According to research done by Frederick Reichheld of Bain & Company, It costs about five times more to win new clients than it does to retain them. So, without a doubt, customer satisfaction is vital for your long-term success.
Reports suggest that over 60% of consumers value customer service. So much so that it is expected to surpass product and price as the leading brand differentiator. Excellent shopping experiences will establish trust with your audience and encourage repeat sales. Conversely, negative customer experience can lead to dramatic declines in sales, damaging online reviews, and a damaged reputation.
Ecommerce customer service is an aggregation of all the services you offer your online customers. If visitors to your website have concerns or need assistance to complete a purchase, your customer service representatives help them navigate the site and achieve their objectives. Your customer service channels allow support team to interact with customers and simplify the support process.
Ecommerce customer service differs from what happens in traditional brick and mortar stores. Since your representatives can only call or chat, you must foresee the challenges they are most likely to experience and provide proactive solutions.
6 eCommerce customer service best practices
1. Offer attractive return policies.
Customers often worry about challenges with returning un-wanted or defective products. Since 15-30% of all online shopping products are returned, it is vital to have a straightforward return policy. Include links to your return & exchange policy in several hard-to-miss places throughout your website. A few key places to list your policy include:
- Your website footer
- FAQ Page
Once you have a set a clear policy, your customers will make their orders with confidence.
Attractive policies increase the chances customers will make purchases and the likelihood that they will try your brand if you are a new company. Offering a complete refund instead of store credit, allowing reasonable timeframes for customers to return items, and providing guarantees are all useful tools for encouraging sales. Nearly 70% of consumers say they are more inclined to buy from an eCommerce business with an attractive return policy. The key point here is that if you offer an easy return process, more people will buy from you.
2. Give your customers a personal experience.
Personalization will differentiate your brand from all your rivals. To give customers a personal experience, you could provide customers with：
- Individual accounts that record past purchases
- Checkout information like previous shipping details,
- A list of product suggestions based on past interests.
- Personalized email messages
They are all effective strategies to connect with your buyers at an individual level.
Some brands go as far as offering customization services such as custom-fit clothing. Understandably, this may exceed your current capacity, but it is an effective way to separate yourself from the competition and make your customers feel special. Besides ensuring excellent customer experience, it will leave customers talking about your product with family, friends, and close associates. Nothing beats word of mouth marketing from someone who has had an enjoyable firsthand experience of your company.
3. Ask your customers for feedback.
It’s an indisputable fact – most customers will not offer feedback or comments if you don’t ask for them. Send an email to evaluate their experience or ask them to write a brief review you can add to your website or social media channels.
They will likely jump at the opportunity, mainly if there is a small discount on future orders. Reviews and feedback are also crucial for your brand because they offer vital information and allow you to find what’s working and what isn’t.
Negative reviews are not entirely bad as well. They help you find what went amiss and fix it. Whether the review is negative or positive, it’s always wise to answer and appreciate your customers’ willingness to share their feelings. Starting a dialogue will benefit you either way.
Hold live chats with your customers.
The world has gone digital, and customers expect instant gratification. That means when they ask questions, they expect fast answers. If you don’t answer them quickly, they could opt for other companies with speedier response times. Considering that over 80% of all online shoppers need help completing an order. Live chat with a real person (not automated software) is an essential asset for your business. It will help your prospects complete the customer journey.
4. Utilize your social media channels
Social media is where people gather for information and chitchat. It’s also a great place to talk to your customers and deal with any issues they may have. Besides the fact that they will love the instant attention, this strategy will show your target audience that your company cares, and that it is quick to respond to its clients. You’ll want to target the communication channels your target markets frequent. Doing so will increase your brand’s visibility and engagement levels.
5. Give your customers competitive shipping deals.
Implementing an effective eCommerce shipping strategy is one of the best steps you can take to growing your brand online. Although most companies start with crude approaches to order fulfillment, like offering unmodified USPS or UPS fares, wise merchants will employ strategic shipping plans to increase their margins and set themselves apart. It requires collaboration between multiple teams within your company, from marketing to order fulfillment, and all other departments in between.
6. Ecommerce customer service software
As mentioned earlier, focusing on customer satisfaction through proactive support will set you apart from your rivals. Since we live in a digital era, there are several customer service tools you can employ to help your agents excel at the task. With any of the tools below, you’ll be setting your brand up for customer service success.
Salesforce service cloud
The service cloud is powered by AI software, and it is useful for various customer-centered duties. Notable features include:
Phone support: you can launch calls within the software itself, and view available data on the customer in question before the call starts
Integrated customer information: you have access to all a customer’s tickets in a single space.
Analytics: the tool allows you to analyze aggregated customer data, compile knowledge bases, and make informed operational decisions.
Hubspot Service Hub
The Service Hub is a comprehensive customer support software tool. Its most remarkable features include
Automated ticketing: all emails are converted to tickets. They can be answered via templates or presets.
A team inbox: all your customer service team members can keep up with events like customer queries in real-time.
Chat-bot support: you can specify automated answers to routine questions and concerns
Referral Candy enables you to create an automated referral program for your company. Your customers will receive customized links that they can share with family, friends, and acquaintances in exchange for rewards like discounts and shopping deals.
Remarkable features include
Detailed analytics: the tool will provide data-driven insights into your traffic sources and help you identify the customers that promote your brand most.
Automation: the referral program will run on its own. Rewards will be issued automatically so you can have extra time for your business.
Custom rewards: you can choose from store discounts, cash rewards, or customized gifts to thank your customers.
Live chat is an instant chat and support desk application that will enhance your online customers’ experience and increase your sales. With Live chat, it becomes easy to reach out to people exploring your website and convert them to valuable customers.
Its functionality is straightforward. After you’ve installed the software, a chat widget floats at the bottom right corner of your site. Visitors can then use it to chat with you, or you can proactively invite them to talk. The widget also doubles as a form for messages when you’re unavailable.
Remarkable features include
Tracking: you can monitor visitors in real time and contact them if they abandon an order.
Branding: you can easily redesign and customize the chat window.
Performance evaluation: Live chat allows you to monitor your performance through detailed analytical reports.
While much of the infrastructure needed for an excellent customer service experience is easy to set up, there are a few things that aren’t, like shipping. But there’s no need to worry. At Nextsmartship, we offer a broad range of shipping solutions that will allow you to provide your customers with the best deals.
Regardless of your brand’s size, excellent customer service will have a substantial impact on your eCommerce business. By implementing the advice offered in this post, you will please your customers, expand your customer service team’s capacity, and grow customer lifetime value.