Loyalty is hard to gain in today’s ecommerce world. Customers have so much choice, and such high expectations, that they can change brand allegiance at the drop of a hat.
What does foster long-term shopper relationships, however, is customer service. Making consumers feel like their problems are important, valued, and contribute to building better experiences is a powerful tool for growing business relationships.
Despite this, many ecommerce companies still fall short when it comes to delivering outstanding customer support. To help your organization win the loyalty race, here are our top tips for impressing online shoppers when they have a query:
- Offer multiple support options
Even if you’re a digital-only business, it’s important to offer customers ways to contact you offline when they have a query. 9 in 10 consumers will use multi-channel support options; combine online contact forms and email queries with telephone support to let shoppers reach out to you in the way that best suits them.
- Social media is a valuable listening tool
Not all customer feedback today arrives through official channels. Ecommerce shoppers are constantly talking about brands on social media, so it pays to join in those conversations and start responding to opinions – good and bad. In addition to reinforcing strong relationships, it is a great free source of advice for improving your business.
- FAQs are your friends
The vast majority of the time, customer queries (other than those relating to a specific order) coming through to support teams could have been solved through a comprehensive FAQ section. Make sure your website FAQs are up to date, and regularly review the types of issues shoppers are contacting you about, to see if some of the answers could be added to your website.
- Be prompt
Attitude and timeliness are half the battle won when it comes to customer service. Even if you can’t answer their query on the spot, customers will appreciate you getting in touch quickly to say you’ve seen their correspondence and will help them out as soon as possible. It shows that you care.
- Watch your language
It’s very easy to fall into business speak when dealing with customers, or start using technical jargon that’s difficult to follow. Make sure you stick to clear and concise language that they will easily understand. Be friendly too – even if you’re not giving them the answer they want to hear!
- Keep a customer service record
With more complex customer queries, often multiple interactions are required to fix the problem. In these circumstances, it’s crucial to take detailed notes at every stage of the inquiry; there’s nothing more frustrating for ecommerce shoppers than having to start at the beginning of the story every time they contact a member of your support team.
Another good idea is to do a quick ‘exit survey’ at the end of the process, to see how shoppers found your service. This can often highlight some simple customer service tweaks that make a major difference to satisfaction levels.