating across businesses, whether it is local or international. The following years will be crucial since companies are going head-to-head, being able to compete in a high level of proficiency in the industry.

As a result, the customer service or contact center particularly order taking, has evolved from being plain to a more valuable and more sophisticated cash cow. The lifeline of the contact center is the service calls which give huge potential to kick off a series of sales. For that reason, companies are absolutely working hard to manage this area to provide an immense boost in making more revenues.

Every customer call is a prospect which can be efficiently influenced to commence a possible deal. Call center agents play a vital role in this kind of industry since they have the complete attention of the customer when she or he calls in for providing support and solutions to problems or queries.  Consequently, it is understandable that leveraging inbound calls is a far valuable and proficient means to kick off sales more willingly than an outbound sales call.

Now check out these useful tips that can significantly transform the regular contact center into an excellent sales-generator by revamping the company’s hiring engine.

Revamping the hiring engine

Make sure your employee recruitment procedure should be focused on recognizing, selecting and hiring potential applicants who share an excellent number of behavioral personalities with existing strong performers within your company’s contact center department.  Here are the traits you should look for in a candidate:

Passion and love for what you do always has a positive outcome. Companies should get the right workforce with passion and enthusiasm.

Resiliency is the difference-maker. Agents should have the power to pursue objectives with self motivation and persistence with lack of complaint.

A good sales person must always have a room for new things and learning. People striving for greatness constantly show interest in learning new things.

Motivating people around you through your hard work and genuine character is a positive sign. Make sure that applicants possess the ability to enthuse trust within the working environment.

Interpersonal skills are very much important. A sales person should work and feel natural interacting with people with a talent to become accustomed to different personalities and a variety of situations.

Confidence & attentiveness is the key. Agent should have the skill to discuss dealings with self-confidence and should possess the talent to promptly identify the important issues during a negotiation.

With this kind of workforce having these ideal traits, it can surely lead a company to a huge increase in profits and eventually long-term success. Sometimes, you only need the right people to keep you going. Changing the hiring engine, filtering the best people in the industry, can affect the company’s performance – for the better.

Find out more about order taking services by visiting our web site. To get your free quote and a no-obligation consultation, click here.

 

How Outsourcing Customer Service Can Boost Profits

call center servicesThe pressure of running and managing a business is absolutely demanding, may it be big or small. There are several things that should to be done here and there – but everything can be accomplished such as hitting your target and reaching your goals. And that is when you have the right skilled people doing crucial things and tasks for your company. Every business needs to assume constant tasks. You have tasks such as answering phone queries, solving technical issues, making reservations, handling legal and accounting, data entry and more. Given sufficient time, small business owners can perhaps learn how to do all of them. However, it isn’t going to move towards business growth and development although this may possibly help you with lessening your expenses and save a little fund. Business owners aren’t that perfect to be versatile in so many things. They can’t be accountants-slash-customer service-slash-web designers and all. What should business owners do is to focus on the more important things and let these other tasks managed by particular skilled people. This is where outsourcing comes in. Gaining loyalty Customer service is another business task that is totally demanding and time-consuming, and the one that should not be overlooked because business owners cannot afford to lose customers because of sloppy service. Phone and computer systems that are now internet-based only mean one thing – it’s completely possible to consider a call center company to handle live customer service, even the extremely small customer service requirement to a virtual assistant. These call center services will become acquainted with your company and its line of business and culture. Without a contact center in sight, potential clients will feel and assume they have had direct contact with a knowledgeable associate of the businesses team. Another valuable advantage of outsourcing customer service is that they use live chat on your website to provide help and support anytime, anywhere. On the other hand, you can always use social networking platforms such Facebook and Twitter if you are undecided or uncertain in considering live chat to your web site given the circumstances  that you sell your product in an online marketplace such as Amazon or Ebay. Customer service can be established anywhere around the globe. Most business owners tend to outsource these jobs to Asian countries such as India and the Philippines which have thriving business process outsourcing industry for the past several years.  Then again, if business owners are apprehensive that the workforce may not meet the standards and demands, you can set qualification requirements or even an assessment to further know if they are capable to perform the task. Agreeing upon the possibilities of what technology-based outsourcing can offer allows company owners to focus on the most important tasks within their businesses. Basically, there are expenses associated with this as expected, and may definitely take some take time. Nonetheless, the results are guaranteed to be positive and solid, eventually obtaining profits as this venture continues to grow and helps the company to reach its goals and become successful. Outsourcing customer service like your order taking service is worth investing for because it is positively results-oriented and will surely boost your profits in no time. Find out more about order taking customer by visiting our web site. To get your free quote and a no-obligation consultation, click here.