Online Business A-Z

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How to Offer Great Customer Service October 27, 2009

Filed under: customer service,online business — Business Consultant @ 3:54 am
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How can I help you?You’ve sweated blood to get your sales site up and running, you’ve got a prospect at their computer who’s just started your checkout process … and all of a sudden – they’re gone.

What happened?

It could be any number of reasons, so let’s look at some of them here and figure out what we can do to help your visitors complete your checkout and become happy, long-term customers.

For example:

How fast is your checkout process? We’ve got three main factors to consider: your visitor’s patience level, your page-load time and the capacity of your website to provide quality customer service. It’s safest to assume nobody has any patience these days, so cut out as many slow-loading graphics as you can from your checkout pages, and make sure your server’s powerful enough not to crash when a surge of orders comes in. And if it does, make sure you have competent customer service support available on hand. Customer’s needs should be treated with utmost urgency and so considering outsourcing customer support to companies like is highly encourage so as to allow you to focus on the other aspects of your business.

How simple is your checkout? Is the process straightforward, or are your visitors faced with multiple options to choose from … and if so, how can you make it simpler for them? How easy is it to navigate backwards and forwards through your checkout pages? If your visitors want to change the answer to a previous question, can they just skip back a page or two … or do they have to start the whole process over again?

Do you require visitors to register and/or log in before the sale? If so, why? How frustrating do you think they find it to have to input screens and screens of information when all they want to do is hit the “Confirm Purchase” button and start using your product?

And continuing along those lines, how much personal information do you require anyway? If you’re asking for more than the absolute minimum to get the transaction completed, you’re wasting your time – and that of your visitors. And they’ll resent it. Yes, it’s fine to ask for more information once the deal is done and you have their contact details … and if they’re happy with their purchase, they’ll be more inclined to give you more of their personal information, especially if it’s to open an account with you and so speed up future checkouts.

And are you asking for any other information like, say, a marketing survey? Again, this is not the time. Asking before the purchase is completed is asking for trouble, because people want what they’re buying NOW.

And asking immediately after they’ve downloaded your product isn’t going to get you very far, either: your customers have got what they want, they want to check it out right away … and they don’t want any distractions.

However, it’s a great method of re-establishing contact if, after a suitable period of time, you ask your customers if they’re happy with their purchase and then follow up with a marketing survey. In short, speed and simplicity is what your customers are looking for, and so speed and simplicity is what you should be offering. Oh, and a great product too, of course.


Turn Visitors to Customers October 16, 2009

Filed under: online business — Business Consultant @ 11:54 am
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shhhYou’ve built your website, sourced your suppliers, set your terms, and launched the perfect on-line business.  Then you wait, and watch.  Day after day, you check the stats, they’re looking, they’re visiting, but they are not buying.  The frustration sets in and you ask yourself, what did I do wrong.

Cart conversion, or turning shoppers into buyers, is critical in your on-line business.  Cart conversion affects your bottom line.  The more cart conversions that go through successfully, the more money your site makes.  One would hope that everyone who put something into his or her shopping cart would convert to a sale.  Unfortunately, the national average of conversion is roughly 30%, according to various sources, including FireClick.  So 70% of your customers will not actually purchase what they pick up.  There are many cited reasons for shopping cart abandonment, including poor navigation, slow loading pages, asking for too much information, and registrations.

Here we enter into a look at on-line business strategies that can turn your lookers into buyers.

Throughout this article, there is a key strategy that applies across the board.  SIMPLIFY – I just cannot stress enough, the importance of simplifying.  Don’t overcomplicate your site, and make it easy for me to do business with you.

Take a look at your checkout process.  Even the most avid customer will stop mid-sale and leave your site if the process is too consuming.  Are you collecting too much information?  This can leave customers feeling uneasy.  Is the process too long?  According to a recent survey by Nielsen Online, a service of the Nielsen Company indicated 81 on-line shoppers out of the 1000 surveyed, shop online to save time, not money.  Do not waste their time.  What information do you need to conduct your transaction?  Only collect that information from your buyers.

Do you have your customers register or log in to make purchases?  This can be a major deterrent to most on-line buyers.  When you go to the local grocery, do they ask you to register to buy food?  No, it’s a waste of time.  Think – get in, make the purchase, and get out.  Requiring customers to register or log in, unless you have a really good reason for doing so, is pushing your customers away.  Remember that they are shopping your store for convenience of time.  How many sites have you registered on, and forgotten the login or password?  Presenting the option however, of registering to gain the ability of reviewing previous order history, or tracking their order, feels like great customer service.  Just offer it after you’ve gotten the sale, this allows them to choose whether or not to spend the time.

How do your checkout screens check out?  Is it one, continuous, overwhelming screen?  Is it many screens collecting piles of unnecessary information?  Customers need to get in, make the purchase, and get out. However, the checkout process should build confidence, or they start second guessing their purchase, and start tossing items out of their cart.   Or worse, they run completely.  Make the process short and sweet.  One continuous form they have to scroll down looks like a big process to time savvy customers, so break your checkout form into quick, and bite sized pieces.  Keep the graphics on the checkout pages to a minimum; eliminate them with great product descriptions if you can.  The ideal number of screens to check out is two to three.  This eases the customer by building confidence that you aren’t collecting too much information, or wasting their time.

One final aspect to examine is your placement of your marketing survey.  Marketing statistics is the key to tracking the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns, so eliminating the collection of this data isn’t an option.  Entertain the idea however, of moving the collection of this data to follow the sale.  Again, this is a time conscious shopper; don’t distract them from buying your products.  The relief comes to the customer once they complete their purchase, and they most likely will oblige in providing the information you desire.

Now there are obviously, many other site issues that can impact cart conversion rates, such as security, shipping time or shipping rates.  It’s always best to look at the whole picture from the customers’ point of view.  Cleaning up, simplifying your checkout process and quality customer service are key steps to securing more sales for your on-line business. There are several customer service support software providers around like — and analytics tools available on the web that can aid you in the fine tuning of your on-line business, such as Google Analytics. So take the time to make the process simple, and then track the effectiveness of your hard work.


Live Customer Support Software

Filed under: online business — Business Consultant @ 11:17 am
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earthPurchasing a live customer support software will allow you to provide instant online assistance to your customers through a customizable chat forum linked to your website. Additionally, the customer support software comes with several features that help you track, record and manage online customer queries, complaints and concerns.

Everyone is aware that small to medium scale businesses often don’t have either the timeframe or the budget to invest in complex custom designed software for online customer assistance and support. Yet, they wish to stay abreast with this latest customer support innovation and offer effective live assistance. This is where live customer support software adds great value. It is extremely cost-effective, installation is browser based (no CDs) and it is accomplished through an easy to follow set-up wizard that doesn’t take more than a few minutes. Subsequently, it is extremely user-friendly and can be operated and scaled up or down in the number of users and features it supports by non-technical personnel. It can also be customized, and you can choose your own look and functions setting for your chat window.

Using live customer support software also offers you other great advantages. Most importantly, you have the option of making your customer-operator chats completely secure and private, so that no unauthorized third party can view it. In addition to this, you can assign different operators to different departments of your organization or a single operator to multiple departments. Either way, the features provided by live chat software are designed to streamline operations, manage multiple chats smoothly and also transfer calls and messages between operators and departments. What’s more, this customer support software also supports most major languages of the world. So, it offers value even if you are dealing with a local clientele who prefer to interact in your native tongue.

Check out customer support provider sites like to learn more about live customer support software and services to conclude yourself if it’s worth a try.


Online Customer Support During the Holidays October 15, 2009

Filed under: online business — Business Consultant @ 8:35 am
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shop mallA lot of people have found convenience and ease in shopping online.  More so during holidays, as people try to avoid traffic, congested shopping malls and the trouble of carrying home all the stuff you bought.  Online retailers should be proactive when it comes to seasonal changes such as holidays as this would mean increase in visitors to their websites.  However, what is critical is whether online shops are able to effectively convert these visitors to buyers at no additional cost such as hiring temporary employees to handle the surge in volume of sales transactions.

Excellent customer service is the key and smart companies like have found the answer to this perennial problem- The Live Chat Support Software. This provides live as well as automated chat assistance to visitors to their sites to answer questions in real time which is conveniently available 24/7.  It makes use of offsite customer service reps as well as chat operators while automated chat does not use people at all, it usually answers customer’s questions based from a database of information and FAQ’s.  In this manner, online retailers are assured that their potential buyers are efficiently catered to at any given time.

Online retailers have realized the positive impact of customer service software to their over all business operations.  Operational expenditure-wise, especially in addressing major market shift or increased holiday sales, it reduces the cost while ensures increase in sales.  Online retailers have opted not to spend their money on technology which quickly becomes obsolete and now prefers customer service software that has the best-value, inexpensive and easy to update.  With customer service software, online retailers are assured that they can deliver timely, functional, efficient as well as effective customer service to every online shopper.


New e-Commerce Software Boosts Sales October 14, 2009

Filed under: online business — Business Consultant @ 7:38 am
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For businesses that are on their way to development and didn’t started on a high scale of activity, the most familiar Live Chat Support application software solicitation refers to a wide range of programs  covering everything from the customer contact to the increasing of the reaction time in solving the issue or situation the contact was initiated for.

For a large number of enterprises, the offer of software options or applications using the Internet interface of their own web page is quite large and the use of these programs implies a very low cost and a very high efficiency. If the ROI is the first target that needs improvement, than the customer reaction, the time of response and a more personal approach in solving the issue needs also to be improved. These are the most relevant features of a Live Chat Support Software that come with a low price but high efficiency.

The professional using online conversation offers a large number of possibilities among which is the email and other interaction methods specifically designed to meet the companies profile in what customer support is concerned. This enterprise created and improved online discussions and also introduced online forms accustomed to fit anything from financial assistance companies to schools and teaching system applications. The great variation of services this company provides contains case studies, online marketing research, and shopping cart option for shopping online sites.

One company called specified that a great number of Live Chat Support software service packs can be modified and aligned to the specific needs a company has in offering assistance to the customers. Online chat programs and online discussions remain the most efficient options to raise the standard in Live Chat Support in the mean time improving the ROI and customer response capabilities.


An Underestimated e-Commerce Add-On October 13, 2009

Filed under: online business — Business Consultant @ 1:07 am
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Wsoftwareorking with brick and mortar stores is easy if you run into a problem or need help finding the right product or have questions about something before you buy; With employees there with you face to face, you usually get pretty fast service.   However, getting answers from an on-line store can be a bit trickier. The customer is often  forced to call the company and stay on eternal hold or send  an email and wait for the response.

But today, companies are becoming cleverer as the time passes by. Companies such as do customer service differently by utilizing live chat support software which is very beneficial to online businesses and customers.

Three Reasons to Use a Live Chat Service on Your Website

Live chat software saves online businesses time, money and resources. Paying fewer operators greatly reduces customer service costs and saves time with the operator being able to use pre-made responses to frequently asked questions.

Live chat software provides real time live customer service at the exact time that the customer needs help. Wherever customer is, they can receive an answer to their question quickly. Online 24/7 benefits the customer and the business alike. It just makes sense because the customer can get all the help they need without driving, calling or  waiting for an answer from an email.

By giving quick answers to online customers questions,  you will see an increase in your sales. Live chat boosts the customers confidence and ensures a happy, safe feeling  for the buyer. Quick, easy and no wait!! Live chat is the  way to go!


Top Three Online Credibility Builders October 12, 2009

Filed under: Credibilty,online business — Business Consultant @ 1:24 am
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buildersThe best way to convert visitors to your site into your customers is to provide a guarantee of the credibility of your website and make them believe that you are not out there to cheat them of their money. The increasing number of sites being created with the intention of cheating people and taking their hard earned money without delivering what is promised makes visitors reluctant to trust any site. These are just some reasons why companies such as strive to do things differently by making every support available online for every different type of customer needs. Because customers play a vital role in the industry, they need to be convinced that you are a genuine and trustworthy seller. Visitors are more likely to trust a site that has a clear returns policy and provides live online customer support. In addition providing your contact details on every page of your website reinforces the fact that you are not hiding anything.

Live customer support software allows you to have a logo on your webpage indicating that live customer support is available. When visitors click on the logo a small screen pops up allowing them to interact with an operator. This lets them check on the merchant and get any questions they have, answered just like they could with a phone. The visitors’ confidence about the credibility of the website is increased by a live chat support system. It assures them of the legitimacy of the service you claim to offer and know that there are real people running the service. They are also assured that when anything goes wrong or if they aren’t pleased with what they get there is a simple way of contacting you.

Merchants selling on the internet should show that they are not hiding anything from prospective customers. This makes the inclusion of contact information on every webpage very essential. The visitors now know they have a way of calling the merchant easily and this encourages them to make a purchase.

When people buy online they have only had a look at a few pictures and read a brief description of what they are going to get. It is therefore essential to give them a chance of returning the product if they are not satisfied by it. A clear returns policy does just this. It lets the customer know how you deal with returns and refunds and what are the steps to be followed if they want to do that. Though no online seller would like to give refunds or returns, a returns policy is nevertheless a very important step in building trust.

A live customer support, a clear returns policy and providing contact details on every page of the website are three easy steps to building online credibility, increasing customer conversion rate and ultimately the ROI.

Stop Losing Online Customers

Search Engine Optimization and pay-per-click advertisements can help sellers market their services and attract visitors to their sites. But what really matters is how many of these visitors are converted into paying customers. This is where online sellers face the real challenge. The most common reasons why visitors don’t become customers is not finding the information they need, an example of which is a return policy, the site itself looking unprofessional or too slow in providing answers needed by the prospective customer. Good customer service should be an integral part of an online company’s survival plan.

An FAQ section must be included to make it easy for visitors to quickly get answers to the most common questions. In addition chats should be added for any other questions that a prospective customer may have. Those operating the chat software must be well trained and able to add a human touch to live chat software. Using live text-based chat software and phone support an online company can incorporate customer suggestions. It would also be able to answer questions about their product lines and redress any issues that may arise while they try to provide an excellent customer service.

There are many software like Live Chat or Autochat that can help an online seller provide 24/7 online support. But it is not really about how much an online seller invests in software that makes the real difference. The real difference is made by the people on the other end of the line interacting with the customers. The customer support team should have all the information that customers want and be able to provide it in a very friendly and effective matter.