The best online businesses know that providing top-notch customer service is absolutely key to success. In the age of the Internet, not only will customers tell their friends and family, many will broadcast their consumer experiences onto their social media pages which are often visible to the public. This is the new “word-of-mouth” form of advertising that can affect your brand’s reputation for better or worse. Because e-commerce lacks certain aspects of brick-and-mortar stores such as face-to-face interaction with the customers, it is absolutely necessary to provide a solid customer experience in the online realm.
Here are 5 stand-out ways to deliver amazing e-customer service:
1. Offer Multi-Channel Customer Support
To make it easy for customers to contact your company, provide more than one avenue of customer support. A combination of phone, email, and live-chat options will allow customers to contact your company however they wish. Add a self-service help database so that customers can look up answers to their questions 24/7 and for when your support team is unavailable. A social media presence on sites like Twitter and Facebook offer more ways for the customers to reach out.
When customers can effortlessly and conveniently contact your company, they will trust your business to take care of them and associate these good feelings with your overall brand experience.
2. Invest in the Website Design and Functionality
A website that loads with errors and broken links will drive customers away. Take time to make sure that your site is running efficiently and address technical problems as soon as possible. A disfunctioning website suggests sloppiness, which is not something that you want associated with your brand. Invest in a professional web developer who can bring innovation to the design of your website and ensure that the search functions of the site are easy-to-use and free of frustrations.
Customers are more likely to make purchases if navigating your website is an effortless experience
3. Provide Detailed Descriptions of the Product or Service
Whether you are selling either a tangible product or a service, it is important to provide as much information as possible so that customers know exactly what they are getting. If you already have extensive product or service information readily available, this will decrease your rate of returns and reduce the workload of your customer support resources. Make sure the product or service descriptions are organized and easy-to-read.
By providing as much information as possible, this will ensure confidence in your brand experience when customers decide to make purchases.
4. Listen and Connect on Social Media
Social media is the future of customer service as a presence on sites like Twitter or Facebook provide a new level of engagement with the brand experience. Customers are more likely to make purchases when they can find your brand on social media. Not only does this make it easy for customers to reach out to your business, you can use social media to reach customers about upcoming sales and specials.
Potential customers can see for themselves what kind of service to expect when customer and business interactions are publicly visible on social media, so quality customer service will speak for itself. Respond quickly to any questions or concerns and reward customers who choose to “follow” your brand with exclusive discounts and coupon codes.
5. Ask For Customer Feedback
One of the best ways to really understand what your customers are thinking is to ask them directly. Automatically send out an email after every purchase that contains a link to a simple feedback survey to make it easy for the customers. A few open-ended questions will allow them to tell you in their own words exactly what they think. Even if only a few customers respond, that information can help you improve and evolve not only your product or service, but also your brand’s customer service experience.
Show appreciation for the customer’s opinion with a sweepstakes or a discount on their next purchase if they complete the survey.
These ways can help you stand above the competition, especially as the number of online businesses continues to boom. Devoting time to developing effective customer service strategies will also improve sales. Customer service is just as important as the product or service itself, so make sure to deliver an unbeatable experience at every opportunity.