As an eCommerce owner, how much time have you spent focusing on your customer service? While you’ll undoubtedly have made sure products are high-quality and that you can ship them quickly, what kind of effort have you put into customer interactions? If the answer isn’t “a lot,” then you could be in for a lot of trouble.
Customer service is one of the most important factors you can focus on when running any business, no matter if it’s online or offline. Without making sure this is great, you’ll see multiple repercussions, including:
- Poor customer retention
- Fewer, less profitable sales
- Negative word-of-mouth marketing
- A bad name for your business
You’ll naturally want to avoid this, so you’ll need to find ways to overhaul your eCommerce brand’s customer service. Figuring these out could be more straightforward than you’d think, and they’re worth diving into. The success of your business could ride on it.
Before diving into the top ways to overhaul your eCommerce brand’s customer service, it’s worth looking at what actually makes great customer service. At its heart, it involves taking a customer-centric approach and focusing on what their needs are. Putting your customers first and keeping them in mind at all times is essential.
As part of this, you’ll need to respond to issues quickly, proactively address any problems, and much more. Making sure everything is seamless for your customer and that they don’t run into any bumps in the road when dealing with you is crucial.
There are five fundamental aspects to great customer service in eCommerce:
- Resolving issues in a single interaction when possible.
- Following up with customers when necessary.
- Recording and saving a copy of the interaction.
- Having a friendly customer service representative.
- Getting problems dealt with quickly.
Now you know what great customer service entails, you’ll want to actually achieve it. While some methods of doing so might be relatively obvious to a few eCommerce owners, others won’t be. Eight ways to overhaul your eCommerce brand’s customer service stand out with this.
Practical to do, they’ll have a significant impact on your company’s customer service abilities. By implementing them, you should see:
- Increased customer retention
- Better brand loyalty
- Enhanced customer interactions
- Better word-of-mouth marketing
It’s worth diving into what these strategies are.
The software you use for customer service could matter just as much as the team you have in place for it. Help desk software is one of the more crucial tools you’ll need to have. It lets your customer service representatives quickly and easily deal with customers while tracking everything involved in the process.
These systems can be easily integrated with contact forms, emails, live chat systems, and even social media accounts. It gives your customer support team a much more detailed and effective way of dealing with your customers. Take full use of this.
Your customers all have needs and wants when they’re considering buying from you. Since these can vary from customer to customer, you’ll have to go out of your way to figure these out. It’s then simply a matter of addressing their needs.
You can figure these out in multiple ways, with inviting customer feedback being one of the more notable. It lets you hear directly from your customers, and you can then act on specific points. Not only will it improve your customer service, but your customers will feel listened to and happier because of it.
Speaking of customer needs, they need a certain amount of information before they’re ready to buy online. Go out of your way to give them this. Product specifications, delivery times, and more will all be part of this. You can address all of these concerns by having information in the right place.
Having all product-related information in the product description is a necessity. At the same time, it’s worth having an FAQ page where potential customers can find out anything they need to know. While this takes time and effort to create, you’ll save even more time and effort in the long-term.
If you only deal with customers through one or two channels, you could be forcing them to contact you in ways they don’t want to. That could be a frustrating experience for them, which starts everything off on the wrong foot. Take a multichannel approach to deal with this instead.
Using email, over-the-phone support, and even live chat services for business, you can make this much easier for everyone involved. Customers can interact with you in a way they feel most comfortable doing. It avoids frustration while making sure any problems are dealt with quickly.
Perhaps the busiest time of the year for eCommerce stores is the last two-to-three months. With the holiday season coming in close, it’s easy to see why. Customers will be shopping for presents, and they’ll buy many of these online. That could put a significant strain on your operations.
You’ll need to be able to deal with this increased demand, even if it’s only in the short-term. You don’t have to hire full-time employees to deal with this, however. Seasonal staff could be much better recommended. While they’ll still work full-time hours, they’ll understand they’re not there for the long-term.
By being proactive with this, you can make sure there aren’t longer queues, delayed deliveries, and other issues because of the increased demand. Customers can expect the same quality of service, if not better.
If you want to make something better, you’ll first need to have a baseline measurement of it. You’ll need to track your current customer satisfaction rates to establish this baseline as soon as possible. With that, you can start looking at specific ways to overhaul your brand’s customer service.
You shouldn’t stop tracking these satisfaction rates once you’ve established a baseline, however. Keep track so you can figure out exactly what kind of impact your strategies are having. If they’re negative, then you’ll need to change course completely.
When they’re having a positive impact, consider whether this is as large as you would’ve expected. If not, determine if there are ways to boost the impact and see if there are any adjustments you can make going forward. Wash, rinse, repeat.
Customer support has usually been done through specific channels. Live chat, as mentioned above, is one of the newer examples of this, but there’s also email and phone support. While these are still popular among consumers, they’re far from the only options to choose from.
Social media has quickly grown in popularity as a way for customers to interact with businesses. You’ll have to spend some time and effort on this and address concerns on social media the same way you would with any other channel. Bring this into your multichannel strategy.
In many cases, messaging companies through social media sites could be much faster and easier for customers. Be sure to respond to them quickly and address their concerns. See it as one of the core ways to look after your customers, and treat it like you would any other channel.
If concerns or questions are brought up publicly on social media, responding appropriately is a sure-fire way to make your brand look more appealing.
One of the more frustrating parts of dealing with customer service is needing to repeat yourself, according to studies done by Hubspot Research. Your customers won’t want to say the same thing twice, which tends to happen if they deal with several agents when interacting with your company.
If it happens more than that, like three or four times, you could end up driving your customers away. You’ll need to make sure that doesn’t happen. Having a single agent deal with a specific customer is a great way of minimizing this. There’ll be times where calls will need to be escalated, however.
In these cases, make sure the original agent has taken notes to be passed on to whoever else gets the call. Having the second agent go through these before speaking with the customer so they know exactly what’s going on. They won’t have to go through the same motions the original agent did.
Not only does this get rid of the frustration and repetitiveness, but it’ll make interactions much faster.
There are multiple ways to overhaul your eCommerce brand’s customer service, most of which come highly recommended. They’ll not only keep your customers happy, but should have a long-term – and positive – impact on your company’s revenues and brand image. It’s more than worth putting the time and effort into them.
Tracking customer satisfaction rates, having a multichannel strategy, using help desk software, and similar strategies are all helpful with this. While they’ll take a little time and effort, the importance of your customer service is more than worth it.