Customer support tipsLet’s assume you already have a great website – informative, intuitive and you offer just the right services that your visitor needs. What’s the next step? You need to urge the visitor to get in touch with you. To send an inquiry. To pick up the phone. To leave you a message. Right then, as soon as s/he’s figured out you might be the right provider s/he’s been looking for.

Here comes the importance of offering reliable and low-cost ways for your customers to get in touch. What are the options, and what tools you can use? Here are those I have found to be most appreciated and used by customers, from my experience so far.

  • Make sure you have quick contact info (phone/email/chat) on all website pages, whether top or bottom located. You may and better have a detailed contact page, with all your offices, maps, directions, telephones of different departments, etc but make sure to have a ‘quick contact’ option as well.
  • If the customer’s decision (to contact you, to buy) may be preceded by questions, make sure you give instant and free options for pre-sales support. A great option is: the live chat. You can easily integrate in your site web chats like Zopim (has a free version, we do use it for projects like Deed and it works great!), ClickDesk (has a free version), LiveHelpNow and others.
  • If it’s likely that the customer spends a lot of time on the phone (waiting for a sales rep, placing his/her order or getting other support), think about options to make this call free (or at least inexpensive) for the customer. Several options are:
    • put a simple Skype call button on your website that directly dials your skype ID
    • use a click-to-call service like this where the customer clicks an icon or button on your site and this initiates a call with a mobile, landline or other phone number
    • set up a toll-free number with services like TollFreeForwarding, or with your local telecom provider. Usually the telecoms have some initial setup fees, but the monthly pricing is quite affordable
    • set up local numbers using Skype Number so calls to this number would be cheap for your customers. For example, if your office is in Germany, but you have many customers in UK, make sure to also provide a UK skype number for contact. Then, forward the calls to your office phone, mobile, etc.

And of course, after you’ve set up some of the above contact options, make sure someone actually picks the phone. Most options allow to specify working times when you can definitely pick up the phone. Outside these hours, activate a voice mail and respond to messages left as soon as possible.

The first impression in your customer is created by his first interactions with your business. Use the opportunity and show professionalism in all the details – the ease of reaching you, the toll-free call, the friendly rep picking the phone, the speed with each the customer’s need is addressed and so on. Because a happy customer will easily become a repeat customer and is very likely to keep bringing new business to you.

[Image courtesy of Ambro /]