Not dealing with your customers face to face doesn’t excuse you from providing great customer service to them. As the owner of an e-commerce store, it’s sometimes easy to forget this. Doing so, however, can lead to a great number of troubles down the line, the biggest one being that nobody will want to bring their custom to you if they aren’t made to feel welcome or appreciated when doing so.
For this reason, it is paramount that you put improving your e-commerce customer service skills (for more marketing insights, check this study).
Here’s how to set about doing it.
Customers don’t like to feel pigeonholed. They like to feel as if they are in control of how, when and where they take their custom, and they don’t want to be made to go out of their own way for anything. It is for this reason why you need to provide customer service that is tailored around them, which means, first and foremost, that you should be bringing it to them.
This means finding out what online platforms your customers are spending the majority of their time on, and you then putting your efforts into advertising in those specific areas.
As your customers will be spending time in different corners of the web, you’re going to have to give multichannel marketing a go.
This means providing customer service across a multitude of different online forums and making sure each different type of customer of yours gets information about your business brought directly to them. If you want to do this effectively, don’t be too quick to dismiss the role that the age-old marketing platform that is the email can play.
The capabilities of this type of advertising can never be underestimated, especially for you as you seek to boost your customer service, because of just how effective it is in regards to communication and reach.
What makes it such an important marketing tool for you is the fact that more than likely, every customer that you deal with will have an email address that they check regularly.
Most will check it before they do anything else in their working day. Even more will check it at frequent intervals throughout the working day. Some will even check it every five minutes.
What this all means is that, when you use email, you can communicate with your customers, both those that are current and prospective, freely at all times in a way that suits them, and they will appreciate that.
As well as bringing customer service to your customers, you should also be able to provide it to them when they do actively seek you out.
To do this, you have to make yourself accessible at all points throughout your designated working hours, and possibly even beyond.
The best way to provide such accessibility, today, is to install a live chat feature on your company website. By doing so, your customers will be able to receive swift answers to any queries that they have about your business, and they will be able to seek quick resolutions to any problems that they may have in regards to the products or services that you offer.
For these reasons, incorporating a live chat feature into your customer service strategy is, quite simply, a must.
Additional tip: In regards to being accessible at all times, you should absolutely ensure that your website is up and running all day and all night long. You need to do so because if a customer were to head to your site in search of vital information regarding your business practices, and they weren’t able to find what they were looking for due to your site being inactive, their impatience would drive them away. More than likely, they would be driven to a competitor in your market. To keep your site active, then, what you should be doing is having a piece of uptime technology monitor your site for downtime. This kind of tech would watch your site 24/7 for any instances of it being down, and would then alert you right away should it discover any.
What customers want most of all is good, quick service. If you can’t provide this to them, then, regardless of what you’ve done before in regard to it, your customer service will take a hit.
This means that you need to be enhancing your shipping efforts to the point where they are practically faultless.
Quite simply, noneof your customers should be experiencing problems in regards to the quality of the products that you provide, neither should they be receiving their products late.
To enhance your shipping efforts to a faultless level you should, first, ensure you are working with the right kinds of packing materials.
This means using the right size boxes in comparison to what it is you are shipping — by constantly using big boxes for small items, you waste money that can otherwise be spent on shipping enhancement.
What’s more, you should be packing each box that you send out with protective measures, such as bubble wrap or packing peanuts, to ensure no damage occurs during the traveling process.
You can see more about what it takes to enhance your shipping efforts at Fulfilltopia.
In order to constantly build your customer service skills and enhance them, you have to have real customer feedback to review and study.
This means asking customers to answer a few questions in regards to the service that you provided them once their time dealing with your business is over, and you should ask them to share their experiences with you via your social media channels.
Receiving this kind of information is the only way you are going to know what areas of your service need to be improved.
If you want your e-commerce business to thrive, then you need to be taking customer service as seriously as you would if you were running a real-world brick-and-mortar retail business.