In today’s highly competitive landscape, there’s a constant need for eCommerce companies to stand out. While many businesses utilise tactics like lowering prices, increasing deals, or offering discounts, they fail to realise the one area that can make a huge difference - customer service.
Good customer service has now become vital. Consumers are looking for friendly, customer-centric brands who care about what their customers think and feel. Review data from our upcoming research report shows that one-star and 5-star reviews most commonly mention ‘customer service’
Great customer service keeps your customers happy and loyal, brings your business more insights on what currently works and what can be improved, and helps you acquire new customers.
An Adobe Digital Shoppers Index report found that return and repeat shoppers make up over 40% of an eCommerce site's revenue despite only making up 8% of total shoppers. Repeat shoppers also generate five times more revenue per visit than first time shoppers. A great way to increase the chance of return and repeat visitors is by focusing on customer service.
This article will show you how you can improve your customer service on your eCommerce site in order increase your retention rate, improve your reputation, and increase your revenue.
Developing and improving your eCommerce customer service
Making your contact information easily accessible
Every page that contains information about your company, your products, or your services should contain your contact information, or at least an easy-to-find link to your ‘Contact’ page. You should also include contact information in the main navigation tab, the footer and consider adding your phone number or email address to both your ‘Contact’ and ‘About Us’ pages too.
These changes will reduce the amount of effort and friction customers or browsers will experience if they need support or have some kind of question. By giving them a way to get their issues sorted onsite, you’re decreasing the chance of having a visitor navigate away from your site and increasing their chance of making a purchase.
To provide more direct access, consider a pop-up or a permanent banner on the side. That way, if one of your customers feels the need to contact you while checking out your website, they can do so on the same page they’re browsing.
Include your details in your FAQ section too. If your customers can’t find the answer to their question, they’re more likely to contact you straight away. If they can’t, then they might navigate away.
What to include on your contact page:
- Company name
- Address (consider including a map)
- Phone number
- Email address
- Contact form
- Opening hours
- Closing dates
- VAT number
Asking for feedback
To pinpoint the exact areas where you can improve your customer service, collecting customer feedback is one of the easiest ways to do it. Direct feedback will help you understand what your customers like and don’t like, what can be improved, and how to do it.
By asking for feedback, you’re showing your customers that you care about their satisfaction, and that you are constantly working towards ensuring potential customers are having a fantastic experience. Collecting feedback is necessary in developing your eCommerce business, reduce customer churn (or attrition), and boost loyalty.
Different ways to ask for feedback:
- On the phone
- By email
- By SMS
- With third-party review platforms
- Survey customers
Your customer feedback can also present an opportunity beyond customer service. By giving you insight and quantitative information on your reputation, you can leverage it as social proof for your marketing channels, increasing its performance.
Providing real-time help
When your site visitor is confused and upset, it’s better for your business to offer help as soon as it can, and that usually means instantly. It’s a great way to differentiate yourself from the other eCommerce companies, improve your customer service, and increase the chance of having that potential customer leave your site having made a purchase.
On-site live chats are a great customer service tool that allows you to engage with your existing or future customers via your website. Real-time customer service helps reduce churn, and boosts customer loyalty by increasing their chance of returning.
According to Kissmetrics, “44% of online consumers say that having questions answered by a live person while in the middle of an online purchase is one of the most important features a website can offer.” Answering questions directly on-site means customers are more likely to have their issues resolved quicker, which keeps them engaged and interested in your business for longer.
95% of unhappy customers are more likely to return to your website if you have resolved their issue quickly and efficiently.
It’s also recommended to hire a community manager in order to look after your brand’s social accounts. Someone taking care of your social media accounts full time will help you assist angry customers on Twitter and Facebook, and will help you showcase how much you care about your customers’ satisfaction. It’s also a way to provide immediate help if a browser or customer has a question or concern.
With nearly half of digital buyers saying that reading customer feedback on social media influences their buying journey, you wouldn’t want to miss out on great customer service on social channels, would you?
Using your own customer’s voice
With over 84% of consumers not trusting advertisements anymore, and 80% of people trusting other consumers’ feedback as much as personal recommendations, it’s become essential for eCommerce companies to use user-generated content (UGC) as much as possible. If you’re wondering how UGC plays into customer service, it all starts with the community.
Letting your customers review your product or service gives potential customers the opportunity to look for answers to their questions without having to get in touch with your customer service team. By leveraging reviews, you’re letting your customers create useful and unique content that will help people looking for basic answers. And by displaying them either via a third-party site or directly on your site, you’re showing visitors that you do care about your customers and their experience.
Encouraging UGC is also a great way to build communities of customers and create brand advocates. Loyal customers who are part of a brand community are generally willing to help new customers.
Integrating your FAQ page with customer answers also lets your address common pain points to reduce the number of customer calls. It’s a great and easy way to integrate unique content to your website while helping customers in the middle of their journey, and it will save both you and your customers a lot of time.
Making the on-site experience seamless
All eCommerce companies should invest in their own website’s experience. After all, a poor site navigation experience makes for a poor customer experience, and you’re likely to lose out on potential customers as a result.
Let’s start with the search bar.
It’s important for customers to find what they’re looking for quickly and most of all, easily. Consider investing in a search bar that anticipates your customers’ questions or keywords as they type. McDonald’s website has a perfect example of this.
Moving on to navigation… It’s important to speed up your website. 30% of people would abandon a website if it took more than 6-10 seconds to load.
The less consumers spend time looking for what they need, the better. If possible, try to make every product page accessible within 3 or less clicks, and make the checkout process as easy as possible with few ways to navigate away from the page.
A great customer experience means your customers are less likely to come across a problem during their customer buying journey, which saves you time and money when it comes to the work your customer service team will have to do in the long run.
And don’t forget, using your own customers’ feedback to improve your customer experience and satisfaction is the best way to improve your eCommerce customer service in the long run.
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