Excellent customer service can be challenging for your e-commerce business because there’s no face-to-face content. However, it’s as vital as any customer-facing business.
Although e-commerce sites can be convenient for customers, they also have some drawbacks. One of those is the inability to give the same customer service they’ll find in a brick-and-mortar store.
But if you want to rise above your competitors, you still need to think of ways to enhance customer service.
What is E-commerce Customer Service?
E-commerce customer service addresses customers’ concerns, questions, needs, and pain points before, during, and after an online sale. It means you need to reply to messages you get on e-commerce marketplaces or social media platforms to get leads while they’re still engaged.
It may also mean hiring the right support team to ensure proper attention is paid to customer communications, even on multiple channels.
The Importance of Good Customer Service in E-commerce
It is estimated that by 2025, e-commerce sales will surge past $7 trillion. With the rise of people turning to online shopping, the line between having personalized and chaotic customer service can easily dissolve
Responding to every customer’s query quickly and efficiently can become challenging, and sometimes it may only add fuel to the fire. This can lead to rising frustrations from customers and slower loading times. It means streamlined sales and excellent customer support should be every e-commerce business’s priority. Having solid customer retention strategies is key.
How to Provide Great E-commerce Customer Service
Selling products online comes with advantages and disadvantages. Although the pros may outweigh the cons, your inability to interact face-to-face with your customers can be a drawback. However, you can still provide your customers excellent customer service, but it takes a little extra work.
Excellent customer service is usually a mix of the right content, technology, and people working for you. In the end, a strong strategy considers several factors and responsibilities.
In this post, we’ll walk you through some pretty handy tips on how you can provide excellent customer service when you make an eCommerce website:
1. Build out an excellent customer service team
Giving the best support to your customers is all about building and maintaining customer relationships. That’s why you need a high-quality customer service team.
That’s why hiring the right people is key. There are also three main aspects that you need to focus on:
- Training and Upskilling: Ensure that every team member knows what you expect of them and delivers it. Allowing them to attend courses and seminars helps train them with the best customer service best practices. Consider product-specific training so your support team knows your product from the inside out.
- Systems and Processes: The framework that your team works on is also vital. It would be best if you incorporated processes conducive to great customer service.
- Tools: It can be challenging to do a job well if you’re ill-equipped. That’s why giving your team the best customer service tools is crucial.
2. Develop a robust omnichannel strategy
Customers expect your presence on their preferred channels like social media platforms, email, toll-free phone number, your site, etc. Having just one or two communication channels isn’t enough. It would be best if you were wherever your customers were.
One way to do that is by taking on an omnichannel approach. An omnichannel strategy integrates all customer touchpoints throughout the customer lifecycle in a single platform, engaging them throughout their buying journey and delivering a consistent experience.
To create a solid omnichannel support strategy, you need to focus on three main aspects, creating a seamless customer experience:
- Look for the preferred touchpoints of your customers
- Understand the customer journey and develop a strategy that engages them on these touchpoints.
- Provide a consistent customer experience throughout their customer journey.
Omnichannel allows you to harness the power of digital channels, streamlining and optimizing the shopping experience with customers and their relationships with brands. Using the right strategies, you can set up your brand in the long run and its stability in an ever-changing environment.
3. Always ask for customer feedback
You can gather feedback and act on it to enhance your brand’s customer experience. One of the best ways to do that is to gather feedback about your business.
You can ask clients to leave online reviews on your site, in-app surveys, and email. Then you can categorize what you get, for instance, the pros and cons of using your product based on users’ opinions.
The final step is to define the best actions that you can take. This usually means fathering all your teams and discussing the possible actions you need to take.
4. Set up their customer needs
You must also explain what’s to be expected from your product or service after the customer voiced their demands.
There should be no room for uncertainty about what will be given if they know what to expect. When you undersell and overdeliver, your entire customer experience also improves.
5. Improve your response time
In the world of ecommerce, customers anticipate speedy service from brands. You can lose a possible sale if you keep prospects waiting. Even worse, customers that are irate or perplexed for an extended period can lead to poor public relations and even a devoted foe. Dealing with frustrated customers can be challenging.
Using handy tools like chatbots lets you speed up your response times on customer care channels.
Here are also additional tips to have a speedy response time:
- Make it a priority to respond to emails, and have a dedicated time to do so,
- Automatically sort and assign emails to your team
- Set SMART goals for good customer service
- Train your support team to write good emails
- Utilize a powerful customer service solution.
Similarly, active listening in customer relations is also vital
6. Offer customer self-service options
Another excellent way to provide your customers’ answers is by using customer self-service features. These tools let you find solutions to their problems even without a service rep.
If your customers have quick and fundamental questions, this could help them save a lot of time since they don’t need to open a formal inquiry.
One great example of self-service is a knowledge base. This is a part of your site that keeps service and support documents. It discusses common roadblocks your customers face and experience daily. Your customers can review these references before it reaches your service team.
7. Provide 24/7 customer support
64% of customers prefer customer service via a 24/7 chat box feature. So, it’s a must-try for your business to have at least some 24/7 customer assistance.
Not only does this enhance customer satisfaction, but it also helps you boost the average response times. That’s where a chat box integration comes in.
With an AI-automated chatbot, customers can raise queries even if your customer support team sleeps. This is one of the essential e-commerce service qualities that will help your business deliver excellent customer service.
8. Automate your customer service process
As you know, e-commerce customer service can sometimes be challenging. You have to deal with several support issues, pressure, deadlines, and even customers that are hard to deal with.
That’s precisely why an automated customer service process is essential. It allows you to finish mundane, time, consuming tasks. An automated workflow also makes it easier for everyone involved- agents, customer service managers, and customers.
9. Personalize responses with accurate customer data
Direct integration with your e-commerce platform, inventory and order management, and shipping software mean you can quickly develop highly detailed responses with accurate customer data.
Even if you don’t use that data in your written response, that data can still help your team develop highly personalized responses. For instance, a rep can mention jeans or shoes when they ask a customer which part of the order they want to cancel, and that level of detail impresses most customers.
10. Measure, optimize, repeat
No matter your customer service approach, you must proactively solve people’s issues while enhancing processes based on these data.
Tracking your busiest hours, evaluating your team’s volume by channel, and knowing the trending topics among customers are one of the things that you need to work on to measure and optimize results.
A process that will track your performance can serve as a solid foundation for making better decisions in the future and is one of the essential steps toward successful customer service.
To make your e-commerce venture succeed, customer service plays a key role. The entire customer experience is incorporated with customer service. To improve your brand’s reputation, you need to work on your customer experience using the best e-commerce customer service best practices.
The strategies mentioned in this article will help you boost your customer service strategy. You’ll be able to grow your e-commerce business in the long run by providing excellent customer service for your customers. Good luck!