5 Ways To Better Your Online Service Platform For Users

improve online service platform end user

Amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, most businesses shifted their operations to online platforms. At first, this was a survival tactic to stay afloat until the world opened back up and normalcy is restored. However, it is becoming evident that even when the pandemic is behind us, online services will become more mainstream. 

From Amazon to Zoom, online service platforms are not a new subject. Nevertheless, the conversation around them is now shifting from the creation of such solutions to their efficiency. How easy is it for consumers to use your platform? Could it be that the structure of your site is costing you profits? Here are a few ways you could improve customers' online experience with your business. 

Accessibility 

It is important to expand an online service with moderation. Serving a large international population demands significant muscle in terms of building the right site and having enough staff. That said, consider that you would be losing money each time a customer is barred from accessing your services due to location or language barriers. This could also portray your company as exclusionary which, in today's world, is perceived negatively. 

With this in mind, try and keep your services as accessible as possible. Explore markets that have a high demand for your product and take steps to include them. Inclusivity in this case would entail both easy site access and multilingual site settings. 

As you make plans to expand you could try and partner with other companies that could make your services more accessible. If, for instance, your service is limited to America you could recommend a bypass SMS service that offers non-virtual USA phone numbers to users. This would enable them to sign up in the meantime before you establish more direct systems. 

Multiple Payment Options 

Consumers' preferred modes of payment differ based on a variety of factors. For example, in American society, credit cards are the most common means of payment for online transactions. Whereas, in contrast, mobile money is now a main payment medium in Africa and some Asian countries. Other factors that may influence preferred payment options include: 

• Safety of transactions 
• The amount being paid out 
• The frequency of the payment 

In light of this, it would be prudent to offer multiple modes of payment to your clients. Is it possible to accommodate every currency and payment option? Certainly not. However, you could try and accommodate the most common such as Visa, Sendwave, mobile money, and some cash apps. 

More importantly, ensure that all your payment platforms are tightly secured. In fact, it would be best to not bring on board any payment option until you are certain that it will not put your users at risk. This is the only way customers can grow to trust your online brand. 

Customer Service 

Every online platform requires dedicated customer service personnel to handle customer complaints, inquiries, and suggestions. If you are tempted to use a bot service for this, try not to give in to that. It makes customers feel dismissed and is equivalent to having no customer service at all. Further, these interactions with customers are a priceless source of information. They could help you improve your service and grow your consumer base. 

Endeavor to make your response times to customers as brief as possible. Long wait times could inconvenience customers and drive them to your competitors. This is especially common in online services like website hosting or taxi-hailing where customer needs may be urgent. Additionally, if you have an international presence, keep in mind that you may need a customer care setup that accommodates different languages and time zones. 

Ease Of Use 

Before 2020 the online meeting platform 'Zoom' was hardly famous. It trailed behind bigger names in the business that had been around for way longer and were more established. In a shocking twist of fate, Zoom ended up outpacing its competitors last year and by becoming one of the most highly used meeting apps. Which begs the question, how did they pull it off? 

The brief answer is ease of use. Most users found the application to be accommodating and straightforward to navigate. This was especially important because most companies were just starting to learn how to work solely on a virtual basis. It goes to show how important it is for your online service to deliver a seamless user experience. 

An easy to use online service could be described as one that has: 

• A simple sign up process with few short steps 
• Pages that redirect in the app or on the page whenever possible 
• Recommendations for services or troubleshooting prompts that help users 
• Good logical flow in usage steps 

Security Measures 

Research estimates indicate that there were over 60,000 phishing attacks in 2020. This figure does not include other cyber threats such as online identity theft and outright hacking. Put together, the number of people that were affected by cybersecurity challenges would likely shock everyone into staying off the internet. 

Offering an online service is much like inviting people to your home for a fee. The least they can expect from you is some safety and common courtesies. What would that look like, you ask? Siphoning data from their devices and selling it, for instance, would be a show of bad faith. Neglecting to maintain data protection systems on your service site or app could equally be catastrophic for your brand. In a nutshell, security comes down to 2 things. First, keep your site as safe as possible from external attacks that are outside your direct control. Secondly, be prudent with the data that your users share with you. None of it should be recorded or used without them being informed and giving their express consent. 

Conclusion 

There is endless potential for businesses that can position themselves to meet unique customer needs effectively online. As such, the competition will be stiff. The more user-friendly you can make your online service, the higher your odds of becoming the leading service provider in your market niche. Fortunately, you now have the tools to start improving user experience.

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