In today's world of e-commerce for businesses, there is one thing that differentiates one online business from another. Great online customer service. Software and users will always have issues. So how are you going to improve your ability and agility for your clients.
People that shop online have a great advantage over shopping in stores for various reasons that are inherent to their particular needs. One reason that people prefer to shop online is convenience. They appreciate the ability to purchase their goods with a few simple clicks and have it delivered right to their door. Besides convenience, however, customers prefer to shop with online retailers that offer great customer service.
Essentially, they're looking for a comfort level such that they might find by shopping in a brick and mortar store. In this article, we're discussing how to improve online customer service for e-commerce or businesses that sell products and services online.
Five Ways to Improve Online Customer Service
An online store is just the same as a traditional store in many ways. And while customer service options may differ from in-store techniques, it's still the most important aspect of running a successful and prosperous business.
When a customer encounters a storefront online they expect to find information regarding the product or service they're looking for, first and foremost. They're also concerned about pricing options and quality, of course. But whether they know they need it or not, online customer service is what makes a business stand out to online shoppers.
Beyond being available to customers and offering plain old customer service is providing stellar online customer service. Every online business should integrate the following into their customer service department.
One of the easiest and most accessible ways to earn customer trust is through email. It's a personal touch that not all sites offer and customers will appreciate a business that takes this extra step.
A business should set up a contact form on their website that allows customers to communicate with them directly. In an ideal world, responses should be provided within hours but a 24 hour turnaround time is acceptable.
It's a good idea to set up a separate, dedicated email account that serves customer requests and concerns to keep things organized. There are services available that allow businesses to create custom email addresses. And Shopify has its own email forwarding feature that integrates with a preferred email account.
2) Live Chat
For businesses that really want to WOW their customers and allow their customers to get directly in touch, Live Chat is a great option. This is an online customer service tool that will never go out of style because it gives the customer an opportunity to access a live person. They can ask questions and get pertinent information right away, without leaving the site.
One reason Live Chat is such a great online customer service tool is the fact that customers can use it anytime, anywhere. They don't have to wait for a response or hold on the phone and therefore they feel more connected to the business. This is an effective and efficient method to retain customers and gain access to new ones.
With a Live Chat feature, businesses are projecting their availability to their customers.
3) Speed is Key
Another great way to offer online customer service that surpasses that of the competition is to maintain speed and efficiency. When a customer has a question before they want to buy something, they don't want to wait around until they have the answer.
If they find the answer somewhere else, they may also be more likely to buy somewhere else. Businesses should focus on quick turnaround times when a customer gets in touch.
Whether it be a live chat or email response, time is precious and any time that the customer waits can also be a time of distraction. Remember, they're already online where they can easily leave a site with the simple click of a button.
Often times businesses find that many customers have similar questions. It may take some time to learn which questions come in more frequently than others, but when it's appropriate, creating a FAQs page will help.
Having a section where customers can see answers to frequently asked questions will alleviate confusion and unnecessary time wasted on the part of the customer and customer service staff.
A FAQs page is a great way to engage with customers without actually communicating with them. It can establish trust and urge customers that still have questions to reach out.
The motto of an online business should always be to get it right the first time. Accuracy and consistency are key to retaining faithful customers. And, if something does go wrong, prompt attention to returns and exchanges is pivotal. Keeping customers happy boils down to how they're treated.
When an order is handled accurately and efficiently, the customer feels satisfied with their transaction. If something goes wrong with an order, it's in the business' best interest to do everything possible to fix it and make the customer happy again, no matter what it takes.
Customer service department staff should all be on the same page with standard operations. This will ensure that there is never confusion with customer transactions.
Focusing on great online customer service is the best thing a business can do for business. Not only will it earn repeat business, but people will be more likely to share their good experience with others that may also begin purchasing products or services. People appreciate good customer service, they expect it in most cases.
There is more to good customer service than just pleasing a customer or giving them what they want. It's about going the extra mile to ensure the customer is satisfied beyond their original expectations. Great customer service on or offline is key to sustaining sales.
The goal is to WOW customers so that they are so impressed that they don't have a choice but to come back next time. And, when they do, it's important to do everything possible to WOW them again. If you're trying to improve your online customer service, or if you have questions, contact us! We can help.