“Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.”
– Stephen Covey
A New Perspective on Confirmation Details
In our previous post in this series, we showed some examples of the installation/activation instructions that software companies display on their order confirmation pages. In this installment, we’ll present ideas that will further your new understanding of confirmation pages and the role they play in your customer’s support experience.
We’ve already discussed how using your first post-purchase contact with your customer to share helpful support resources is part of providing exemplary customer service. The most tangible benefit of this strategy is customer retention. This clarity and access to helpful information results in building or maintaining a positive image and providing a positive customer experience.
In the software industry, confirmation pages should perhaps be thought of more as introductions to your company. They are your brand’s opportunity to solidify the relationship that started when your customer purchased your product or service. Considering it simply a confirmation of purchase or a set of technical instructions is really a wasted opportunity. Instead, you should use confirmation pages to set customers up for a lasting relationship with your lineup of offerings.
The strategy of setting the groundwork for a great introduction to your company was touched upon in our first two posts where we talked about clarity of information and providing additional resources for the customer to access when experiencing a challenge of some sort. Now let’s focus on:
- Support options
- Links to additional help resources
What are your current support options? If you were your least experienced customer, would the lack of a direct contact option help you — or would it turn you off? If your company has chosen to allocate resources towards other areas in your organization, a phone number may not be an option you can offer. What about a simple, memorable email address? How about a direct link to a contact form that is not buried somewhere a customer has to dig through layers to get to it?
Offer an Email Address or Easy Access to a Contact Form
Remember, without a phone number, you are already at a disadvantage. Flashback to our quote in our first post where it was mentioned that, “71% of customers believe that calling is the most effective channel for a quick response.” Adding extra layers to get to your support options increases the chances that a customer will request a refund or refuse to make further purchases.
Instead, use your confirmation page to clearly indicate an email address or contact form and include reassuring wording like “Dedicated Support Email Address/Support Form.” This informs your customers that you have established avenues of contact and responsive staff to receive their requests for assistance.
In today’s day and age, it seems that quite a few businesses are actually striving to hide their support options — or at least they aren’t making them easily accessible from a support page. Now, only you can view your specific numbers and determine whether this tactic is a worthwhile risk for you to take. However, from personal experience on the front lines of providing support, the accusations made by frustrated customers are, “This is a scam because I can’t get the support I need!” or “You made taking my money easy but not taking my request for help!”
The prevailing belief of the consumer is that if you want them to buy something, you better be prepared to help them with their purchase. Failing to do so, or making it an Easter egg hunt to find your contact options, can only frustrate your customer and leave them with a negative perception of your company.
Provide Links to Additional Help Resources
In the second part of our series, we showcased examples of companies that provided links to additional support options and information. These options can be a valuable resource for customers, but you have to remember to make sure that they are relevant, easy to navigate and up-to-date.
Here’s one thing to double-check: Is the link that a customer clicks on taking them to the support for the right product? We have seen examples where a software vendor had good intentions by providing a resource link, but the link took the customer to a page for a different product. Sure, there could be a listing on a sidebar to the correct item, but is that really helpful to someone who’s potentially already confused?
If you take the customer to a support page with many options, you need to clearly indicate what each option is for — perhaps by creating categories with individual software product names noted under each. This could make things easier for both you and your customer. They can easily choose the topic they need and it makes your resources easier to maintain, as you can update or remove links to product sub-pages as needed.
As you experiment and evolve these options, make sure the wording is consistent with your current products. Outdated screen shots or instructions that don’t match up (or provide clarity) can create confusion for someone relying on step-by-step instructions. Most importantly, as your site structure changes, you must offer a helpful redirect to a current page or present a more helpful message than “Link not found.”
Think of your confirmation pages as introductions that your customer can rely on to provide helpful details. To provide a positive experience with your brand, give clear support options and resources that are relevant, easy to navigate and up-to-date.
Bernie Aguirre is the Customer Service Quality Assurance Analyst at cleverbridge.