Servicing your clients online gives you a competitive edge, however when it doesn’t work it can be an expensive exercise
Clients often approach us seeking our advice on whether their website could ‘do more’. Internally we have always believed that a website serves as your best employee, working around the clock, 7 days a week. It’s presumed that the more you automate online for your customers the better the overall service you’re providing, however recent trends suggest that online tools and client logins will only be utilised if they’re continually engaging with active, valuable information.
Life without an inbox
When businesses are looking to set up a customer login or an online process, they’re usually eyeing a win-win scenario through a (hopeful) reduction in e-mails and phone calls. They’ll be able to change their details, download their invoices and upload relevant project files – “they’ll love it and we’ll be so much more efficient”.
You will be, if they use it.
Setting up an online process in your business demands some commitment. It’s not enough to invest capital at the start – someone needs to be there behind the scenes, adding value, in the long-term. Otherwise you’re just giving your customers another login in a world that’s full of them.
The key is to create something that is genuinely useful to them – something that enriches their experience of your business.
Alive she cried
When buying something online it still amazes me that I track my order. I know that it’s roughly going to arrive sometime next week, however knowing that it’s “in transit from Seven Hills Post Shop, NSW” reassures me that the wheels are in motion, literally. Best of all I just click a link in the e-mail and the information presents itself, no login at all.
Most of us sign in into online banking a few times every week. There’s no new features being released, especially if you bank with Westpac, however the information within changes on a daily basis. “Where’d that $40 go? Bloody health insurance has come out”. The point is that there is always new information and activity inside to warrant our return.
Live data and reporting excites people. It’s live, they don’t have to wait for Joe to e-mail them back or pick up the dreaded phone. If you’re setting up an online process over having them send you an e-mail, what are you providing in exchange for them doing the work for you? It should never be a one-way transaction, look to provide some additional value.
If all your member area plans to do is let them update their details or download relevant files then it’s likely to be forgotten very quickly. People will continue to resort to e-mail and phone for service as it’s more commonly used in their day-to-day life. However, if you can change the service experience and provide a on-going transfer of information in an instant and dynamic manner then your new medium might just win them over.
At JuiceBox we’ve factored all of this in with our soon to be released Client Depot. It’s a system for our account clients to track the progress their day-to-day marketing in a centralised area. They can see what’s in the pipeline, how far it is from completion, their overall monthly usage and even view proof of concepts as soon as they’re released by our staff. When new artwork is added for download in their Depot, it updates in their activity feed to provide a full timeline of their experience with JuiceBox.