Are you looking for a “magic wand” that will allow you to influence purchasing decisions and improve brand loyalty? The truth is that you don’t need a magic wand to succeed in ecommerce. All you need is an effective customer service strategy. Read this article to know what specific actions you should take to boost your customer support efforts and make your business profitable.
The Importance of Quality Customer Service
Before we start, let’s make it clear why ecommerce business owners should strive for excellence in customer service:
- Boost sales. When customer support agents help shoppers to place, track, and receive their orders, the repeat purchase rate goes up.
- Prevent disputes. When the customer support team works effectively, buyers can solve their issues without filing a dispute. Improve online reputation.
- Quality customer service helps to lower the number of negative reviews on the web.
- Build brand loyalty. When shoppers get enough support from the company, they become brand advocates.
Hire Local Customer Service Agents
Do you sell your products internationally? If your answer is “yes,” you should think about boosting your customer support efforts on the local level. You can hire local customer service agents who live across the same time zones as your customers live in, and who speak foreign languages.
Let’s say your office is located in New York, but most of your customers come from Portugal and China. If your customer service agents work from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST and don’t speak foreign languages, they can’t provide adequate support to the customers who live in Europe and Asia. So if you want to take your business to the next level, you should hire foreign remote employees. In the age of technology, you can manage your international customer service team with ease. There are lots of freelance platforms and job boards on the web where you can find and hire local experts in customer service. And there are lots of payment options that allow international employers to transfer salary to remote employees in a few clicks.
Take Advantage of AI Chatbot
Another way to provide support to your customers 24/7 is to design a chatbot that will use artificial intelligence and machine learning to answer basic customer questions. If you provide your AI chatbot with access to FAQs or knowledge bases, it will be able to reply to questions like “when the order will be shipped?” or “how to use a coupon code?”. If you design a chatbot in the right way, it will be able to recognize and answer multiple forms of the same question. For instance, no matter whether a customer will ask, “what is the total shipping cost?” or “how much will you charge me for shipping?” the bot will provide a relevant answer.
There are lots of online platforms that allow building a chatbot for LiveChat or Facebook Messenger using drag-and-drop templates.
Here are a few tips on how to make your AI chatbot perfect:
- Give a name to your chatbot. It will help you to humanize your bot.
- Write a greeting message. Explain in a few words what your chatbot is capable of (your chatbot can help to find a specific product on the website, place the order online, check delivery status, etc.).
- Make it clear to your website visitors that they are talking to the bot, not to a human. It will help you to prevent any misunderstandings and conflicts.
- Use your preferred voice and tone to maintain your brand consistency.
Keep Your Customers Up-to-Date
In ecommerce, it’s crucial to apologize to your customers when something goes wrong. If the shipment is delayed, or an item is out of stock, you should make buyers aware of the problem before they notice it themselves. You can send a notification via email or SMS. Or, you can make a phone call and apologize personally.
Well, it will not help you to resolve the issue completely. For instance, if a customer has ordered a gift for his friend’s birthday and will not receive the item on time, they may get angry at your company anyway. But at least, if you notify the customer in advance, they will have time to buy another present. In other words, if you keep your buyers up-to-date, you will minimize the negative consequences of the order-related issues. You will get fewer support requests and will deal with fewer customers who dispute a charge.
Create a Killer FAQ Page
Do you have a FAQ page on your website? Does this page help to minimize the workload on customer service agents? If the current FAQ page doesn’t work effectively, you should redesign it and rewrite content. Your task is to put all the necessary information in one place, so your website visitors will be able to access it easily. Having such a knowledge base will not only reduce the number of customer support requests but also benefit your website in terms of SEO.
Here is a short guide for you:
- The first thing you should do is to ask your customer support agents to provide a list of the most frequently asked questions. These questions will be a base of your FAQ page.
- The next thing you should do is to look through customer reviews on social media and identify common questions people ask about your products and services. Some of these questions also should be added to your FAQ page.
- After that, you should create a consolidated list of FAQ and systemize it. It would be best if you broke all the questions into a few categories (e.g., payment methods, shipping details, warranty service), so it will be easier for users to find the necessary information.
And here is a pro tip for you. If you want to boost customer service and build a strong brand, you can use the FAQ page to draw the audience’s attention to the values you promote. Let’s say you want to get your customers to know that you donate money to the local community center. You can add a question “Is your company involved in giving aid to nonprofit organizations charities” to the FAQ list to inform page visitors that you partner with a charity.
Develop a Multi-Channel Strategy
A decade ago, many companies had a single phone support line to assist all of their customers. And it was enough. But today, the situation is different. Modern customers expect that companies will provide them with multi-channel support. They want to be able to contact customer service agents not only by phone but also via email, live chat, messaging apps, and social media.
If you want to boost your efforts, you should upgrade your strategy. You should analyze the online behavior of your target audience and provide quality customer service across all channels that your customers use.
Are your customers satisfied with the services you provide? The only way to know the answer to this question is to ask your customers for feedback. Today, you can do it in a few ways. You can use email marketing automation tools to invite customers to complete a CSAT survey online. Or, you can conduct a customer satisfaction survey by phone. Just keep in mind that modern customers are busy people. They don’t have time to answer lots of questions. So if you want to collect enough feedback, you should keep your survey short and keep your questions brief and concise. Once customers complete a survey, you will get a clear understanding of how effectively your customer service team works. It will help you to find “weak spots” in your current strategy and improve your ecommerce customer service in the future.
Wrapping it Up
Modern shoppers want to feel valued and special. And they expect companies to provide excellent customer service. So, if you find some flaws in your customer service strategy, you should fix them immediately. The golden rule for ecommerce is simple: the better the service your agents provide, the more new orders customers place. So feel free to use this article as a guide to boost your customer support efforts, and you will not get disappointed with the results.