Have you had a terrible experience with customer service?
We all have at some point.
It's never fun to feel ignored and know that you're not getting the help that you need... when it is expected in the first place.
And most consumers dislike dealing with issues like these.
There are many unhappy customers especially in the ecommerce world, but there are also many ecommerce brands that take pride in their customer service.
They want to make sure that customers are well satisfied.
The power of customer service in ecommerce is something that sets these companies apart.
Often, it is said that the quality of the customer experience determines whether a company will succeed or not.
And this is true.
Recently, many companies have realized that customer service is the key to not only retaining existing customers but also acquiring new ones.
With customer service now being one of the most important factors for potential buyers, it has become crucial for ecommerce businesses.
And this is what this blog is all about. Today, I want to talk about...
The Power of Customer Service in Ecommerce
Ecommerce Customer Service refers to engaging with customers across various platforms throughout the entire customer online journey.
As an ecommerce company, you do not have a physical storefront and your team cannot directly interact with customers.
But efforts to provide great customer service should be the same as giving it face to face.
As a result, even though your personality doesn't shine through as much as in-person interactions, there are still many ways to leave a lasting impact on your customers.
This will give you an edge over your competitors especially when you offer excellent ecommerce customer service, delivered through various channels.
And speaking of channels, it's important for you to reach your customers wherever they are.
So here are the different channels you can touch base with your customers:
Channels for Customer Service
1. Phone support
This is one of the earliest channels for communicating with customers.
Most people still prefer this channel to get immediate answers to their questions.
This remains an effective channel for solving customer service issues in ecommerce.
So make sure your ecommerce site includes a phone number.
On to the next channel...
2. Live chat
The use of live chat is becoming increasingly important for ecommerce business owners.
Customers put so much value on real-time responses they can get from live chats.
If you can offer it, you can retain potential customers and those who would otherwise abandon your site.
I know not every ecommerce store has 24/7 live chat support.
Even so, it's still a good idea to include a live chat option in your store ?
Moving forward, let me talk about...
The use of email as a communication tool is still very popular for online ecommerce businesses.
Yet, customers cannot expect immediate replies compared to other fast channels.
So, you should keep a close eye on your ecommerce store's inbox.
And be careful not to sacrifice personalization in the pursuit of speed.
You must answer every question they ask, regardless of how common and mundane it may be.
Also, be careful in sending prepared responses. Wrong template replies aren’t what your customers are looking for.
Besides, it's annoying to receive the wrong message in your inbox.
The next channel is...
4. Social Media
Social media is so common today. It is impossible to ignore it, unless you have been living under a cave.
It is no longer a place for rants, funny videos, and sarcastic comments. Nowadays, it serves as a commercial space for brands.
So you have to be in the know about the networks most popular with your audience.
And then, you need to create an account and monitor it so you can engage with your customers.
The last channel is...
Maintain a blog with updated and useful content for your existing and potential customers.
Concentrate on answering common product questions. Think about how you can ease customers' pain points.
Also, using knowledge-based- content is a good idea. This will give more information about your products.
Now that you know the different channels to use in giving a great customer experience, this will help a lot in retaining and even acquiring customers.
The next question is...
How do you create the kind of experience that gives your business a genuine competitive edge?
Here are simple but powerful suggestions.
How to Improve Ecommerce Customer Service?
1. Know your Customers.
I've said this many times and I cannot emphasize this enough.
Knowing your customers is one way to enhance your customer service. Engage with them and know their interests.
This will build trust and establish your relationship with your customers.
In today's fast-paced, consumer-centric world, it never had been more important for businesses to establish a trusting relationship with consumers.
Having said that...
2. Monitor your Customers' Journey
It's essential for you as a business owner to understand your clients and provide them with a valuable and relevant shopping experience.
You need to be with your customers pre-sale, mid-sale and post-sale.
It's important to let your customers know that you are with them every step of their journey.
So, you must track all-important customer journey metrics at every stage.
Establish the different stages of their journey and what their goals are at each of these stages.
In addition, it's crucial to know where improvements can be made for each stage.
This is where customer feedback should follow...
3. Know how to handle negative feedback.
When it comes to giving feedback to businesses, a lot of customers feel like they're shouting into thin air.
Because, after taking the time to answer a customer feedback survey, they don't notice any improvement at all in how brands handle the shopping experience.
And here's where you can really set yourself apart from the competition.
No matter how negative your customer's feedback is, let them know you value their opinion.
Let them know you're willing to make it right.
If you show real appreciation for their opinion and improve on your weaknesses, you may turn around things.
And who knows? You can probably turn your harshest critics into your biggest supporters.
Do this and the next one...
4. Consistency is key.
If you provide a great customer experience, you will most probably retain customers.
However, if you fail to match the level of customer service next time, you might lose them for good.
So, consistency is key.
At all times and across all channels, a high standard of customer interaction must be observed.
Maintaining consistency is an easy-to-understand customer service strategy.
The next point is crucial...
5. Enhance your response time.
We live in an increasingly instantaneous world. And there is less patience among people than there used to be.
The average consumer today demands a shorter response time across all channels.
Customers are most demanding in social media and live chat support. Consider integrating your FB chat to your ecommerce site with the help of the Debutify add-on.
Likewise, long waits for phone support or email replies aren't acceptable.
So you must improve your response time in order to deliver superior support.
Halfway through and we're down to...
6. Make sure shipping and return policies are clear.
These are critical so it's important to be transparent with your shipping and return policies.
Almost all customers understand that shipping goods involve time and expense.
Yet, it is not acceptable for them to be misled regarding how long they must wait or how much they are supposed to pay for the shipping.
Make sure that guidelines and policies are visible and easy to understand.
They should be aware of the following:
- Time for processing orders
- Different shipping options, costs, and delivery times
- Taxes or other additional charges.
- Return policy
7. Personalized approach
There is no one-size-fits-all in ecommerce.
It is important to treat customers with a personalized approach that leaves them feeling special.
Getting to know consumers better and forming meaningful, long-term relationships is imperative for businesses today.
We're getting there so hold on...
8. Develop a Customer Retention Strategy
Ecommerce businesses face numerous challenges when it comes to customer retention.
You need to get your retention strategies in place.
Create a great customer onboarding process so they would enjoy their first purchase experience.
And stay in touch with them to give an awesome customer experience.
Customer service and experience play a role in customer retention.
Customer retention can be increased easily by creating a consistent, predictable customer experience.
I'm almost done...
9. Take advantage of customer reviews.
Today, consumers have more power to make informed decisions than ever before.
It is important to them that their opinions are heard.
Additionally, they wish to hear what other customers think about your products and services.
No wonder customer reviews are major factors that influence purchase decisions.
They are also valuable resources for improving customer service so leverage your customers' reviews.
Now that you know the 9 important customer service strategies, don't forget...
10. Enhance your customer service strategies.
There are no regulated set rules for customer service.
Cliché but it's true that "Different strokes for different folks" can be applied in ecommerce customer service.
But, remember, to solve customers' problems promptly and continually enhance your approach.
Have a process in place to track performance. It is important to always strive for improvement
This will ensure a successful customer experience.
There you have it...
The Power of Customer Service in Ecommerce: How to Retain and Acquire Customers
All the things I have mentioned here will help you acquire and retain customers.
Success doesn't happen overnight, but if done properly and consistently, you're on your way! You may also check out our blog post to get inspired while working your way to achieving your online store's success.
Plus, a little help from Debutify, will surely get you in front of your customer's minds.
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