Did you know that offering a good customer service in your eCommerce can benefit you and your customers? In this article you will know about how to improve customer service in e-Commerce easily and effectively. You can also boost your sales by using e-commerce customer service outsourcing who manages customer service line.
Buying online has many advantages, to begin with the operations at the time and place that best suits the customer’s habits and needs and the possibility of comparing many products and offers and promotions for purchase online.
For consumers, who are buying online get a enjoyable experience, which allows them to save time and money but not without doubts and fears. According to many surveys, consumers are generally unhappy with customer service, generating frustration and the impression that brands are below their expectations but using automated customer service it is possible to wow customers with quick replies and there are many advantages of automated customer service which can enhance your business or service.
The doubts of e-Commerce customers
The staunch defenders of e-commerce affirm that buying online is as safe as doing it by phone or catalog and more than buying in a physical store. But this does not seem to be so clear to consumers, who maintain precautions on various aspects of the purchase. The main doubts are related to the payments and the conditions of receipt or return of the merchandise in case of not being satisfied with what was received, taking into account that more factors intervene in an Internet operation than in a physical purchase (media manager of payment, delivery services, certification bodies.)
The most widespread means of payment on the Internet are debit and credit cards (more than 80% of online transactions in Spain). In reality, the validation system is the same as for a card purchase in a physical store. Still, the fear lies in writing the data and sending it over a public and potentially insecure network such as the Internet.
Let’s see in detail some solutions:
Your customers want guarantees of security and reliability regarding protecting their data during purchase. For example, they would feel more driven to buy if you include on your website a declaration of protection of the privacy of your customers’ data, a postal address and a telephone number where they can communicate. Ensure that the chosen payment gateway uses particular protocols such as SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) or SET (Secure Electronic Transaction).
Although most operations are carried out using a credit or debit card, several payment systems may be more suitable for your clients, such as through PayPal, bank transfers, cash on delivery (the client should not provide personal data) or micropayments through the mobile phone service.
Deliveries and returns
One of the biggest concerns lies in the form and terms of the product delivery service; To solve this problem, you can implement a tracking system using a ticket or operation number so that they know when they will receive their purchase. It is very important to have a procedure in the case of returns, for example, if the product arrived damaged, and guarantee the customer that they can exercise their right to withdraw from the purchase. It offers facilities, such as delivering the product to the work address, sending it to a collection point or the post office.
Avoid “hidden costs.”
Inform your customers about all the factors that may influence the final price, for example, shipping costs, handling fees, taxes, commissions for the chosen payment method and customs costs if the customer is abroad. If you cannot report them in detail, it is important to warn the customer to make inquiries. Another hidden cost may lie in technological incompatibilities. These “hidden costs” not only modify the final price but can also become an unpleasant surprise for the customer, discouraging future operations.
Management quality: key factor of customer service in your eCommerce
Beyond these operational issues, there is a central element: e-commerce customer service best practices. Unfortunately, it is often not well valued, especially in a depersonalized process such as Internet purchases, in which the customer has practically no contact with another human being.
Precisely in the Internet era, good customer service is based on maintaining communication throughout the purchase process to satisfy doubts and concerns and provide as much information as possible about the product.
To maintain this dialogue with the customer, the technological platform (telephone, voicemail, IP platform, chat, email, messaging service) is as important as the training and motivation of the people in charge of customer service and the presentation of your store, which is the beginning of the service, that is, your website. Of course, it must be attractive, have a good design and offer quality content; In addition, to facilitate operations, it must load quickly, be easy to navigate and have no advertising from other brands.
All this can be encompassed in a single phrase: “management quality”. The negotiations with the e-commerce client must be highly professional: a satisfied client provides many more benefits than the sale since it will speak well of your company and become a promoter of your brand. Customer management must be carried out systematically, safeguarding the information and using it to enrich the database.
5 keys to provide excellent customer service in your eCommerce store
I know that it can be a complicated task, especially if you do not have a team 100% dedicated to customer service, but believe me when I tell you that you should bet on creating the best shopping experience for your resources with the resources you have customers. Well, if you don’t, the chances of them going to the competition are very high. So get to work:
1. Multi-channel customer support
E-commerce clients are very technological; they are connected and want to communicate with the company in different ways.
You must use all the channels and discover the preferred one for each client: email, telephone, chat, social networks, WhatsApp.
The idea is that your client can communicate with you at any time and place; communication must be efficient and fast, and the customer must find a solution to their problem. In this regard, it is essential to organize the follow-up of each case so that different employees can provide the same excellent service that the client requires and deserves.
We have all gone through the unpleasant experience of being served by call center operators, or being referred to different departments of the same company, having to explain again and again, from the beginning, what our problem is! For multi-channel customer support, you must take care of these points:
Train your staff: e-Commerce customer service outsourcing is one of a best solution, it is essential that your collaborators in all areas that have some point of contact with the client must be trained in the customer service for online business through social media, and needless to say, especially those who deal directly with clients. Trained means knowing what questions to ask and how to answer them.
Create a clear and defined strategy: without a plan, it will be challenging for you to offer the same experience to all your clients; in the strategy you define, you should highlight your tone of voice, the social networks you are going to attend to, the possible causes of the crisis (or complicated) and how to solve them, the protocols that you are going to follow for specific situations, etc.
Check your online store: the website must work, and it must be possible to access and use all the applications from different mobile devices. Check that the information you provide is up-to-date, for example, your email address or location on social media.
Check your customer communications: Customers do not only communicate to buy, complain or claim. Current clients like to make comments, give opinions, say what they think. They can also give a warning signal to specific problems (for example, if a client sends an email to complain that you do not respond to their messages on social networks ).
2. Active listening
Social media can become a powerful source of information for your company.
Imagine if you could know everything they say about your brand, not only your current clients but also potential ones, including your suppliers and the community in general!
This would allow you to anticipate the facts, design better strategies, correct errors, mitigate risks and discover opportunities of how to improve customer service in e-commerce, of course, offer excellent customer service in your eCommerce and learn e-commerce customer service best practices. But, do you think it is not possible? In reality, there are computer tools dedicated to monitoring, collecting, and analyzing data in social media that allow identifying and evaluating what is said about a company, product, or brand on the Internet.
You can also create your tools such as surveys, answer questions or suggest ideas from social networks such as Facebook or Twitter. The most important thing is how that information is analyzed and what specific data you can extract.
3. Add a FAQ section on your website.
This acronym, FAQ you have undoubtedly seen it on many websites. It stands for “Frequently Asked Questions“, a section of “Frequently Asked Questions”. For TRAM, it is a great help to solve the frequent questions of its users; it also facilitates the work of the customer service for online business when providing answers (which redirect to the web, thus generating more traffic). The benefit is comprehensive!
Mostly asked question is, how to improve customer service in e-commerce? From your social media research and customer inquiry logs, you can spot the most frequently interested issues and create this section on your website. Its usefulness is remarkable since it will reduce the workload of answering the same question individually dozens of times, improving the user experience.
The questions included in the section must be relevant and frequent. In addition, the answers must become an added value, increasing the knowledge of the customer and inducing him to continue researching and buying in our store.
4. Provides the option to chat live
Most of the time, the online shopping process is done without the intervention of another human being. However, clients may have doubts or wish to observe the process, and since it is an Internet operation, they also want to be attended to quickly and efficiently; in fact, they are willing to wait less time than they would if they were in a physical store.
In this example, we can see how Mr. Wonderful facilitates the option of chatting with his team:
Mr. Wonderful offers the possibility to chat live.
Although it is not yet trendy among small stores or sole proprietorships, it has been adopted by large and medium-sized companies: it is the “live chat” that allows the customer to connect with a company representative and chat in real-time.
Live chat has proven to be very convenient for customers and also for the company and your collaborators. For customers, because while they are waiting to be attended (in fact, the waiting time is less than a “call centre”), they can do other things. For the employees and the company because the customer feels well cared for and is more likely to return and reduce the workload for workers who are in direct contact with customers. And for the company, because it lowers telephone costs, it increases workers’ efficiency and the chances of making sales by having happier and more satisfied customers.
Sometimes it can be tempting to install a computer system of “virtual assistants”. In some cases, as repetitive questions or as a first contact with the client to know that his complaint or concern has been received, they can be helpful. But I can assure you that sooner or later, customers will detect that they are talking to a robot, and this can be very frustrating. So that the creation of a live chat option is not unpleasant and, instead, it becomes a dynamic of your sales, I recommend:
Have a well-trained “live chat” team. Members of this team should have all the necessary information, such as conversation guides and cheat sheets; know how to answer frequently asked questions and remind interlocutors to visit the company page on social networks by leaving a comment (thus increasing your presence on social media)
Strengthen the team during peak call hours with more workers or the hiring of free-lance external personnel, including workers from home
Include sales staff within the live chat team. They can be more effective and turn calls into leads.
5. Answer quickly and effectively
According to a Brand Company study, customers would recommend a brand even if the response was not satisfactory as long as they received it quickly! So it is that time has become one of the most important values for customers, and they appreciate that companies consider it. Therefore, to offer good customer service in your eCommerce you must know e-commerce customer service best practices, you must bear in mind that response times play and will play a significant role.
On the other hand, the tolerance of waiting time for response varies according to the channel chosen by one party (while for a consultation via email they can wait between 6 and 24 hours when they do it through social networks they expect a response immediate, or max hour delay!). Customers who have a complaint or a problem expect a faster response than those who ask a question or make a suggestion.
For these reasons, it is important to keep some record or use a computer program that allows establishing an order of priorities of the messages based on keywords, taking into account that the faster you respond, the greater the customer satisfaction will be, even if it is just to let you know that your concern has been received. Work is underway to fix the problem. You can also provide good customer service using e-Commerce customer service outsourcing.
It is important to have the necessary technological platform and a coordinated team, and a defined strategy to respond quickly and effectively. The key factors for prompt and effective care are:
Minimum delay in responding;
Closeness, honesty and transparency;
A defined protocol;
Well-defined keywords (examples: order, broken, shipment, return, claim)
I would love to know what obstacles do you face to offer good customer service for online business.
Thanks for reading.