7 ways to use digital channels to help customers save time

Time is money

Respecting your customers’ time is one of the best ways of getting them to love your business. It shows that you genuinely have their interests at heart and that you’re in business to make their lives easier. People don’t like wasting money, but they are even more sensitive about having their time wasted.

We live in a world of instant gratification and on-demand services, and every small business faces high customer expectations. Taking friction out of the customer experience and saving customers time will keep people coming back to you. The quicker and more convenient it is for them to handle routine interactions with you, the better.

Here are some ideas for how you can use your website and other digital channels to save time for customers.

1. Provide how-to tips on your website

In addition to promoting your business and telling customers about your business, you can use your website to educate them and build relationships. One type of content that goes down well with customers is advice that helps them to save time. For example, if you sell computers to small businesses, you could write a blog post detailing the best cloud accounting apps and the pros and cons of each.

If you run a hardware shop, you could put together a few DIY videos highlighting how to perform common home repair and maintenance tasks. An arts and crafts shop could compile a few craft project ideas in a visual guide. If well-presented and curated, this sort of content can save hours of research for the customer. If you do a good job, you’ll draw people back to your website and attract more business from those that appreciate your guidance.

2. Make sure it’s easy to find important info on your website

Few things feel like more of a waste of a customer’s time than searching through a website looking for the info they need to get help from you or make a purchase. A well-designed website will be easy to navigate, with content organised into intuitive sections and key details easy to find with a glance. Customers appreciate it when they can get the most important content easily – for example, contact details, opening hours, product and service information, customer testimonials, your blog and about the company.

3. Be mobile friendly

There are still many small business websites designed first and foremost for desktops, and these can be clumsy to navigate on a mobile device. A website with responsive design is as easy to navigate on a mobile browser as a PC. Someone who is browsing your website from a smartphone is likely to be in a hurry, so make it as quick and easy as possible for them to get what they need. A potential customer on a smartphone will be annoyed if they need to dismiss endless popups or scroll through pages of content to get your phone number or address.

4. Let people help themselves

Customers these days like to be able to do things online at the time that suits them rather than needing to call in business hours. They will appreciate it if they can contact you directly from a form or make a booking from your website. They’ll leave feeling they’ve accomplished something, plus there’s less chance that they’ll forget to call you later to get a quote or make an appointment.

5. Provide FAQs and other customer support online

Offering customer support via your website throughout the customer journey can save plenty of time for you and customer. You could, for example, create a frequently asked questions page to help people address common technical support questions without phoning, or link to helpful blog posts for people who need advice before they buy something.

6. Consider opening an online store

Many people want to order products online and get them delivered to their door – saving them a visit to the shopping mall. Today, that’s not just about saving customers’ time, but also reducing exposure to COVID. It’s easier than ever to get an ecommerce site up-and-running for your business using a WordPress plugin such as WooCommerce. It’s not just physical goods that you can sell online, either. You can also offer seminars and classes in areas, ranging from social media to yoga to personal finance, for people who don’t want to leave their homes. There are also plugins for that on platforms like WordPress

7. Ensure your business listings are up to date

Business Listings are what show up when customers look for you on Google Maps, as well as other sites. These listings are often created automatically, which means the information is pulled from whatever records are available. The result is listings that often have missing or incorrect information, like an old address or phone number. Ensure these listings are up to date, so customers don’t need to search and click through multiple sites to get the info.

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