Fraud and the inability to physically verify products are two major drawbacks when it comes to online shopping.
If you provide excellent eCommerce customer service, you will not only offset these disadvantages but also boost online shoppers’ confidence and ensure strong conversion rates.
This applies whether you’re selling in an online marketplace like Lazada and Shopee or you have an eCommerce website.
Here we’ll cover what eCommerce customer service is, why it matters, and what makes it different from other kinds of customer service. We’ll also give you 8 strategies for providing excellent eCommerce customer service.
What is eCommerce customer service?
eCommerce customer service is a business strategy that provides assistance to people who purchase products online. This goes from answering queries all the way to resolving issues.
This marketing strategy aims to provide a seamless experience that will satisfy your customers. It also encourages them to share their positive experiences, recommend your store to others, give you high ratings, and make repeat purchases.
Good customer service also gets you loyal customers — something that every online business needs, especially in a highly competitive market.
Aside from that, why does eCommerce customer service matter?
Customers know the possible risks of buying items online. However, they keep on coming back because of the convenience and better pricing.
But as eCommerce progresses, convenience and competitive pricing are no longer enough.
Customers expect a better experience, especially when it comes to customer service. For eCommerce businesses, this means providing a quick, smooth, and personalized customer experience.
A study conducted by Oberlo found that 81% of customers finalize their purchases with the help of customer service. Moreover, 86% of the customers said they’re ready to buy in a store that provides good customer support.
And simply providing customer support isn’t enough. You need to set a high standard when it comes to taking care of your customers. Bad customer service does not only hurt your brand but can ruin your business’ reputation — something that’s hard to build, can easily be lost, and is difficult to regain.
What makes eCommerce customer service different from other customer service?
Customers always expect quick and easy transactions, whether it be in a physical or online store.
However, unlike in brick-and-mortar stores where customer service is done face to face, the majority of online stores provide their customer service through email and chat. And today, most customer service representatives also respond to reviews, especially to those with poor feedback.
In both email and chat, you cannot see who you’re talking to And since it’s harder to trust someone you can’t see, this makes eCommerce customer service a bit more challenging.
But challenging doesn’t mean you can’t provide excellent customer service.
To help you provide a good and memorable customer experience,, we’ll share 7 strategies for taking care of your customers..
8 effective strategies for taking care of your customers
When it comes to eCommerce Customer Service (CS), speed is a priority. In fact, more customers are expecting to have real-time access to your business’s customer service.
In a study done by Zendesk, they asked the customers: “What matters most to you when you want to resolve a customer service issue with a company?”
The average client expects an email answer in 12 hours or less, and they anticipate significantly quicker response times for channels like social media and live chat.
The data is clear.
However, while speed is important, the quality of the first response also matters. It has to be clear and helpful.
Here are 8 strategies you can do to take care of your customers:
1. Streamline your eCommerce Customer Service process
An organized process allows for a quicker response, But that response should come with the right messaging too.
To be fast and effective, you have to incorporate the right tools to support your CS team. Below are some of the things you need to do to have an effective CS process:
Invest in CRM or management tools
Relying on manpower alone can hamper your CS process. You need to invest in a good tool to help you manage your customer’s interactions and relationships.
This is where you record all conversations, keep track and monitor your processes, and keep files and documentation.
Create a solid knowledge base
You can’t react to the questions or inquiries right away if you don’t know the correct response.
With a solid knowledge base, you or your agents will have the answer right at their fingertips.
Your knowledge base should have a list of FAQs, answers, and product information. You also need to have a KPI that allows you to keep track of the conversations.
In customer service, some situations are unique. That said, having proper documentation of the cases your CS team handles can significantly help you improve your CS in the future.
2. Anticipate possible issues
Your business exists because you are providing solutions to problems. This is also the same in customer service.
Online shoppers prefer businesses that proactively providing support and solutions instead of waiting for a problem to occur before finding solutions.
By being able to anticipate issues, you are not just improving your performance as a seller, you are also reducing the workload of your support agents. This will allow them to focus more on high-quality customer service.
So how do you do this?
By having business awareness.
To be able to anticipate possible issues, you have to pay attention to your customer feedback and keep an eye on how they interact with your business.
Also, you need to make sure that you’re aware of the trends that have to do with the products you’re selling.
3. Provide multiple but well-defined channels
Make it easy for your customers to reach you, but make sure that you can keep up with the channels you choose.
One of the challenges of customer service is the lack of a unified customer view. This means that if your customers are happy with the help you provide through your shop messenger inside Shopee, they should be equally convinced that they will get the same quality of help if they reach you through Facebook messenger.
To make sure that you achieve consistency, your customer support should be aligned with your customer journey.
Within your support team, use a single platform to streamline your communications.. And for frequently asked inquiries, you can also use chatbots and other visual resources.
4. Capture and harness customer feedback
There’s nothing more valuable than your customers’ honest feedback. Fortunately, online marketplaces and social media have built-in tools for gathering customer feedback.
Feedback is also one of the easiest ways to get your customer’s perspective about your business. Thus, it’s a great basis to see where and how you can improve your customer service.
Moreover, the most important feedback are the valid negative ones. In fact, truthful negative feedback is an opportunity for your business — you just need to quickly act on it. A quick response gives the unhappy customer a chance to be optimistic about your product or business.
5. Educate your customers
Keeping your customers in the dark won’t help your business at all. Instead, it will affect customer loyalty.
If your customers don’t know how your business can help them, they will look for alternatives.
Right off the bat, showcase the features of your product. Ensure that your customers are aware of what your business can do to solve their problems.
If you’re selling in an online marketplace, provide all the information they need to know about your product.
By educating your customers, you’ll be able to reduce your support costs. And this will position your brand as trustworthy thus helping with customer loyalty.
6. Measure and optimize
If you take the time to measure and optimize your CS process, you can effectively improve your customer service.
But how do we measure customer service? You can start with the metrics below:
- Average resolution time – this is the average time on how quickly you resolve a customer issue
- Average reply time – this is the average time your agent responds to a customer.
- Customer satisfaction survey – this metric determines whether a customer’s experience was positive or negative.
- Ticket volume – if you are using a ticketing system, tracking the volume of tickets will reveal how much pressure your customer support team is under. A consistent large ticket volume also shows that there is a huge issue with the product you are selling or any other important issue that needs to be addressed immediately.
However, these metrics are useless if you don’t act on them. As you go over the insights, make a plan on how to improve and optimize your process and execute it.
7. Always improve
Customers today are used to having many options to choose from. And the truth is, they’re more likely to punish businesses that they’ve had a bad experience with.
But you can avoid this when your mission is to have better customer service.
Interestingly, a study done by Harvard Business Review, found that delighting customers does not build loyalty. Instead, reducing their effort to solve a problem with your product does.
And one can only do this by continuously looking for ways to improve customer service. Yes, it’s nice to go above and beyond but by investing in improving your CS process, you can effectively reduce CS costs and decrease customer churn.
8. Be honest
Never lie to your customers. If they feel that there’s something fishy with your product or your business, it’s easy for them to cancel their orders.
Besides, a transparent transaction is a smooth transaction. Highlight the important features of your product and don’t oversell. Also, setting realistic expectations with your customers reduces complaints and other kinds of buyer’s remorse.
Simplify online selling with a smooth customer service process
It’s undeniable that there’s a massive shift in how customers interact with online businesses. The only important thing when it comes to providing support to customers is to make it easier for them.
A good thing nowadays, with the technology available, you can provide solutions that will help shoppers resolve issues on their own.
However, the end goal here is not just to resolve issues.
Instead, having established eCommerce customer support will help your online business stand out against the competition while nurturing and maintaining a good relationship with your customers and fostering strong business loyalty.