10 eCommerce Customer Service Best Practices
In a time when people are craving human connection more than ever, customer service is one way you can set your company apart from the competition. Truly exceptional customer service will delight your customers and build lifelong relationships that will help your company thrive.
But how do you take your customer service strategy to the next level? Start by implementing these 10 eCommerce customer service best practices.
1. Choose a Multichannel Strategy
Many of today’s most successful eCommerce brands are offering several channels for customer support. They know that every customer has their own communication style, and they need to meet those needs if they want to keep those customers coming back.
There are countless mediums for customer service today, including email, social media, phone, text, and live chat. If you can’t offer every option, research your customer base and figure out which channels are in the highest demand with your audience. A younger customer base may gravitate toward live chat or text support, while older customers might prefer phone or email.
2. Be Proactive
No matter what type of eCommerce business you run, your customers probably have a lot of options when choosing where to shop. And they’ll be more likely to stick with the businesses that offer the best customer service, even if the products are the same.
So make sure you stand out from the competition by creating a proactive customer service strategy, taking care of any possible problems before they turn into something bigger. For example, make sure you reach out to a customer if you know their shipment will be delayed or if you send the wrong item. Customers will appreciate your efforts, even if you’ve made a mistake.
3. Live Chat With Customers
If you’ve been looking for ways to improve customer service in eCommerce, live chat is something you will want to consider. Live chat is becoming one of the best eCommerce customer service options today because customers love it. It’s quick and convenient, allowing them to multi-task or even get customer service help while they’re at work. Businesses love it because it’s an efficient and affordable way to boost customer retention and engagement.
If you decide to implement live chat, make sure you choose agents who are experienced with the medium and have plenty of training on how to handle multiple conversations at once. Automated responses and chatbots can make your live chat even more efficient, but be sure to use these tools with discretion, since customers value authenticity.
4. Optimize For Mobile Customers
Many consumers are using their smartphones to do the majority of their shopping, from ordering groceries to searching for new shoes. Make sure you’re optimizing your customer service experience for mobile customers, or else you’ll be missing a big opportunity to raise customer satisfaction rates. You can make your customer service more mobile-friendly by sending SMS alerts, offering mobile coupon codes, building an app, and creating a mobile-friendly website.
5. Offer Support Around the Clock
Unlike brick-and-mortar stores, eCommerce transactions can happen at any hour of the day or night. You might have night owl customers who love to shop online in the wee hours of the morning, or you might have an international customer base in a completely different time zone.
This means your customers could be looking for assistance at any time, and they’ll be more loyal to your company if you offer perks like 24-hour customer service. Having someone available to answer questions and resolve issues can raise your customer satisfaction rates, and bring in more money at the same time.
6. Outsource Your Customer Service
Does the thought of offering 24/7 support overwhelm you? Or maybe you have influxes of customer service calls that are hard to predict? If so, you may want to think about outsourcing your customer service.
Hiring a third-party to run your customer service call center can be a huge relief, allowing you to focus on growing your business and improving your customer service efforts all at once. Call centers will represent your business in a professional manner and run your customer service department more affordably and efficiently than an in-house customer service team could.
7. Measure KPIs
Key performance indicators (KPIs) are an important way of measuring your customer service efforts over time. But these measurements will only be valuable if you take time to review the data and look for ways to implement your findings. Some of the most important KPIs to measure in customer service include customer satisfaction score, first response time, customer retention rate, and average resolution time. By tracking and evaluating these KPIs, you can find ways to constantly improve your customer service performance.
8. Send Customer Satisfaction Surveys
As we just mentioned, customer satisfaction is one of the most important measurements for any business to track. But how do you measure customer satisfaction? One of the best options is by sending customer satisfaction surveys. These surveys will give you invaluable feedback that you can take into account when you’re looking for ways to better your customer service strategy. Make sure each question in your survey is relevant and clearly stated, and be sure to include an enticing invitation when you send it out to your customers.
9. Provide Self-Service Options
Most customers prefer to problem-solve on their own before they go to the effort of contacting your customer service department. So providing self-service options is not only a great way to save you valuable time and resources, but also a great way to raise customer satisfaction rates. Allow customers to find answers to their smaller issues on their own by offering an FAQ page, delivering real-time shipping updates, and by making it easy to reorder items. You might also consider allowing customers access to their order history, providing online forms for reporting problems, and creating a return authorization process that customers can use on their own.
10. Use Social Media For Customer Service
Social media is now one of the main marketing tools for all types of eCommerce websites, but not every company is optimizing social media for customer service purposes. Get even more out of your social media efforts by using your existing platforms to answer questions, resolve problems, and build stronger customer loyalty. Your customers will love the convenience of reaching out to your company on the platforms they already use every day.
Improving Your Customer Service
Customer service is one of the most important ways to set your company apart in today’s competitive business landscape. Put these 10 ideas into action and you’ll help your company improve customer satisfaction rates and build a stronger business over time.