The goal of any business is to collect and engage customers. You have to want your clients to succeed in their projects to obtain success. You must be proactive and seek to meet their needs. To meet these requirements, you must offer them a solution to know them, to inform them and receive their comments.
Once a need is identified, the 24-hour rule applies. Your customers and visitors must get a response within 24 hours to their questions or problems.
If your client receives a response more quickly, or their issue is resolved, we can think that this customer feels privileged and will be a multiplying agent to develop your brand.
To capture the questions or meet its needs, you can note that there are several tools available.
Blog vs Forum What is the best choice for my website?
We must first see the difference between these two tools. There are also other tools that can better meet by their characteristics your needs or those of your customers.
Both the blog that the Forum will generate content on your website. The question is, you what the content be essentially yours or made by users? The aim is to inform or offer to solutions to problems? You want to manage issues of your customers primarily in private and with a knowledge base? What do you do exactly?
The tools available are not asking all the same level of commitment and competence.
The Blog has demonstrated its qualities making it a very popular and widespread tool. The “self-publishing” mode it provides allows you to develop your brand and in our opinion, this is the best solution for your website.
Since there are many other tools to communicate, have a look at them and then choose the best for yourself.
To inform clients or visitors, you can use:
– The blog
– The forum
– A “chat” room
– Social networks
– Knowledge Base
– The online ticket system
– Mailing lists
Fundamental differences of available tools
The blog is a great tool to talk about yourself or your business. You are able to choose the subjects and get answers or simply post articles without requiring feedback.
The blog serves a longer content and this content is centralized on the author or authors defined by the blog owner. New articles are presented first. It is possible to optimize the SEO by the quality of its interventions.
The Blog ask a lot of imagination and innovation to keep the interest. To generate the commitment of customers, it requires more time and effort.
A forum is a community. People can therefore discuss issues, create and respond to threads (subjects). The owner of the forum can use it to provide follow-up on software for example. Users mention their difficulties and can share their knowledge of this software with others.
The content is much more controlled by users, the SEO is not necessarily optimized. You may end up with short answers, and sometimes misspelled feedbacks and some content which search engines can interpret as “spam”. New answers are usually at the beginning regardless of the topic is new or not.
A “chat” room
It is an instant communication tool with the possibility of follow live conversation in a private room or not. It is a rapid exchange like texting on a smartphone.
There is much use of abbreviations, there may also be several subjects and / or conversations that take place between users simultaneously. This can be a bit confusing for beginners.
No real need to present them but let’s say they offer according to their nature, communication towards people who follow you.
Twitter is more for professionals, labor and corporate information. Facebook is mostly for personal life and friends. You need to adjust the content that you do on Twitter because if you comment or post like you do on Facebook, you will have some issues with other users!
Each social network has its purpose and its own philosophy. Be on those who go along with you and your company.
The knowledge base is a script that you install on your website or you deal with a popular platform that offer you an all include solution for your customers demands.
Essentially, the knowledge base is a reference place like a library, on the themes proposed in advance by the site owner to answer usual questions.
It is possible by looking at the subjects to learn about the philosophy of the company, its rules and ways to use the products or services.
99% of the time, the knowledge base comes with an online ticket system to inform customers about their private issues or particular problem.
The online ticket system
The online ticket system is ideal to offer support to its customers, monitor and compile statistics. It keeps track of every request to see his evolution over time and evaluate the resources used to address the issue.
The website owner can therefore analyze the efforts and the real costs of technical support in the business. The resolved tickets can then become reference tools that will be sent in the knowledge base.
For the client, knowing that his question is identified by an individual number provides a sense of security and ensures that he will get an answer. For the administrator, it avoids the failures, omissions and will keep in one place all the resolution process.
Mailing lists require that visitors have registered first in your system. Ensure that your content is presented correctly to provoke that interest to them.
Often associated with online advertising, mailing lists offer the site administrator to send mass emails to pre-established lists of consumers.
If properly managed, they can adequately inform on an offer or a promotion but they are limited by registration and by their bad reputation.
Reply to emails, everyone did this! However responding via your own email address, you may get a lot of strange requests or SPAM!
Direct emails to customers should be limited. It is somewhat outdated for which other tools are hundreds of times better in quality.
It is best to use an integrated system portal than to use emails.
The solution or solutions you have found to handle the communication with your customers must be unique to your mission. Needless to copy the competition and end up with management problems of a portal that does not suit you!
The focus is on customer satisfaction. If your customers are satisfied, they will talk about your brand. Analyze well the pros and cons of these tools and offer the best possible service to your customers!