ECommerce not only means being open 24/7 but also missing out on having face to face interactions with your customers or potential customers.
When someone enters a physical store, they will provide you with visual clues that allow you to identify their needs. You can tell if they are just there to kill time, if they are in a hurry, or if they need a helping hand. When you operate in an eCommerce environment, you don’t have this luxury, yet your customer expects the same level of support, if not more.
In today’s competitive eCommerce environment, the right approach to customer service will help you turn one-time shoppers into repeat customers, giving your brand lasting success (source).
To get you started, we have created a list of the 4 most effective eCommerce customer service practices.
1. OFFER SELF-SERVICE OPTIONS
ECommerce customer service is built around self-service. In an ideal situation, customers are able to choose and buy a product and have it delivered without ever requiring human intervention. When you are just starting off, having 24/7 support might not be possible, but offering self-service options is a must.
Focusing on building a reliable, robust, and well-structured set of self-service options for customers is a win-win. You save time and money when customers can help themselves and can expect a fast resolution to their support inquiry.
A well-structured support portal and knowledge base includes a good FAQ page that can help your customers with delivery, warranties or billing questions. Just as important is having pre and post-sales content, such as product specifications or information about the delivery.
2. USE LIVE CHAT
Think of live chat as the store assistant that is always there to help when you enter a physical store. If your website is intuitive enough, your customers might not need it, but it’s still a must-have.
Live chat works as a customer support channel, and as a pre-sales tool. It gives you the ability to reach out to potential customers and engage with them.
If used correctly you will manage to convert users into customers and make buyers revisit your site. When you address your customer’s pain points instantly, they are much more likely to make a purchase.
If you are running a small business having live chat 24/7 might not be possible just yet. We recommend as a starting point, having a look at your traffic patterns. From there it will be easier to decide the most critical hours to have your live chat activated.
3. MAKE REVIEWS WORK FOR YOU
Reviews have a big impact on your bottom line, not only can they play an important part in retaining your customers, but they’re also a great place to reel in your potential customers.
While positive reviews can help boost your sales, negative reviews provide a unique opportunity to engage with a disappointed shopper and convert them into a loyal supporter, simultaneously showcasing your great customer service to prospective customers. Have a strategy in place to respond to your reviews and to help them resolve issues on as many platforms as possible.
4. GET ACTIONABLE INSIGHTS
Customer support analytics can provide extremely valuable insight into your customer’s needs and wants. Have a reporting structure in place that can provide you with real-time customer service data including:
- Which products/services do customers experience issues with
- Which specific product issues customers encounter
- How satisfied customers are with the way their case is resolved (CSAT or NPS)
If you need a hand with this step, you can read our list of the most important customer service metrics you can’t do without.