Brand awareness is something all business owners need to be conscious of because your brand is represented in everything you do. From Customer Service to Sales & Technical Support, your customers are going to associate their individual experiences with your company as a whole. Are you confident that you and your staff can consistently deliver not only quality service, but a professional attitude and awareness in all things related to your brand? That’s easier said than done.
Everyone has a story about a bad experience they had with the staff of a business, whether local or worldwide. There are bad customer service agents who prefer to hang up on customers, nasty servers who insist on dragging their feet during your lunch break, you name it. Too often we remember that one bad experience instead of the other 99 good experiences we had with the business, and instead let that guide our opinion and what we tell friends and family. It may be unfortunate, but it’s likely not going to change and so Ecommerce websites should be prepared to minimize the amount of inappropriate or unprofessional action of your staff while representing your valuable brand name.
Social Media Malaise
I’m a big proponent of utilizing social media services like Twitter and Facebook to help promote any business, especially for Ecommerce sites with some kind of online presence. Tweeting about your online specials, new products or offering sales and technical support via social media outlets is an excellent way to reach out to existing and potential customers, but be sure you have confidence in the person behind the profiles and fan pages, and make sure that person is constantly aware that everything they do or say will be hand-cuffed to your brand. One off-handed comment on a lazy Saturday afternoon can get around fast and taint your otherwise stellar social media reputation.
Communication is the Key
Despite what some may think, sales & support via telephone or online chat support is not an easy job. Handling an endless stream of customer requests, complaints, sales, even compliments is a daunting task and not the kind of day a staff can generally get jacked up for. Customers traditionally seem quite a lot more annoying than they actually are because customers can be like push ups in that each one tends to get just a little more difficult to get through! Your customer service, sales and support staff are your direct connections to your customers, so make sure your staff are competent, personable and tireless.
I personally think complacency is the absolute worst thing that can happen to any company. When a staff gets complacent, they pay less attention to what they do and thus tend to make more mistakes. Since they don’t care as much, they don’t catch their mistakes and your product or service goes on the market flawed when it should be at its best. When your telephone support gets complacent, they don’t care as much about how they respond to customers, and have less desire to separate their personal thoughts and maintain a sense of professionalism or even politeness! Complacency is the worst not because of the monster negative impact it can have, but because it sneaks up on your office and you rarely see it coming. To defend yourself against your staff becoming complacent, keep the lines of communication open. Talk with your staff about what’s going on, what they’re up against, and always strive to improve it. If your staff is happy and challenged then they’ll most likely not fall victim to complacency.
If you want your business to survive in these competitive times, the first thing you need to do is make sure your staff is on the same page as you. Make sure they’re doing what they’re supposed to be doing, make sure the don’t have your livelihood on auto-pilot and if they do, make sure they never do it again!