Effective E-Commerce Customer Service: 7 Key Strategies
In the competitive e-commerce marketplace, customer support is king. That’s because no matter how good your products are or how persuasive your marketing campaigns happen to be, you’ll churn through customers faster than you can acquire new ones if your customer experience is lacking.
These days, shoppers in practically every industry demand top-tier customer experiences from e-commerce platforms, ranging from online chat support to personalized assistance with the buying process and more. It can be a lot to keep in mind, so today, let’s take a look at seven key strategies that can make your e-commerce customer support more effective.
Always Have Self-Service Options
Improving your customer experiences and customer support starts small for any e-commerce business. So start with the easiest way to boost a customer’s journey: self-service.
One of the best — and easiest! — ways to improve your e-commerce customer service is to implement self-service options and keep them ready at all times. These are things like FAQ pages, knowledge bases, and self-service customer experience portals that enable customers to file questions or complaints on their own.
Self-service is so effective for e-commerce websites because:
- You'll almost always get more help requests than your customer service team can handle immediately, especially as your business scales.
- Many customer complaints or questions can be handled with an FAQ page or some basic information.
The critical thing to remember is you can direct your customers to the solutions to their problems without having to facilitate any personal interactions. Not only did many customers prefer this, but it’s ultimately much more efficient and cost-effective for your brand in more ways than one.
Keep your self-service options comprehensive and robust, as well as navigable, and your e-commerce customer service scores will likely increase significantly.
Collect Data, Data, and More Data
It's also wise to collect as much data on your customers as possible. In fact, having tons of data points on your target audience and potential customers is vital for ensuring effective e-commerce customer service.
The more data you gather on your customers, the better you’ll be equipped to answer specific online shopping questions or complaints they may have. For instance, if a customer asks an agent a query about an issue they’ve had in the past, and you have data related to a previous session. You can pick up right where you left off, and your customer won’t have to repeat themselves (which would otherwise increase their irritation).
Furthermore, delivering a high-quality customer service experience is about more than solving customer problems and complaints. It’s also proactively marketing personalized deals, discounts, and products to customers, particularly longtime customers who keep coming back to your brand for more service.
For example, if you gather enough data on your customers to know their birthdays and buying habits, send out customized marketing emails to target customers to improve their brand loyalty. A customer is more likely to come back to your brand, even when there are many competitors if they feel like you treat them like a person, not just a cog in your business machine.
With this in mind, you should try to gather data on each of your customers and prospects. Put all of this data in a comprehensive platform, like a CRM or customer relationship management platform. With this, your customer support team and sales agents can maintain an accurate list of all your leads and customers as you develop them.
Personalize Service Where Possible
Personalization is a very high priority when it comes to marketing and customer experience. These days, many customers demand personalization, especially when it comes to things like ticket responses, marketing emails, and more.
Therefore, you can and should use personalization tools and strategies wherever possible. Send loyal customers personalized follow-up emails with special discount codes or product recommendations, or try to personalize your support interactions by assigning one dedicated customer service agent to each major client or customer (especially big spenders).
Personalized, white glove service is a crucial indicator that a brand is well worth a customer’s time and attention. If you want to cultivate the most loyal and most profitable customer base, offer personalized services everywhere you can.
Pay Attention to Customer Reviews
Your customers will leave you reviews from time to time. Whether they are positive or negative, be sure to pay attention to them. These are invaluable forms of feedback to optimize and improve your business from top to bottom. Customer feedback helps you understand customer expectations and can lead to better customer satisfaction for your online business later.
Customer reviews can show up on your website, or they can show up on neutral third-party websites like Google, Yelp, and so on. In any case, if many customers complain about a similar issue on your website or e-commerce store, correct that problem to improve your customer experience for future prospects.
Similarly, if a bunch of customers praise one aspect or another of your e-commerce brand, double down on that aspect to provide even more experiences to your customers. Customer reviews are a treasure trove of valuable information; don't ignore or discount them.
Prioritize a Fast Response Time
Whenever a customer has a complaint or question about your brand or a product, don’t leave them hanging. Nothing leaves a bad taste in a customer’s mouth like a lengthy response time.
Instead, try to prioritize fast response times in your customer service strategy and all customer service channels by:
- Employing as many customer service agents as necessary to meet customer expectations
- Using the services of a brand like Awesome OS for further BPO and customer experience assistance if needed
- Implementing modern tools, like chatbots, to handle customer support overload or basic questions
The faster you respond to customer queries, the better. Even if you don’t have a detailed or comprehensive fix to a proposed problem, simply giving the customer your time and attention will show that you care about their issue and are actively working on a fix.
In many cases, customers will be more willing to give your brand the benefit of the doubt if you successfully show them that you are trying as hard as possible to assist. In contrast, if you take too long to respond to a question or complaint, they’ll be more likely to assume the worst about your business. In other words, it’s a major part of great customer service and e-commerce customer support.
Maintain Multiple Communication Channels
To ensure that your customers don’t experience too much response delay and that all customers can reach your company when needed, maintain multiple support channels. Don’t just have a chatline; you should also maintain a phone line and an email address at a bare minimum.
By maintaining multiple communication channels and several support agents, your online shoppers will always feel like they have multiple ways to get in touch with you when they need to ask about return policies, fees, and more. This, in turn, improves the feelings of safety and security your customers feel when doing business with your brand.
Phone support and real-time chat support are needed for any online store or multichannel marketing push, although social media messaging is also smart. That way, you can better connect with your customer service representatives. Then, your company can provide excellent customer service at all times to both old online customers and new customers.
If needed, consider contracting a call center or outsourced customer support team to provide a better e-commerce customer experience. That move could increase your conversion rate and customer retention.
Leverage Technology Where It’s Smart
Here’s one last e-commerce customer service best practice: don’t hesitate to leverage technology where it makes sense and where it can improve your customer service operations.
For example, automation tech like chatbots can be great boosts in terms of response times and tackling minor queries. Suppose a customer wants to know your operating hours, for example. In that case, an AI chatbot can quickly provide them with that information without taking valuable resources or attention from your human customer experience agents.
Other technology, like customer service software or CRM platforms, can also help your customer support team provide personalized, accurate service to customers who need it. Technological tools shouldn’t replace your customer support efforts or department, of course. But they can bolster your results and help your brand show its dedication to its target audience members like never before.
Chat With Awesome OS Today
Ultimately, the above strategies will help you revamp and reinvigorate your support and experience efforts. With the right mindset, and by utilizing these strategies in combination with each other, you’ll provide one-of-a-kind experiences to your target customers and bolster customer loyalty metrics across the board.
That said, marshaling the staff necessary to employ many of these strategies can be more challenging than you think. That’s where Awesome OS comes in. Our effective BPO solution can help you with staffing at multiple levels, assisting with logistics, accounting, and customer experience, depending on what exactly you need.
Best of all, we charge on a month-to-month basis, not year-long contracts. Send us a message so we can chat more about this!