We can't overemphasize the importance of offering your customers the best customer support services.
This is especially because you've successfully gained your customers trust - after all, they've chosen to order your products and services without meeting you in person. (Pat yourself on the back!)
To ensure that your customers are among the 66% who would likely shop from an eCommerce store that offers amazing customer service, here's how you can make the best of all the customer support options available for small businesses.
The challenges of providing customer service in eCommerce
According to InsightSquared, 2 out of every 5 customers that visit an eCommerce store successfully complete their purchase.
One cause of this? Poor customer service. But fixing this can be easier said than done, as there are lots of challenges that come with providing great customer service in eCommerce.
Think about it – there are millions of e-stores online, in addition to multiple distractions. It's been cited that 25% online shoppers switch to another store as they are tired of waiting to hear back from the previous seller.
If you're not able to provide timely responses through quality customer service, you could easily lose customers.
Why is excellent customer service important?
As an eCommerce store owner, there are many reasons why you should offer customer service that not only reduces your customers’ stress, but also offers solutions to their problems, answers their questions, and addresses their concerns regarding returns and other issues.
Consider the following:
- It builds trust in your brand: Since eCommerce stores lack the opportunity for physical interaction with your products before purchase, the least you can do is put in place a good eCommerce customer service that offers timely messaging as they shop.
- It makes your brand more popular: Offering awesome customer service is one sure way of putting it one step closer to being a reputable brand. With customer support that exceeds expectations, you will be able to avoid negative press. The more satisfied your customers are with their queries and concerns, the better your brand’s reputation will get.
- It can serve as the basis of your marketing campaign: Often times, online shoppers need proof that they can trust your brand, and what better way than showing off proof of your customer-friendly interactions with your support staff?
- It gives you an edge over the competitors: As mentioned earlier, a significant percentage of customers make a switch when they are poorly attended to by customer service. When your support staff does a great job of interacting with your customers, it gives you a unique edge over the competitors, whether you are utilizing customer support live chat or email.
Different ways of managing customer service
When it comes to offering amazing customer support, you don’t necessarily have to spend a fortune upfront.
With technology, there are lots of inexpensive ways of effectively manage customer service for your eCommerce business:
- Email support: This has always been a top strategy for responding to your customers’ queries. In order to maximize the opportunity that email support offers, ensure you have a dedicated email address to be used solely for support. There should also be auto-responder that lets the customer know that his or her message has been received.
- Phone support: This is the only support option that adds a human touch to your interactions with your customers. If you have an upset customer, phone support is usually the best option in cooling things down.
- Live chat: Among the customer support services options, this is another support strategy that also tends to add some level of human face to your business. Through live chat, you are able to offer instant responses to your customers’ needs instead of them being on hold with phone support or waiting for several hours with email support. With the use of unique eCommerce bots, you can be sure to have coverage - even when you're asleep.
- Social media support: Now that social media plays a huge role in eCommerce, it's important to consider adopting a social media support strategy. In using this option, avoid being confrontational with customers, especially if they comment negatively. Instead, be courteous and if possible, invite them to private chat.
- Forum support: A lot of businesses have been able to offer quality customer service solutions to their customers through forums. Forums give you the opportunity to create a community where your customers can come together to discuss common issues and discuss solutions. In order to make this work for you, it is important that you actively participate in discussions, especially when it has to do with your product.
Best practices for managing multiple channels
It's good to know you have many different customer support options, but how can you effectively manage these multiple channels?
Here are some tips:
- In order for customers to easily contact you through email, make sure you have a contact page added to your eCommerce store. The email should be only for support queries.
- You should be an active part of the discussions when you are offering support through social media, especially Twitter and Instagram. Your responses should be on time and on point too.
- In using live chat, you should settle for chat options that allow you to respond to your customers even when you are mobile. This way, you won’t miss any requests when you switch from desktop to mobile.
- Add a Helpdesk to your options. This way, you will be able to answer frequently asked questions in your own terms.
Running a successful eCommerce store is not just about the tech you are able to invest in, but more of how effective your eCommerce customer service support is.
When your customers are not satisfied with the support offered, they are sure to leave for your competitors. Your customer support can make or break your online store, so the best time to offer effective resolution options to your customers is now.
Do you have any suggestion that would make customer support better? Go ahead and leave them in the comments below!