Customer service is a priority for any good building material manufacturer, as you would probably agree.
However, it’s not good when you find your customer service inquiries on the rise. That could be a signal that something’s going awry with your communications strategy.
If customers feel lost, confused, or frustrated when trying to use your products, you can quickly find your resources taken up with patching holes in the customer experience…which is never good for business.
Fortunately, there are ways to lower the rate of inquiries and complaints. With a few digital strategies and resources that bring clarity to your customers before they even reach out, you’re well on the way to redirecting your efforts away from handling complaints.
Below, we’ll list 5 ways you can lower your rate of customer service inquiries, so you can focus more on producing and selling great products.
1. FAQ Sections on High Traffic Pages
Service calls happen when customers have questions they can’t find answers to.
You can address them quite effectively by putting a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section on your website’s most popular pages. According to Econsultancy, 51% of consumers prefer to get support from a company through an online FAQ.
Your customers, while all individuals, will often have the same common problems. The questions they raise are “frequent” for a reason — so it’s up to your brand to recognize this in advance and provide the solutions in an easy-to-find spot.
A FAQ targeting flooring dealers or installers, for instance, might answer questions about the materials you use in your floor panels, any technical specs, materials and best uses, and any special installation or maintenance considerations.
Ensure that you have your FAQ section on the pages that are getting the most traffic, which you can determine with tools like Google Analytics. Also, make sure you’re giving quick answers to the real issues customers might have, like problems with using the product, maintenance, wear and tear, or troubleshooting.
Creating a resource like this will build trust, above and beyond reducing inbound service calls.
2. Clear Navigation
One of the worst things for web users to encounter is a hard-to-navigate website. By some estimates, a staggering 88% of consumers will refuse to return to a site after a bad experience.
Avoid this by having a clean design that gets web users what they need, quickly, and in a logical way.
You can start by ensuring the navigation bar on the top of your site goes to key product information pages, and that throughout your site you have clear links and large, unambiguous call to action (CTA) buttons. That way consumers, retailers, and contractors will know exactly where to go next.
Keep the steps customers must go through to reach their goals at a minimum, whether they want to get more how-to information, contact your company, or make a purchase. A prominent buy or “add to cart” button in the top navigation bar of your site will help busy customers complete their orders without issue.
In short, good navigation equals a positive user experience and fewer complaints about a confusing website.
3. Use the Bullseye Locations Dealer and Contractor Locator Software
As mentioned before, your customers might be ready to buy right away. How can you meet them where they are?
The answer is with a premium locator solution embedded into your site. The best option to go for here is Bullseye.
With Bullseye, you’ll eliminate the “where to buy” calls you might get from customers. That’s because it creates dealer and contractor locators that are easy to use, intuitive, and encourage prospects to submit inquiries.
A basic list of addresses is no longer enough. Not all locations are created equal. Some customers may want locations with showrooms or ones that are open late on weekdays. Bullseye’s advanced solution provides ways to filter and categorize locations based on all sorts of amenities and services within seconds.
Within seconds of landing on your locator, a user can know exactly which local brick-and-mortar outlet or contractor they’re going to visit — complete with contact info and other details.
If you use Bullseye, you’ll shorten the gap between your customers’ desire to buy and the point of sale to as little as a few seconds. You’ll show them how to get their hands on your products before they even think to call and ask!
4. Build a Knowledge Base
A knowledge base on your website can quickly become a trusted resource for consumers who like to do their own research.
It goes much deeper than the FAQ, in terms of answering the kinds of questions that are usually referred to support staff. That’s because it’s for those who need more detailed help or step-by-step instructions for handling an issue. A good knowledge base can also display your expertise as a thought leader for your product category.
Create articles and instructional videos to cover all possible customer frustrations in detail. Use records of past customer interactions with support, drawing from those logged conversations as a key resource when building out your knowledge base.
To serve the dealers, distributors, and contractors on your site, you’ll have to give “beyond the surface” details about your product lines. This includes technical specifications, detailed features, installation and repair documentation, and more.
Provide a rich resource like this on your site, and you’ll find that customer service issues that once took an hour for your reps to resolve over the phone are now fixed by your customers themselves…simply by taking a few minutes to read a knowledge base article.
Chatbots are known for boosting sales, but did you know they can also serve as a 24-hour, 7 day-a-week extension of your customer support team?
In fact, according to Drift, 64% of web users say that the 24-hour service capability is their favorite aspect of chatbots.
Chatbots are programmed to respond to users in a friendly way to customer inquiries…and they’re growing in popularity among busy users who want answers fast.
With modern AI capabilities, chatbots can quickly answer questions, point users to the right knowledge base article, FAQ, or video, or connect the user to a human rep.
For example, if you’re a kitchen and bath interior design firm, your chatbot can be programmed to direct homeowners to a product visualizer, your online catalog showcasing different sink and faucet styles, or a rep that can offer more personalized insight on select items.
After installing your chatbot functionality, test it to make sure it’s actually resolving issues that your customers would raise, and that it will reliably point users in the right direction.
That way, it’ll actually serve its purpose in reducing service inquiries and take the burden off of your support staff.
Use Modern Web Tech and Content to Resolve Customer Issues Faster
No building product manufacturer has a track record of zero service inquiries. They will arise, and it’s important to have the bandwidth to deal with them.
However, you can absolutely reduce the number of calls you get.
A solid knowledge base, FAQs, chatbots, and navigation can all help answer your customers’ most pressing questions, and eliminate the need for them to call you.
One of the most common questions will be: Where can I buy your products? Bullseye software answers that one beautifully, by providing intuitive locator pages that get customers to the cash register faster than any other tech solution will.
If you want to see Bullseye in action for reducing unnecessary calls and inquiries on where to buy — while streamlining your lead gen and sales — set up a free assessment today of your current locator solution today.