E-commerce is a tough business. It can be hard to stand out from the crowd and differentiate your brand from all the others, especially if you sell similar products. However, there has been one big way that’s been shown to make the real difference to consumers when they are shopping.
That’s right, a number of studies and statistics have shown that when brands are able to deliver incredible customer service they have been able to develop not only more loyal current customers, by it tends to attract a number of new customers as well.
Here, we’ll cover 15 ways your E-commerce brand can really step up your customer service and wow consumers.
1. Have Live Chat
Having a round the clock live chat is one of the best ways to make customers feel like you are there for them whenever they need it. In fact, according to eConsultancy, live chat has the highest customer satisfaction levels of any customer service. Even small shops can look to tools for free accounts.
2. Use FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) are perfect for busy shoppers. When placed prominently on product pages or transactional emails (see below) they can help reduce the burden on your customer service staff, empower customers by answering the most common questions and help you target those all important long tail keywords.
3. Utilize the Chat Log
Don’t forget about the chat log! Make it a practice of going through your live chat logs with customers on a consistent basis, quarterly or even monthly if you have the volume. When you do that, you’ll be able to see issues that arise again and again very clearly.
4. Have a Self Service Knowledge Base
One popular, and quite easy way to improve your customer service is to also include a self-service knowledge base. The fact of the matter is, most customers would love to find the answer to their issues themselves. A study done at Cisco found that having things like video FAQs and step by step instructions in a knowledge base massively decreased call volume.
5. 24 Hour Phone Support
Think phone support is a thing of the past? Well, think again. Even if your phone isn’t ringing off the hook with calls for help, evidence shows that brands who display their phone number on every page actually have higher product and service conversion rates.
6. Have a Help Desk
You’re never going to go wrong having a help desk. A recent study found that “76% of consumers say they view customer service as the true test of how much a company values them.” Having a well trained and responsive staff at your help desk can go a long way towards improving customer experiences and making sure nothing falls through the cracks.
7. Offer Social Media Customer Service
Social media, especially channels like Twitter is helpful for a lot more than just sharing content. In fact, social media can be a great place to provide outstanding customer service. Twitter has found a 2.5x increase in the number of customer service conversations going on in the site.
8. Make Policies Simple
Few things are more frustrating to customers than having to go through a big complicated and time consuming process to make a simple return. Review your current policies and try to make them as simple and easy to understand as possible, it will help remove confusion and thus, fewer issues.
9. Improve Transactional emails
Transactional emails are those emails that get sent out with information, so order confirmations, receipts, delivery messages, would all be examples.
Experian did a study that found these emails have a much higher open rate than any other. So, use them to your advantage, highlight promotions, personalized upsells, and important information to make the entire transaction go smoothly.
10. Have Online Bill History & Payment Details
Make it easy for your customers by allowing them to access all of their information from one platform, your website. Allow them to log in and see not only their past orders, but also allow them to update their personal information. You can also send out email reminders to let them know they can update their payment and contact information online.
11. Scale Team During the Busy Season
We all know the times of year that online stores get busy with new customers shopping, so it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that the amount of customer service needs can skyrocket during that time. Help alleviate this by having an additional team member or two come on board during the busy seasons to take on any customer service overflow.
12. Team Up Customers and Support Staff
Did you know that customer support only tends to ask for the customer’s name just 21% of the time? It tells a customer that they are just a number. Help to fix that by keeping customers with the same support staff for each of their calls. Use a system that allows each customer to be tagged by a specific team member, so when they might have an issue, they can speak to a familiar voice again.
13. Measure Customer Satisfaction
It’s always a good idea to consistently be measuring exactly how well your customers think you are doing. It measures the difference between the number of people who would recommend your product and those who would not, the remaining number is called the net promoter score.
This type of graphic is one you can use in your transactional emails and customer service conversations. You can see where you are and where you need to improve.
14. Track Your VIP Customers
Customer satisfaction is one thing that can really be spread via word of mouth. Figure out those customers you have who are rock stars, often the Pareto Rule holds, 20% of customers provide 80% of revenue. Monitor them on social media and see who is talking about your brand, when you do find them, treat them well, offer them discounts or give them something special every now and then. They will surely tell their friends.
15. Always Encourage Feedback
While great reviews are wonderful, your brand can learn a lot more from seeing where things are going wrong and your customer service did not perform so well. These are the things you can take strides to improve. Track which customers had certain complaints, and when you’ve fixed them, go back to them and ask for a second chance.
These are just 15 different ways you can take your customer service to the next level. Try them all and you’ll soon be able to really set yourself away from the pack!
Tony Messer is an online entrepreneur, author and founder of UK web hosting company Pickaweb. He loves to work with business owners and other entrepreneurs to develop long term strategies to grow their businesses. He can be followed at @AntonyMesser