E-commerce Tips & Tricks 4 min read
25 Dec 2020

15 Customer Service Mistakes That Kill Your E-Commerce Business

15 Customer Service Mistakes That Kill Your E-Commerce Business

The significance of impeccable customer service in an online space can’t be emphasized enough. Research suggests that more than 86% of online buyers are willing to pay more in exchange for superior customer service.

Customers are the most valuable asset for any online business. Competition in the virtual world is already aggressive. There are hundreds of thousands of online businesses working in the same niche as yours.

One of the most common ecommerce mistakes online sellers make is they keep their entire focus on designing and creating a fully equipped website and completely ignore the importance of excellent customer service for their e-commerce business.

Here are 15 customer service mistakes that kill your business. The good news is that avoiding all of these mistakes just requires a little planning and effort.

1. Not Providing Training To Your Support Agents

Support agents or live chat agents are individuals who deal with your customers directly. No matter how attractive your product range is, all of your efforts will go down the drain if your support team fails to respond to your customer’s queries in time.

Many times, these agents are told to read manuals and company policies on their own. As a result, these agents take more time to understand customer’s needs. 

One of the best ways to avoid this issue is to arrange proper training for staff who are responsible for handling customer queries. It has to be an ongoing activity. Keep your team informed about your company policies, recent shipping and returns policies, and pricing strategies.

Today, customer handling is a lot more than just saying ‘hello’ and ‘How can I help you’ kind of statements. Your support team should be smart and confident enough to proactively identify the buying patterns of your existing customers so that they can offer a more personalized experience to each customer individually. 

2. Not Getting Everyone Involved In The Process

One of the biggest customer service mistakes is assuming that providing the best customer service is the responsibility of your support agents only. But this isn’t true. When it comes to e-commerce businesses, every single employee should take responsibility to keep customers happy. 

Your web designer should propose a design that is user-friendly and navigable. Similarly, those working in the sales or ecommerce accounting departments should devise strategies that are in favor of your potential customers. 

3. Taking Too Long To Respond

Present-day customers are fully aware of their worth. They know they can find plenty of other options if they don’t get the desired service from your e-business.

Customers have many questions and they expect their queries to be answered right away without too much waiting time. Whether it’s online support, email support, or telephonic support, make sure your agents provide your customers with timely answers.

One of the Forrester research reports reveals that over 41% of customers expect a response to their email in less than 6-hours. The same report also highlighted that only 36% of businesses managed to respond in this timeframe.

Train your support team and instruct them to respond to your customer’s queries in the shortest amount of time possible.

4. Rigid Returns And Refunds Policy

Did you know a satisfied customer will go on to tell at least 9 other people about their experience with a brand?

As much as you might want to avoid returns and refunds, trying to hide your returns policy is still a bad idea and one of the biggest customer service mistakes.

A comprehensive and easy-to-read returns and refunds policy is essential for your store’s success. 

It helps build trust and represents the professional image of your business. 

5. Arguing With Customers

Excellent customer service is all about keeping your customers happy. Whether you agree with your customer’s complaint or not, make sure you never argue with them.

Whether they’re just a day outside your return policy or they have ordered the wrong product size, a little flexibility at your end can go a long way. 

Be ready to return payments if the products you have sent via courier got damaged during a journey. 

Keep in mind, your goal is to offer an impeccable customer experience and not just make sales.

6. Ignoring Social Media

With more and more businesses having a social media presence these days, it is more important than ever to keep an eye on your social media business pages to answer customer queries in time.
According to research, more than 32% of social media users expect businesses to respond to their queries within 30 minutes. 

If you get feedback or complaints on one of your social media pages, then you should address those complaints at your earliest. 

Studies suggest that failing to address customer’s concerns on social media accounts may lead to a 15% rise in customer churn. 

Make sure you take time to respond to those complaints you receive on your social media account. Do not argue publicly. Apologize and say that you will resolve this issue through a private message.

7. Not Listening To Your Customers

Listening is an art and it can only be cultivated through proper training. It will be a huge failure if your support team responds with answers that are truly irrelevant to your customer’s queries. 

The more your agents listen to your customer’s concerns, the better they will be able to resolve their issues promptly. 

Ask your agents to be fully attentive, note down things, and see historical data or past conversations to identify the customer’s pain points. 

Pro tip: Enable a CSAT survey in your helpdesk to help your support team collect genuine feedback from your customers.

8. Breaking Promises

One of the biggest customer service mistakes e-commerce businesses make is overpromising and under-deliver. 

We’d suggest you talk less and deliver more.

If you suspect delivery delays, make sure you communicate this to your buyers. Never make promises you can’t keep as doing so will severely damage your business reputation and goodwill.

9. Not Offering Omni-Channel Support

Unlike physical businesses, in which your only concern is to address customers’ queries and complaints from behind the counter, online businesses need you to focus on different channels. 

Customers can get in touch with your support team through different channels. It could be a telephone chat, an email complaint, or a live chat query. 

Since you cannot force your customers to stick to one or two channels only, you have to be prepared to offer omnichannel support to your customers. 

According to research, brands that offer cross-channel support witness a massive 89% customer retention. On the other hand, businesses that do not opt for omnichannel support only have a 33% customer retention rate.

10. Not Keeping Your Customer’s Records

Personalization is key to impeccable customer service. Customer service strategies aren’t confined to knowing the right answer to customers’ queries. 

Today’s live chat software allows e-commerce businesses to maintain a record of their loyal customers so that support agents can offer a personalized experience to them on their next visit.

Failing to keep your customer’s record is one of the most common e-commerce mistakes that can ruin your business and result in poor customer service for your valued customers. 

11. Bombarding Customers With Surveys

Successful e-commerce businesses try to build long-lasting relationships with their customers. This isn’t possible without creating a foolproof marketing or upselling strategy. 

Trying to upsell your products all the time can annoy your customers. 

12. Sending Too Many Follow-up Communications

Similar to upselling offers, you must not send too many follow-up communications. Sending dozens of post-purchase text messages and emails is a proven way to frustrate your customers. 

Your customer’s time is precious and you must respect it. Plan your follow-up emails and SMS texts, and make it easy for your buyers to opt out whenever they want.

13. Providing Incorrect Or Fake Information

As mentioned above, you should not make promises that you can’t keep. Similarly, trying to misguide your customers or providing incorrect or fake information may annoy your customers. Also, it can harm your business repo and goodwill. 

14. Using Chatbots

The trend of automated chatbots is on the rise. Even though these bots are well-designed and effective, they can’t offer support like a live chat support team. 

Live chat support agents can listen to your customer’s queries and offer real-time personalized solutions. 

15. Not Being Flexible About Payment And Shipping Options

Present-day customers are demanding. They prefer brands that can easily accommodate their requests and offer them plenty of shipping and payment options.

Here, market research is the key. We’d suggest you check out your competitor’s websites and see what they’re offering to their buyers.

Final Words...

According to Shep Hyken, Customer Service and Experience Expert, “Customer service is the experience we deliver to our customer. It’s the promise we keep to the customer. It is how we follow through with the customer. It’s how we make them feel when they do business with us.”

We hope this post has cleared some of your doubts about common customer service mistakes. Make sure to try to overcome these issues as soon as possible to witness great results and conversions.

Ricky Hayes

Ricky Hayes

Ricky Hayes is the CEO at Debutify. He is a passionate entrepreneur running multiple businesses, marketing agencies, and mentoring programs.

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