Communication is more important now than it ever has been, and if you aren’t constantly searching for ways to communicate internally and externally, you’re clock is ticking. Customers and employees can email or live chat to resolve problems quickly and efficiently, so if you aren’t doing that for your customers, I have to ask you why.
Along with the obvious benefits come a number of drawbacks including information overload, loss of messages when you can’t remember the system they came from, inability to comprehensively search for information, and difficulty sharing information. Businesses need to address these problems by forming Business Communication Hubs. Let’s talk about some of the ways your website can act as a hub for communication.
Eliminating customer emails going directly to internal addresses can be achieved by having customers use a web-based message form on your website. This may be customized with lists of departmental contacts and automatically forward to the appropriate person in that department.
This also allows the email to be captured by a CRM for future reference. Once the email is in the system, additional communications directly between customer and employee can be captured from the email system and stored appropriately based on the starting email.
Once requests for information or assistance are in the system, tracking systems show their assignment and progress. Providing a customer interface through the website for them to view this information eliminates the need for calls or emails asking for status.
An internal login for this system would allow employees to use this same tracking technology to monitor progress and prioritize assignments. Additional comments can be added, either by customers directly or by employees working on the case and may be viewed in the same interface.
Live help through a website chat format can give customers immediate feedback with quick questions and responses. The text of these chats can be captured and stored in the CRM system for the correct client or used to create help texts for FAQ pages or customer service scripts.
If the customer’s issue cannot be solved immediately, a support case can be created and the transcript of the chat can be included directly. Updates on that case are displayed through the tracking tools available on the website.
Providing informative articles through blogs can be integrated easily into your website. A simple link to the blog on the homepage directs traffic from that side, while shared content on social media or through search engines brings traffic directly to the blog, which contains links back to the homepage. Comment sections can also provide a chance for customers to ask questions which may in turn be addressed through a more standardized customer service channel.
Social Media Sharing
Allowing visitors on your site to quickly and easily share it to social media drives marketing presence in those networks. Sharing homepages, specific pages answering questions, or providing information can be shared, and that helps you build site authority. Shares to social media lets to new visitors. With users directly to your website, you can keep them there with your blog content and other amazing information about your company.
Specific forums hosted directly through your website give you a chance to answer questions in yet another format. Your employees, either customer service representatives or experts in your core competencies, can visit the forums to answer questions directly and engage your customers by discussing their topics with them in a more relaxed setting. These discussions can be referenced directly or cleaned up and added to support information such as FAQs or customer support scripts.
Having so much more information pass through your website and be captured by your CRM system allows employees to easily search through the CRM to find answers, customer queries, or informational articles using a single interface. Using additional integration tools can add internal chat, internal emails, and other systems to this database and increase the power of your integrated search.
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Once you begin centralizing your communications in this fashion, more and more opportunities to add new channels flowing through your website will appear. Instead of treating your website as a primitive holdover from a prior generation, it becomes a central hub connecting the rest of your online presence together and giving it all a single, unified vision.
With a customer side and an employee side you can control the information available to each visitor while still providing special access to the central pool of top customers. Your business communication hub is in place and providing value both to your company and your customers. Isn’t providing value just what you should be striving for?