In the eCommerce world, customer service is the central point on which customer experiences are dependent. If your business doesn’t have a professional support team to assist customers, your brand can be tainted.
You must have a strong focus on enhancing the customer experience so your customers can be happy and your business can grow. Why? Customer service plays an important role in brand loyalty, and 50% of customers will go to a competitor after just one bad experience.
You need to offer fantastic eCommerce customer service, or you’ll risk losing support and sales, which can have catastrophic effects on your business.
In this guide, you’ll find ways to improve the quality of your company’s customer service that will set you apart from your competition.
What is eCommerce Customer Service?
Before you can learn how to increase customer experience satisfaction, you should know exactly what eCommerce customer service is. Knowledge is power, after all.
The way your online store provides assistance to your customers and everything that entails is eCommerce customer service.
Everything from resolving technical issues, helping customers make purchase decisions to answering product-related questions form part of customer service for eCommerce businesses.
Customer service is not just part of a good business structure; it’s essential for success.
The Importance of eCommerce Customer Service
In the eCommerce world, competition can be very stiff. So finding ways to make your business draw attention and catch the eyes of your target market can make a big difference in your success.
Customers expect companies to take more responsibility and be more considerate of them. More than 45% of customers now have higher expectations when it comes to customer service.
And about 84% of customers think customer service is more important than reputation or convenience when they decide whether or not they will support a company.
If you want your business to grow, you need to make sure your customers are happy.
Doing that can be easier said than done, though, so stick around for the best ways to achieve the kind of customer service that will leave your customers smiling.
eCommerce Customer Service Best Practices
The following practices are guidelines that will help you and your customer support team to improve the experiences of every person interested in your business.
1. Leverage a Multi-Channel Strategy
You need to have customer service available on every possible channel that your customers might want to reach out on. If you don’t, you’ll end up frustrating your customers and chasing them away.
A multi-channel strategy (also called an omnichannel approach) requires that you know where your customers are. Whether it’s social media platforms like Twitter or Instagram, Live Chat, or WhatsApp, you have to be active and available.
Email and a standard call center are not enough. You need to meet customers where they are and provide a service that’s easy to use. There are many ways to do this outside social media. For example, you could offer chatbots, provide service via SMS, or use multiple types of call centers that provide service 24/7.
2. Track Your CSAT Score
Your CSAT (Customer Satisfaction Score) is a way to measure customer experiences so you can see how well your strategies are working.
You can use surveys to determine a score for your business. In each survey, ask customers how happy they were with the support provided to them and let them choose a score out of 5.
Once you collect these scores, don’t let them go to waste. Instead, use them to highlight your best customers and ask them to be brand ambassadors in exchange for a discount. You’ll get more customers, and they’ll get rewarded.
3. Use Live Chat
Live chat is a good way to communicate with your customers quickly and effectively. Good live chat support can even help increase sales by driving more conversions.
In most cases, customers can get their issues addressed almost immediately.
Quick response times are essential in customer service. You should use only the best live chat support software if you want the best results. There are many options to choose from, so it’s recommended that you do a bit of research before deciding what software you’ll use.
4. Use Help Desk Software
Just like with live chat support, you must use the right help desk software to provide high-quality eCommerce customer service.
When using the right software, your customer support team will be better equipped to deal with any problems customers may experience.
5. Tap Into Social Media
Social media offers a world of opportunity for businesses, and it’s not limited to just marketing. These platforms can help your support agents connect with customers fast and effectively.
Twitter, for example, is a great communication channel that is easy to use for customer support by both your team and your customers.
Just keep in mind that your social media customer support teams need to act fast — customers expect quick responses.
Despite this pressure, using social media for customer support has many benefits, such as increased brand loyalty and better relationships with your customers. For proof of this, see how Delta Hotels used Twitter to turn a slightly negative customer experience into a positive.
6. Display Critical Information Online
It is essential that you have any information your customers may need available for them without causing frustration.
For example, if a customer wants to buy a product but can’t find the relevant information for that purchase, they’ll likely go to your competition instead.
Remember, not all customers like to contact businesses and complain or express dissatisfaction. Some of them will simply walk away; prevention is better than cure.
Have a robust knowledge base with all the information your customers could ever need and keep it updated and accurate.
In a similar vein, provide customers with documentation around their case, so they know where they stand. For example, if you give a customer a refund, send them a credit note. Or, if you are shipping a replacement item, send them proof you have authorized the replacement.
7. Ask for Feedback
One of the best ways to address the problems an online shopper may face is by knowing what their experience is like. Getting that knowledge can be as easy as asking for feedback.
Customer feedback is a fantastic way to improve the overall customer journey experience because you’ll know the pain points that hamper the experience.
As mentioned above, use surveys to get a good idea of what your customers think of the support they’ve been given and their experience with your business. Then, set aside time to go over the feedback and decide how to implement it.
8. Track Relevant KPIs
Keeping an eye on the relevant metrics of your customer experience strategies is how you’ll know which ideas work best and which ones don’t bring the results you want.
Here are a few of the key performance indicators you must keep track off:
- Customer Support Volume (total number of tickets received over a period of time)
- Response Time
- Customer Retention Rate (how many customers you continue serving in a period of time)
- Resolution Rate
9. Improve Your Response Times
The time it takes for your customer support team to respond to a customer’s problem or question is vital. If they take too long, you’re likely to lose that customer’s loyalty.
Customers expect service to be quick, and if it isn’t, they’ll get frustrated and move on or lose respect for your business. Really focus on website speed. The faster your website, the quicker customers will find the information they need.
Additionally, equip customer service representatives with proper support tools and build a high-quality eCommerce website that meets all regulatory and best-practice web design recommendations. These will also speed up your response times, as you will eliminate technical issues before they happen.
10. Deliver Personalized Experiences
Your business must ensure customer happiness levels are always high, and part of that is giving them personalized experiences.
Customers want to feel appreciated and valued, so you must focus on giving them experiences that feel personal.
To do that, you need to know what your customers value and like. Build personalized shopping experiences based on the gathered information. Additionally, throw in something extra to reward loyal customers. For example, a product-based business could give customers free branded accessories or a service-based business could offer an extra week’s subscription for free.
11. Give Your Staff The Tools For Success
Finally, invest in your staff and give them the tools they need to meet customers’ needs. You can sell the best product, have quick service, and offer great customer benefits, but customers will leave unhappy if your staff aren’t on your side.
To train staff, offer them multiple learning tools — a knowledge base, job shadowing, one-on-one training, and regular professional development as a team.
Offer Fantastic Customer Service and Grow as a Business
For your eCommerce store to grow, you need to retain your customers and attract new ones. Excellent customer service is how you’ll achieve that, and the goal is to shine in this department.
Even the best products and coolest brands won’t carry a business as far as extraordinary customer service will. Pay special attention to your customer service offering and everyone involved will be happy — the key to business growth.