Qualitative e-commerce customer service has become more important in the era of electronic commerce. The level of service that was previously practiced only with respect to privileged customers is becoming the norm today.
And this is not surprising, as the understanding of the needs of buyers, prompt response to requests, and timely resolution of problems are all components of customer service, which helps to build long-term and mutually beneficial relations between sellers and buyers. In the modern world, such advantages can help a business get ahead of competitors and earn a reputation of a reliable brand that customers can trust.
Thus, be sure to devote due attention to e-commerce customer support and take consistent steps towards improving the service.
Customer Service as a Competitive Advantage
The creation and implementation of a quality e-commerce customer service system give the owner of an online store lots of advantages such as:
- reduced bounce rate;
- increased customer loyalty;
- rise of conversion: from one-time customers to regular ones;
- the attraction of new buyers.
Interestingly, many studies in the field of customer service confirm the fact that a customer whose problem was quickly and efficiently solved by the company’s representatives demonstrates an even higher level of loyalty than the customers who did not have any issues at all.
This way, excellent e-commerce customer support takes you one step closer to building a customer-oriented business and hacking e-commerce growth, as loyal customers not only generate a large share of the revenue but also become active promoters of the brand.
Think of customer service as more than just a seller-buyer relationship. The quality of the service that companies provide ultimately becomes part of a winning marketing strategy that benefits both parties, business, and its customers. Businesses attract and retain loyal customers who are interested in re-ordering, and customers receive the first-class service that makes a lasting impression.
Steps to Excellent Customer Service
Attention to each individual client needs to be developed as a special skill. And there are proven ways to do this, which can be applied to almost any business. If you have set yourself the goal of building outstanding customer service, pay attention to the following steps that will help you achieve it:
1. Know Your Customer
The essence of a successful business is to know what customers want and expect. Gathering customer feedback using a variety of communication sources, including comments, telephone communications, and social networks, is a sure way to stay on the same wavelength with customers, anticipating their needs.
So, take the time to explore your customers. For this, you can use both web analytics systems, specialized CRM programs, and other similar tools. Also, the administrative panel of some CMS provides a volume of information, which may be quite enough for a small and medium online store.
2. Provide Quick Answers to Customer Queries
The responsiveness of sales consultants or support service representatives has a great impact on the individual’s perception of the company. The vast majority of customers prefer working with the company whose representatives answer the question as quickly as possible.
Customers can use different channels for their queries so it is vital that you keep track and monitor all of them. They can use messages and comments for a variety of purposes — for consultations, questions regarding the assortment, complaints, or criticisms. Do not make the customer wait. Answer quickly.
3. Produce Informative Online Product Catalogues
The finished catalog is a convenient sales tool that helps to increase sales and simplify the presentation of the product range to customers. This is a unique opportunity to get acquainted with the quality characteristics of the goods, the relevant conditions, and the expected results of the offered services. This way, online catalogs are a business tool for achieving marketing goals.
Omissions and mistakes in your catalogs place an undue burden on customer support and undermine trust in the brand. Having excellent customer service is also about minimizing the need to address the support. Thus, keep your catalog relevant and informative.
4. Keep the Buyer Informed
Here, even the best online stores have something to work on and things to improve. It is important for a customer to know about any unexpected changes in the processing of his order and the accommodations you make while marketing during the Coronavirus outbreak. Also, a good idea is to notify users of the hot offers, personalized bonuses, or the abandoned shopping carts.
To do this, you can automate notifications by SMS or e-mail that would tell the client about the status of the order, the progress of its delivery, and personalized offers.
5. Use Omnichannel Technology
Diversity in terms of communication channels is already a necessity in today’s market. While it is necessary to let the customers choose a suitable channel, a great move is also to make the support service omnichannel, which is to give the user the ability to follow up the same inquiry using various channels.
Hire a good mobile app development company and creating your own e-commerce application will help you identify the users and personalize their experience. This aspect is vital for creating seamless omnichannel customer support.
6. Make Delivery and Return Terms Simple and Straightforward
Do you have a return policy in your online store? This question is of interest to many buyers who doubt about online purchases, especially when it comes to buying from a company that they do not know. A reasonable exchange and return policy will dispel the doubts and make users more confident in their purchase decisions.
7. Use A CRM Software
Customer expectations have never been so high. It is impossible to meet these expectations if you cannot understand what each customer wants and what emotions they experience when interacting with your company. The CRM solution comes to the rescue.
CRM systems are used to centralize, store and track large amounts of data about current and potential customers — from the history of interaction to activities in social networks — and provide access to this data in real-time. This data can be analyzed and used to provide personalized retargeting offers, predict customer expectations, and help build long-term relationships.
8. Make the Site Design Convenient
Do not forget about the convenient structure of the online store, useful functionality, and other amenities. Well-thought UX/UI design makes it easy and pleasant for the user to swim along the waves of your resource, slowly reaching the “order” button. If the product is temporarily out of stock — make it visible. Have a script for support representatives for the case when the item turns out of stock after the order is accepted and paid.
9. Track and Respond to Customer Reviews
It is important to encourage customer reviews anywhere — on review sites, app stores, social networks, your site, on even their personal pages. It is best to monitor online mentions carefully and train your e-commerce customer support to respond to both complaints and praises. It is important to excuse for the adverse customer experience before you even look into the case. Thus, try to move the conversation into private messages.
Make sure your team never deletes negative comments — this can lead to a real PR crisis or simply undermine your integrity and brand image.
10. Exceed Expectations
It is very good to meet customer expectations. Better yet, if you do a little more than they ask. For example, you can also add a small gift that was not mentioned anywhere or make delivery free. Put yourself in the clients’ shoes and think about how you can surprise them.
An attached note with warm words and wishes, a small souvenir, unusual beautiful packaging — all these are good signs of an excellent e-commerce customer service. Yes, you have to spend money, but a good lead attribution will show that the emotions of the client and the subsequent good reviews return these investments by far.
The peculiarity of an effective customer service system is that not only customer support representatives but all employees of the company clearly know their responsibilities towards the client and adhere to company standards in this area.
High-quality support service is a competitive advantage, which distinguishes the business among competitors. Personalization, an individual approach, and the expansion of classic customer service solutions allow you to stand out from the crowd and win the battle for the market.