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What Are the Best Tips for Online Customer Relationship Management?

Article Details
  • Written By: Nick Mann
  • Edited By: Jessica Seminara
  • Last Modified Date: 29 October 2016
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2016
    Conjecture Corporation
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With the large volume of business being done via the Internet, understanding online customer relationship management is an important part of a company's success. The lack of face to face or telephone communication can make it challenging to establish a personal connection. Following four essential tips should make it easier for businesses to keep online customers satisfied, which will hopefully result in long term relationships. These tips include getting customer feedback, staying connected through email or social media, being consistently courteous, and handling complaints in a responsible manner.

One of the most important aspects of online customer relationship management is getting customer feedback. It's vital for a business to know what it's doing right and what areas need improvement. Usually, the most efficient way of obtaining that information is to simply listen to both praise and complaints. One way a business can accomplish this is by placing a contact box or form on its website. This approach benefits the business because customers are happier when they get to voice their opinions, and their suggestions and feedback can be used to improve the business as well.

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Using either email or some form of social media is another way to establish positive customer relationships. When going the email route, a business can set up a place on the website's homepage for interested customers to join an email list. Afterward, the business can automatically send offers, promotions or any other pertinent information directly to those customers. If going the social media route, a business can create a fan page on a popular website. This allows customers to follow the business and stay up to date with what's going on.

Simple courtesy is another crucial part of online customer relationship management. Since there is usually no face to face interaction with customers, it's important to convey that a business cares about its customer's needs through the online medium. In addition to allowing customers to email or contact them through a form on the website, some businesses try to provide a more personal customer experience by offering them the ability to chat in real time with a representative.

Regardless of the form of communication used, businesses should get into the habit of quickly responding to inquiries or complaints. It's also important to be respectful and be willing to go the extra mile in order to keep customers happy. When a customer feels valued, there is a good chance that he will buy again.

Dealing with customer complaints responsibly is an additional way to establish strong online relationships. No matter how good a product or service is, it will eventually be met with some form of criticism. That's why it's vital to be prepared for the inevitable customer complaints.

Handling those complaints can often be done effectively by first acknowledging the problem, and admitting that a mistake was made. Negotiating with the customer and perhaps offering a special deal will usually help to smooth things over. Establishing a solid rapport with customers in this way will often turn a negative review into a positive one.

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