As a small business owner, you wear a number of hats. You have to juggle the roles of customer service representative and inventory manager while overseeing sales, marketing, and more. If you run an experience business, you’re also frequently out of the office, creating those very experiences that drive your core business. 

When you’re on-the-go, juggling customer interactions across countless platforms may feel overwhelming—like an impossible task. With all of the channels for customers to reach you, it’s easy to overlook a critical customer question, comment, or complaint, and lose a sale in the process. Here are the best strategies to deliver an outstanding customer experience whether you are in or out of the office. 


Cultivate an online reputation that makes customers want to contact you over your competitor.

Getting Reviews: 

Research has shown that reviews are one of the most powerful drivers in customer decision-making. In fact, 97 percent of customers rely on reviews when deciding whether to work with a local business. However, manual review collection for businesses can be so complicated and time-consuming that it often gets left off the day’s to-do list. Do you have an effective strategy in place for collecting reviews? 

If not, start racking up 5-star reviews from anywhere with platforms like Podium Reviews. Even when you’re not in the office, this automated system proactively texts customers with quick, easy-to-complete review requests. Optimizing your review system improves your search engine ranking and increases customer trust in your brand. Suffice to say, it’s an important customer acquisition and retention strategy.


Handling Negative Reviews:

Not all reviews will shower you in adoration. While you’re busy in the field, one negative review can chase customers away before you’ve even had the chance to see it and respond. 

With Reviews, you can swiftly handle negative comments before they deter future business. No need to lose time bouncing between multiple platforms to view notifications. In one can’t-miss location, Podium alerts you to new reviews right as they come in. Respond with a rapid solution, and in turn, show current and prospective customers that you care about their opinions. 


3 tools to create an easy way for customers to reach you the way they want to 

1. Google My Business

Customers often ask Google My Business for answers when close to a shopping destination or in a time-crunch. Maybe they’ve received surprise out-of-town visitors and want to know the holiday hours for a local beer garden. A customer might look for a coffee fix to finish up a last-minute assignment. With questions like these, time is of the essence. 

Allowing customers to reach you through the Google My Business “Ask a Question” button puts you at an advantage. You can beat your competition to these time-sensitive questions and bring in new business that’s primed for the taking.


2. Social Messaging

It’s important to be accessible on the social platforms your customers love to use. However, when scouting a new event venue or meeting with a client, it’s impossible to focus on a swarm of notification bubbles dinging in a dozen different apps. 

Interaction Platform brings interactions from all of your social media channels into a single app so you can see all customer questions at a glance. Whether they originate on Facebook, Instagram, or another platform, you can quickly answer questions before a customer’s impatience drives them to a competitor.


3. Webchat

When a customer visits your website, they are a readily captive audience. Do you force them to track down a phone number or email address to reach you? If so, we can change that.

With Webchat, customers can conveniently text you questions right from any page of your website. Stay on top of pressing customer service questions even when you are too busy to answer a lengthy phone call or sort through your email inbox.


Using messaging in an effective way for your business

One industry that relies heavily on timely customer messaging strategies is the travel industry. Colorful and alluring social media posts regularly inspire customers to see new places. Travel companies need an effective customer messaging strategy to take advantage of customer motivation when it is at its highest. Here’s a look at how it works: 

  • Pull customer messages from multiple channels into one inbox: When it comes to traveling, you never know what beautiful snapshot will be the one that motivates a customer to start planning his or her trip. Whether the source of inspiration originates on Instagram or Facebook, you can see their questions on one centralized platform.
  • Provide quick customer service on-the-go: You might be out taking social media photos of sailboat rentals or tasting new additions to the dinner menu. You can still answer customer questions right as they roll in. Using Podium, you have the freedom to tend to all aspects of your customer experience without being stuck at your desk.
  • Answer questions about bookings: Is a customer interested in nearby music venues? Do they want to read about hiking trails? You’re not only empowered to answer these questions on local attractions, but you can curate the ideal getaway with personalized recommendations.
  • Provide safety tips, forms, and reminders before a booking: Position yourself as a trusted travel companion by supporting your customer’s journey from start-to-finish. You can answer last-minute questions no matter what platform they originate from.
  • Allow customers to send images of forms: There are lots of forms required to finalize a travel booking. Waiting for customers to submit these final documents can slow the process. With Webchat and Interaction Platform, customers can send pictures of these documents at their convenience so you can close the sale quickly.  


How to use technology to do more as a team

Podium’s customer interaction tools allow your entire team to stay involved no matter their location. With a quick message in Teamchat, you can coordinate with a satellite warehouse on inventory or reschedule appointments with your field sales team.


Streamlining all interactions into one place

By using these techniques to increase your messaging efficiency, you’ll save time for both you and your customer. Podium brings together all communication with that customer into one centralized location. Have a follow-up question for your warranty team? No need to rehash your conversation from start-to-finish. Everyone on your staff can easily view the aggregated customer conversation so they have correct details the first time. 

With Podium, managing customer interactions on-the-go is easy. You’ll have a centralized platform for all of your customer messages, reviews, questions, and interactions. Whether you are out curating stops for a local wine tour or prepping a local 5k run course, you’ll have the power to deliver a stellar customer experience from anywhere.

Thomas Clawson
Thomas Clawson Partner Marketing Manager

Thomas Clawson is a partner solutions professional at Podium, the leading messaging platform that connects marketing agencies with their clients.

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