How eCommerce Businesses Can Enhance Customer Service
Ecommerce businesses, if they want to stand out in a fiercely competitive market, need to provide customers with service beyond what is expected. With technological advancements and growing competition, customer expectations have increased significantly. Not meeting these expectations can lead to impaired experience, affecting your business.
Customer experience has surpassed product and price to become the key differentiator for a business. This is why customer-centric companies are around 60% more profitable than their counterparts. The business world now sees customer service as a priority for all businesses. Ecommerce businesses are no exception.
This article lists a few tips that you can use to enhance your eCommerce business’s customer service.
Create a Multi-Channel Strategy
Your customers are everywhere, and they want to be able to reach you wherever they are, and a multi-channel strategy helps with that. First, let’s talk about what a multi-channel strategy is. A multi-channel strategy means your business uses multiple channels to communicate with your customers and respond to their needs in real time.
For example, if one of your customers has an issue with their order, they can call you on the phone, send you an email message, DM you through social media, or even text you directly from the app. Regardless of how they contact you, you should be able to respond immediately using whichever channel they’ve chosen.
You are wrong if you think they might not use so many channels. According to a Microsoft report, consumers use at least 3 different communication channels for contacting a business.
Besides real-time communication across different channels, you must also ensure it is seamless. Suppose a customer reaches out to one of your customer service executives through social media for the first time and complaints about a product.
Now, if the customer reaches out for the second time to get an update on another channel like email, he or she should not be required to repeat the complaint. This means that the customer’s chats across different channels should be centralized so that every time he or she reaches out to your executives, they should be aware of whom they are talking to and what is the customer’s problems.
Ensure Timely Delivery
If you’re an eCommerce business, you know that your customers don’t just want to be satisfied with their purchases. They want to be delighted by them. And one of the best ways to delight your customers is to ensure that their orders arrive on time, in perfect condition, and ready for use.
Effective eCommerce management can help you achieve this goal by streamlining your order fulfillment process, optimizing your inventory management, and providing exceptional customer service.
Your customers do want timely delivery. In fact, they are even willing to pay for fast deliveries. According to Statista, over 40% of customers respond that they are willing to wait for only 2 days for an order delivered via fast shipping.
Delivering on time is essential for two reasons: first, it helps establish trust with your customers. When they know their order will arrive on time, they’ll feel confident ordering from you again—and they’ll also be more likely to recommend your products and services to others. Second, it shows that you care about your customers’ needs and wants; if they can purchase something online quickly and easily, they’re more likely to feel like this transaction was worthwhile—and like they got what they paid for (and more).
However, ensuring timely delivery always is a challenge. You need to have a warehouse, hire staff to manage it, maintain the inventory, and have and maintain a fleet for delivery. Managing all of these requires a lot of money, time, and resources. However, the simple solution is to outsource the task to a 3rd party logistics (3PL) fulfillment center. These 3PL fulfillment centers can take care of everything from warehouses to inventory and fleet to timely delivery.
Ask for Feedback
Asking your customers to give you their input makes it easy for them to provide information about what they liked and didn’t like about their experience with your business so that you can make changes based on their suggestions.
When people feel like they’ve been listened to and had their concerns addressed, they’re much more likely to come back again—and tell their friends how great it was working with you!
But getting feedback from customers is challenging. So, how do you get results when asking for feedback?
- Ask at the right time: Make sure that when you ask for feedback from customers, they’ve had enough time with their product (or service) that their initial excitement has worn off a little bit, but not so much that their opinions have changed significantly over time.
- Give options: If you’re asking about something specific about your product or service (like whether or not customers like the color), give them multiple options so they can pick whichever one feels most appropriate to them.
- Use open-ended questions: Avoid yes or no questions, which tend to get binary answers that don’t tell you much about the customer’s experience. Instead, ask questions like “What do you think of the color?” or “How does this product make you feel?”.
Leverage the Power of Chatbots
Imagine if you could provide your customers with 24/7 support, even when you’re not at work. Imagine answering every question on any platform your customers want to use—email, Facebook Messenger, or even text message!
Chatbots are the solution to these problems and more. They let you respond instantly to questions from customers without ever having to leave your desk. In fact, according to a report from UserLike, around 68% of customers like chatbots for their quick responses. Plus, they can handle all requests, from simple “How do I return this?” answers to complex product recommendations based on customer preferences.
So how do chatbots work? Chatbots are just programs that allow people (including yourself) to interact with them through messaging apps like Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp. You can give them instructions, and they’ll follow them by sending messages back and forth with users until they have completed their task successfully (or not).
Chatbots’ ease of communication and response can significantly improve the customer experience. That’s the reason why the global chatbot market is growing exponentially. The current market size of $106 million is expected to reach a whopping $454 million by 2027.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to improve your customer service based on the situation and your specific needs as an e-commerce business. Trying to do everything at once may be tempting, but it’s best to start with one or two strategies and work from there. Do that, and you’ll have a better chance at success than if you tried to jump in with both feet without making preparations beforehand.