With the development of the online world, customers have become accustomed to connecting with their choice brands through mobile, social, and the array of digital customer service platforms. For those that operate their own online stores, this has introduced a variety of new techniques and tools by which we can improve marketing strategies and strive to impress our client base.
But, there is one technique that has been around for a long time and has earned its place in online customer relations – and this technique is honesty. It is honesty which says the most about a brand and influences how the audience perceives them, both in the online and actual world.
The act of being honest with your audience says a lot about how you conduct yourself as an online store business. And the fact is that demonstrating honesty develops a very humanistic element that describes your online store in a positive light.
Facing the facts
With the business world moving towards digital customer service, one thing to keep in mind is that there is a lack of verbal tone and eye contact. This means that your actions and words are responsible for demonstrating your brand’s integrity.
One hurdle that needs to be overcome is the realization that no one is perfect. We all make mistakes, and it’s not something that we should be overwhelmingly ashamed of. The problem here is that many brands that market in the digital world would rather ignore the fact that they’ve made a mistake or work to avoid letting the audience know that the mistake exists. Unfortunately, this often turns into far more work, costing time and face in the online world.
This means that when a mistake is made, one should be willing to own up to the blunder, rather than hiding them or pretending they don’t exist. It is a fact that in the online world, data is stored, captured, and shared at the speed of light. The resulting effect is that you can’t really hide a mistake, which means the best and most logical choice is to own up to it.
Start by simply acknowledging your errors. In customer service situations, the ultimate desire of the customer is to bring information to your attention, not necessarily to heckle you or turn it into a negative situation.
In fact, by approaching the situation directly, you can turn what was potentially a negative situation into positive feedback that can be shared with the rest of the online world. In many cases, this is one of the ideal situations for developing quality testimonials and referrals for your online shop. The audience can see the action you took with honesty, and share that very attractive information with their own networks, expanding your visibility and growing your audience base.
While handling the situation directly may sound simple, one should take time to develop a plan for customer situations. What are you going to do for unique situations? What will you say? How can you correct certain mistakes? Compensation? Do you thank them for bringing the situation to your attention? These are all essential characteristics that need to be thought out and planned prior to any potential situation. While each scenario will be unique, the ability to outline what you should know (presenting the correct answers) and deliver that message in a positive way will make a difference to the audience and how they view your online store.
Your actions say a lot
The customer doesn’t judge you by your mistakes. The fact is that the audience judges you on how you handle your mistakes. Are you willing to step up and face them? Do you handle yourself appropriately? These are the questions that customers will ask you, so you need to be ready to demonstrate the right image.
Additionally, one concept to maintain is the act of keeping your word. It’s easy to make promises or say things without carrying them out. If you promise your customer something, honor it. If you can’t keep your word or don’t know for sure, don’t promise it. Honesty says more with your actions than your words can compensate for. And one deciding factor in your integrity is your ability to gain attention the right way. Misleading the audience is not always the intention, but tends to happen more often in the small things that take place, such as marketing and sharing a coupon as unique, but offering it to everyone. It may not sound like much, but it can impact your brand’s image negatively.
The best customer relations are developed through a brand’s honesty. This comes from the ability to face the negative, demonstrate the positive, and always keep your promises. With these attributes, your online store will have an image that your audience will enjoy sharing with their own online networks.