"Make them buy online," the boss says. "I don't want my people tied up on the phone or responding to emails."
Surveys have shown this for decades: the more ways you allow clients to buy -- the more business you will do.
A toll-free number is no longer the standard way for customers to contact you. Customers are bombarded with choices in today's technology-focused world. If your business doesn't offer a method of communication that suits your customers' preferences, they may find another company that does.
Here are 10 tips to make it easy for ALL of your customers to get (and stay) in touch with you:
- Consider offering a live chat support service option on your website that provides real-time, text-based conversation with someone who can quickly answer questions.
- Use social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter to communicate with customers. Post helpful information in your stream, and encourage customers to ask questions and provide product feedback.
- Provide interactive maps that allow people to customize directions to your location, as well as a photo of your building to make your business easier to find.
- Include any helpful information that may save customers frustration when they try visiting you. For example: "XYZ Road is currently under construction -- please use ABC Street instead."
- Create a Google+ page to share updates, promotions, links, and photos. This will make it easy for people to recommend your business, products, or services to friends and contacts, while at the same time helping you measure your followers' interactions.
- When posting blogs, be sure to offer an area for comments and feedback, as well as contact information, in case the reader has questions.
- Build trust with online customers by providing your company's physical address in addition to email, phone, fax, Skype, and support line info on your website's contact page. Add links to customer forums, your Facebook page, and your Twitter feed, as well, and consider offering a contact form as a convenience for customers.
- Include, at minimum, your website info, company email, and toll-free phone number on every marketing piece you create, including letterhead, notepads, brochures, flyers, quotes, surveys, etc. Customers who desire additional information will often seek out your website's contact page.
- Consider a mobile website designed for smart phones that makes it easy for users to find information about you, regardless of what device they are using.
- Provide a clear call to action in direct mail, email messages, and other marketing pieces so readers know how to get in touch with you.