Delivering great online customer service
E-commerce has given customers a whole new, quick and easy way to purchase goods. However, this doesn’t mean the online experience is faultless; a personal touch may not always be present. Most e-commerce sites are seen to have an ‘average’ rating when it comes to how personal they are with their customers. For many sites, consideration is needed to ensure the online customer service and experience is improved. Although a website can offer a customer a number of contact methods, such as a ‘contact us’ form or a live chat option, they can often be seen as slow and frustrating. So how can an e-commerce store really deliver that personal touch?
Live the Customer Experience
Many businesses can eliminate the frustrations that their customers experience by simply navigating the site themselves or getting fresh eyes to do so. This will allow a business to experience any frustrations its customers’ experience, and be in a better position to introduce methods of communications that are able to resolve customer queries in a timelier manner.
Live chat can be beneficial, but can also be somewhat frustrating if the agent is dealing with multiple customers at any one time, because this means the customer isn’t getting the attention they desire. Introductions of VOIP (Voice over IP) and webcam-based customer service can offer a personal touch as well as a more proactive way of dealing with customer queries when compared to e-mails and lengthy live chats.
Knowledge is power
There is nothing more frustrating than an e-commerce store offering products with generic information, but this is exactly what online shoppers are met with day after day. Just like in-store customers, online consumers need to know why the product being offered is beneficial to them. Will the product make life easier? What can they expect to achieve from making a purchase? Why does this product stand out from other similar products?
Offering in-depth information about the product and the benefits it offers not only helps the customer make a well-informed decision, but it also shows that your online business is passionate about the products and services it deals with. Sometimes, nuggets of information appear in product reviews left by other customers - especially in apparel when it comes to sizing. Use this information to help customers make a decision more easily
Acknowledge when things go wrong
Perfection is a quality that very few businesses can attain, but if a fault occurs, then it pays dividends for an online business to offer a swift solution. As well as instilling the aforementioned VOIP and webcam solutions, an online business should be pro-active in dealing with any concerns raised by a customer in a timely manner.
Much customer frustration arises from companies simply not acknowledging the customer’s initial query, which can result in frustrated follow-up emails and numerous posts to a business’s social network pages.
By publicly acknowledging a problem and keeping the customer abreast of any developments, the business can help minimise the frustration being experienced by the customer. Not only will this instil more trust in your business, but the customer will know that any future queries will be dealt with promptly. Plus you can often turn a bad situation into an opportunity for positive word-of-mouth marketing. If you out of your way to rectify the situation customers will talk to their friends about it. Why not send them a follow up email a week later, with a special voucher in it for them?
Overall, delivering a great service online is the same as offering one in-store. Customers should be listened to, dealt with fairly and be confident that any issues or queries will be dealt with promptly. A simple review of the current customer journey can do wonders to highlight any issues and ensure they are rectified in order to fine-tune the customer experience.