Thee age of online shopping has provided consumers with several incredible benefits such as convenient browsing, quick shipping, and unprecedented customization. That being said, one of the unfortunate downsides of shopping online is that the customer can’t speak face-to-face with an employee. This means that e-commerce stores need to go to extra lengths to ensure that the consumer has a great experience in their virtual store.
Whether it be a friendly layout, product recommendations, or a fast checkout, shoppers expect the best service from online and physical stores alike. To help you achieve this, we’ve created a guide to the best e-commerce customer service practices out there.
1. Consolidate Common Questions
The ultimate customer service is one that eliminates a customer’s questions before they even have to ask them. This is why it’s so important to create a solid FAQ page on your store’s website. Frequently Asked Questions are what you anticipate the unknowing customer will want to find out about your company or line of products. They should be presented in a easily accessible Q-and-A format so that the customer can briefly glance over them or find a specific inquiry of theirs.
In addition to a general FAQ pertaining to your overall store or business, you should also consider including one in some of your product descriptions. Say you have an innovative product for sale that some customers might not know how to use. A brief product FAQ in the form of text or even video will encourage the customer to look into it further.
2. Get Ready To Respond
If your business has a Facebook page (which it probably should), one of the first things that a visitor to your page sees is how quickly you respond to messages. If a potential customer sees that you respond frequently to questions, they will be much more likely to show interest in your business. This is true even if the customer doesn’t even have a question to ask yet. The truth is, people just don’t like being ignored. If your reputation shows that you might not respond promptly in the case of a botched shipment or other mishap, consumer trust in your business will plunge.
It may be a bit of an investment at first, but paying a full-time employee to monitor customer inquiries is essential to the success of any growing business. Like it or not, there is a good chance that something might go wrong in the process of ordering, shipping, or payment. In these cases, it’s best to respond as quickly as possible in order to retain the most customers.
3. Patience is Key
Almost everyone who has worked in retail has a horror story that involves an customer who is enraged beyond any reason. Some are genuinely upset by the company or product while others have simply just had a bad day and like to take out their stress on innocent customer service employees. Everyone is familiar with the old adage “the customer is always right,” but this actually isn’t true. This saying implies that the poor employee who has to deal with the diatribes of an irate customer actually deserves such treatment.
A better way to put it is that “the customer should always be treated as if they are right.” Following this rule will ensure that every customer gets treated with the same amount of respect and compassion. It’s impossible to please everyone because some people have unreasonable standards. Coming into contact with such unruly people is just one customer service aspect that every business has to deal with. Although most customer interactions won’t be so intense, being able to deal with the worst of the worst will enable your business to handle all sorts of issues at once.
4. Make Customer Service Your Own
Unlike some skills, great customer service can be taught. Since your employees are the first line of defense against customer backlash and complaints, it’s crucial to provide them with the best training possible. This all starts with defining customer service in your own terms. Think about your specific sector of e-commerce and how a customer might best benefit from doing business with you. Use this insight to implement solid procedures for general and specific interactions with your customers.
Embedding this sort of training deep inside your company with ensure that it sticks with your employees, thus reaching as many future customers as possible. At Wagento, we believe that customer service is the greatest tool to the continued success of any e-commerce business. We do our best to integrate effective customer service tools such as live chats and FAQs into every site that we develop. Let us work with you so we can discuss how to implement great service features into your own online store.