Today, we’ve all had lengthy one-way phone dates with elevator music on loop, waiting to feel as if we matter, at least for long enough to plead our case or demand a refund. But there are also some businesspeople out there who have discovered how to use new online tools to their advantage when dealing with customers. Here are a few examples that are worth noting — you may be able to save some time and money for not only your customers, but your business as well.
1. ZocDoc: Getting Ahead of Complaints
ZocDoc, a startup that allows users to book appointments online with doctors based on insurance carrier and location, has the added challenge of interfacing with a dauntingly complex industry — health care. Even if they execute their part of the process flawlessly, doctors can still cancel or move appointments, and the end user’s experience suffers. Rather than making excuses, though, ZocDoc takes proactive steps to maintain customer satisfaction. If an appointment is changed on a patient, ZocDoc makes a phone call to that patient to apologize and offers a $10 Amazon.com gift card, no strings attached.
Online businesses don’t have the luxury of face-to-face interaction when building relationships with customers. But this kind of unanticipated extra attention is a good step towards making the user feel cared for before he or she has an opportunity to develop a negative opinion of the experience. “Be proactive, not reactive,” says Anna Elwood, director of operations for ZocDoc. “Don’t wait for problems to occur, find them before they do.”
2. Square: Adding a Personal Touch
Square, a service that helps users process payments using their mobile devices, is expanding, according to a spokesperson for the company. But at a healthy 140 employees, they seem to have maintained something that many smaller companies have lost: a personal touch.
It’s crucial for Square’s customers to know that support is available when they need it, since the ability to accept payments is something a small business can hardly do without, even for a short time. When that moment came for food truck marketing director Angus Gorberg, Square was ready with support that made him feel he was in good hands. “I’m not sure how large their team is over in San Francisco, but my feeling has always been like it was small in the best way possible,” Gorberg says. “And the kicker? All of this conversation was through email. What else would you expect from a tech startup?”
3. Dell: Pointing People in the Right Direction
For companies that get a lot of different service requests that vary in urgency and topic, it can be difficult to effectively direct customers to the department or representative best suited to fix the problem. But there’s nothing more frustrating to a consumer trying to get an answer than being bounced around from person to person to no avail. This is one of the (somewhat diverse and numerous) ways Twitter can be useful in a customer service context — as a first point of contact that helps funnel users in the right direction. Dell, a large company that might very well have you wait on hold for several minutes if you were to call, has a team on Twitter that replies promptly. Then, if necessary, a social media outreach team member reaches out to follow up. Not only does this approach help to minimize the number of angry, frustrated people venting publicly on Twitter, it also helps people with quick questions to skip the phone altogether, freeing up a representative to speak with someone who has a more detailed request.
4. Bimo Marketing: . Top Pay-per click
Rarely do we think a marketing company can really help our bottom line. Most business owners view marketing as a way to get more exposure and if they get business out of it, it is an added bonus.
The guys at Bimo Marketing have delivered over 300,000 qualified leads for their clients. These guys are good, they start you off with converting web pages and mobile pages. Their prices start at around $1,500. But for the price you can see well over 90 qualified leads a month.