At the pillar of every successful retailer, mom and pop shop or online business is the one element that every business needs to thrive: customers. Businesses today are keen to develop numerous methods of providing a user-friendly customer experience.
Now, more than ever, businesses have turned to online shops known as ecommerce stores, which provide for your every need at the click of a button.
Your ecommerce store & your customers
When you visit a physical retail store, you receive a customer experience that focuses on your needs and wants 9 times out of 10. This is a personal touch that ecommerce stores lack; in turn, an online store’s customer service must provide the same personal factor through different methods.
The purpose of an ecommerce is to provide the buyer a user-friendly experience in which their need is met instantly and brought to them, at their door step with minimal effort from the buyer beyond entering their credit card information.
To ensure that each individual customer’s need is properly met (leaving you no fires to put out due to a faulty ecommerce store), let us guide you through the best customer service tips you need to implement in your ecommerce today.
1 – Engage over social media
Without a doubt, social media continues to impress users and businesses throughout the world. Social media has grown from a simple place to connect with a friend to a place to build relationships between customers and businesses.
With proper knowledge of each massively popular social media platform—Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and more—your ecommerce customer experience can soar rapidly.
As mentioned earlier in the article, a personal customer experience is important to the success of your customer store. No example rings truer than engaging on social media with your customers. Now, there are many ways that you can go about doing this.
- Use Facebook Live
- Post genuine questions on your Facebook page
- Interact with each post or commenter
- Express gratitude and demonstrate gratitude for customers
To get a better look at engaging over social media, take a look at how Samsung uses social media to demonstrate engagement and customer service:
2 – Formulating a solid return policy
Ecommerce customer service holds value when the business cares about each individual customer concern. One customer concern, which is universal for online retailers and even physical stores, is whether stores accept returns.
When a customer notices that a business does not accept returns or has no return policy that guarantees them a solution if there is a problem, the customer will not take the risk and buy 9 times out of 10. You can see how this policy can affect an ecommerce’s success.
The hidden message behind this? Trust is important. Ecommerce is a method of exchange; you provide a service or product that a person needs, the buyer then exchanges this with their money. In turn, there is an unspoken trust that is holding this relationship in place.
This trust can easily be broken if a customer feels that the business is “sketchy” or that there are grey areas. These grey areas are questions the customer begins asking such as “If I buy this will I get my money back? Is the product I will be receiving the same one I am looking at? Is the product in good condition?”
If they realize these questions will not be answered, the chances of them making a purchase on your ecommerce are very slim.
Now, to demonstrate exceptional customer service, it’s important to develop an effective and powerful return policy that places the customer’s needs first. After all, they bought the product and deserve that respect.
One ecommerce company that does an impressive job at demonstrating exceptional customer service through their return policy is Amazon. Sometimes, ecommerce companies will charge a customer for returning a product or refuse to return any product bought through their ecommerce store. Not only will Amazon provide you with the label and everything for shipping, you won’t even need to pay to ship the product back!
For more on Amazon’s exceptional return policies, head to this page.
3 – Formulate an easy contact method
This is where your ecommerce store’s personal touch must shine through with ease. Have you ever had the experience at a retail store where you were unhappy with a purchase, the item was faulty or you simply wanted to return it and you felt at ease knowing you could do this easily?
This ease-fulfilling method is what should drive your agent-to-customer experience. You should always be prepared for every question, concern or comment that may come from one of your customers. Let’s look at the two key elements that are needed to ensure swift communication between your ecommerce agents and your customers.
- Easy-to-use contact method
A customer’s ability to contact your ecommerce help center, whether it is you or a team of agents, should be a swift process. Provide your customers with an easy to use contact method they can recognize and find easily.
The 4 methods of contact:
- Contact Form
- Direct Chat/Live Chat
Many ecommerce stores will provide this contact method at the footer of every single page as a menu option with an easy to find button that directs them to the many methods of contact the website provides.
If your ecommerce store’s contact method is a form, allow the customer to provide these important details:
- Phone Number
- Subject Line
To make the process much easier for you, have these emails go to an email address dedicated solely to customer engagement.
NOTE: Never use a personal email for customer service or any other email whose purpose is anything other than customer engagement.
At times, large ecommerce stores have a Direct Chat service in which an agent can directly answer a customer’s concerns and questions instantaneously. This leads to key element #2 to ensuring swift communication with your customers.
- Tone is everything
Have you ever had the experience where a friend or family member misinterpreted what you said in a text or email? This can happen over customer service as well.
Your replies to every single customer should make them feel that their need is being met and their request, concern and opinion is important to you and the success of your ecommerce store.
Your ecommerce store’s customer service reputation is on the line, and with social media being the cornerstone of information, one negative comment because your representatives, like “Paul” or “Angie,” had an attitude could really harm your ecommerce.
In the ecommerce culture, there are numerous companies that have completely mastered these tools. Look at these two examples of companies that not only get tone but also offer live chat and an easy-to-use contact form:
The ecommerce experience made better
Ecommerce stores are quickly becoming the next best shopping platform. It’s important to have a proper customer service plan that places your customers first. With these customer service tips, your ecommerce may rank as one of the best for customer satisfaction!