Improving your businesses’ online customer service
Nikita Tilsley August 31st 2022 - 3 minute read
Online shopping is a huge part of our lives. It’s never been easier to buy something with just a few clicks. In the wake of the Covid pandemic the ecommerce market is bigger than it’s ever been, and it shows no sign of slowing.
While you might think that online shopping removes the human element of the shopping experience, it’s still important for your consumer to have a point of contact. Customer service is the backbone of any successful business.
So, whether you have a new online store, or you’re looking to improve your customer relations, here are some ideas to help you develop your customer service skills.
Listen to Customer Feedback
Feedback is an integral part of your business’s growth. It’s especially important during the development part of your ecommerce businesses’ online presence. It can highlight issues consumers experience throughout your website or app, which means you can fix any issues. Despite what some might think, word of mouth is still a corner stone of marketing and you want it known that you take care of your customers, listen to their feedback and act accordingly.
Have a FAQ Page
In a similar vein, it would be advantageous to have a ‘frequently asked questions’ page on your site. Featuring common answers and signposting solutions is an excellent way to provide customer service. You’re helping your customers, but in a way that allows you to utilise your time in an effective way.
FAQ pages are an ideal place to put key information like the delivery process, returns policy and user guides.
Omnichannel refers to an approach in sales that provides a fluid shopping experience. For example, if your business has multiple platforms what allow customers to purchase goods, you’re practicing the omnichannel market strategy.
By doing so you can extend your reach and your sales, but it also means you can provide customer services through all these channels as well. Now, you might think that requires lots of monitoring, but any business you can maintain customer service by directing all queries into one place. There are apps that can do this for you and by doing this you ensure you never miss a question or complaint.
Take to Social Media
Social media is a key tool in product marketing. It’s rare to find a business that doesn’t have an online presence somewhere. As well as product promotion you can use social media to increase customer interaction. Big brands embrace social platforms by allowing their customer support to respond to consumers in real time. This often leads to fun, but helpful interactions between the parties and helps humanise the business.
You want to strive for that connection. When people see your brand regularly interacts with your customers, it’ll promote interest and then traffic.
Strive for Flexibility
There will come a time when a customer has a complaint you need to sort. The customer service you provide will either make or break the situation. Yes, policies are there to protect you and your consumers but the way they’re practised can go a long way.
Listen to the issue, sympathise and most importantly offer options at your discretion. For example, you could offer money off their next purchase, free shipping, to replace their purchase, or offer free samples. In the long run it’s easier, and less expensive, to maintain customer relationships rather than build new ones.
Take a Training Course
Regardless of whether you’re a team of one or a hundred, undergoing customer service training will ensure you’re all well equipped to handle your consumer’s needs. There are so many training courses online and they don’t cost the earth.
It may be advantageous to list how you want your businesses customer service to run. This will promote consistency across your team and reduce the risk of upsetting a customer.
Invest in a Recommendation Engine
This is another great way to provide customer service in a hands-off manner. Most websites utilise their customers data and with a recommendation engine, you can too. Based off a customer’s information, like their search and purchase history and their location your site can promote products the engine algorithm thinks they’ll prefer.
Part of customer service is being able to guess the customers needs before they know what they want, and you can achieve this by using a recommendation engine.
Good customer service is all about pre-empting and then meeting or, if possible, exceeding your consumers expectations. Mixing your approach through direct contact and maintaining your platforms will ensure you can retain your customers by making their shopping experience seamless.
By doing so, your business your customers are more likely to recommend your business to others.