E-commerce companies, unlike traditional retail firms, don’t have to deal with the significant overhead of maintaining a store. This also implies that e-commerce businesses must have a more responsive online support and service center to satisfy strong consumer expectations.
This guide will teach you about 10 best practices to run a top-notch e-commerce Customer Service.
The definition of Ecommerce Customer Service
Ecommerce Customer service is supporting customers online— from helping them to buy what they need to dealing with difficulties— while maintaining a perfect customer experience across every touchpoint.
When your consumers have queries or require assistance after purchase, customer service representatives have to respond promptly. Ecommerce customer care can assist you with the following:
- Customer service concerns include difficulties with the checkout procedure, inability to put product in the shopping cart, etc.
- Frequently asked questions about returning products, getting refunds, and delivery policies.
- The essentiality in providing a uniform experience over various communication channels.
How Is Ecommerce Customer Service different from Retail customer service?
The fundamental distinction between conventional and e-commerce customer care may be summed up in one word: technology. It’s true, it is a little more complicated than that, but the role of technology is paramount.
Customer journeys for many customers are entirely online. There are no face-to-face consumer interactions for brands to capitalize on. It’s those that keep bricks and mortar shops alive.
That makes sense as well. Through personal interactions, merchants may form relationships. They can offer personalized service and develop devoted consumers.
Ecommerce retailers must use technology to replicate the same procedures. Fortunately, there are now several technologies that assist with precisely this:
- We use chat software to assist advisors in interacting with consumers in real-time.
- Call center management software that helps to improve response time.
- Customer support is quickly becoming a top priority for businesses, with the help of chatbots.
- AI-powered applications aim to streamline data analysis, entry, and other time-consuming operations. As a result, you’re freeing up your customer support staff to handle consumption-facing activities.
The examples mentioned are just the beginning. However, because ecommerce clients use technology so frequently, it creates new difficulties for businesses. They include:
- A higher number of client queries and demands.
- Consumers have more stringent expectations due to Amazon-style standards set by massive ecommerce platforms.
- Excellent customer service and rapid response times in a multichannel world.
So, how can ecommerce firms overcome these challenges? Building an excellent path creates trust and loyalty among a customer base they will never meet in person.
The 10 best practices for ecommerce customer service you need to know
Want to make your consumers happier while they’re shopping online? Don’t ignore the top 10 best practices of e-commerce customer service below:
1. Choose channels your customers prefer
Customers should not have to go through more support channels than is required. You must provide many support methods for your ecommerce company to grow and develop.
If you’re restricting your customer contact methods to only phone and email, they’ll sooner or later become eager to explore alternatives.
Statista survey said that, customers (65%) believe it is simple to reach out to a company by phone. However, an enormous proportion (39%) prefer to interact with a firm through social media.
Each customer is indeed unique. However, should businesses provide them with a broad range of options?
Maintaining a range of communication alternatives might be difficult. It may have an impact on your team’s response time. Many internet retailers may find it impossible to train several agents for various platforms.
As a result, the most accessible approach to resolve this is to ask your consumers directly. You may provide them with a survey and inquire to address their favourite channels. Every answer will help you better understand your customers and what they like.
Top 3 Customer Service Channels
Ecommerce enterprises must be able to interact with consumers where they are. Customers employ a variety of different communication methods today. Brands, then, must maintain a presence across many platforms. Furthermore, they must utilize each medium in unique ways.
1. Social media
Social media is so prevalent that only someone living under a rock for ten years would be ignorant of it. It’s no longer a territory for hilarious videos and cutting remarks. Consumers expect businesses to appear there far too frequently.
You should go to the networks that are most popular with your target audience and perform an audit of their accounts. For example, it might be Facebook or a more current video platform. Engaging consumers through channels that they like establish empathy and trust in them.
It’s easy to believe that email has been completely replaced by social media or IM channels. In reality, internet retailers still use it as a popular method of communicating with consumers. However, they now expect responses in the same timeframe as other more immediate platforms.
You must, therefore, maintain tight control of your inboxes. However, don’t give up personalization for the sake of speed. Customers do not want their demands or inquiries addressed by a boilerplate response. Even if what they’ve requested is one of the most common questions you receive.
3. Live chat
For online retailers, live chat is becoming increasingly important. Consumers value immediate assistance. It may assist you to keep potential consumers who would otherwise leave your site by allowing you to provide it.
2. Improve your proactive customer service
Most internet retailers are reactive in their approach, focusing on reacting to problems and taking action only after they arise. Businesses can confirm a delay in delivery only when customers inquire about it.
How can you help customers who are shopping online?
- Before consumers realize it, inform them of any problems: It’s critical to be upfront with your consumers. Problems should be announced immediately when they emerge, and issues should not be left to customers to bring it up.
- Continue communicating with clients: Keep in touch with your consumers even after you have solved their problems. Create an automated system by email to confirm customers if they’re encountering that problem again if you don’t hear back from them within a few days.
- Apologize for any mistakes: There’s a chance something will go wrong. However, you may reverse the situation if you acknowledge your mistake.
3. Maximize live chat
The latest time when you were browsing the internet, you may have some questions, such as “Do they have any discounts?” “When will my favourite item be available again?”
Prospects browsing your ecommerce site, it’s possible that they might not know where to find help with their questions. A live chat that provides immediate assistance may assist reduce delays.
According to a study, live chat brings businesses the highest satisfaction rates. Customers (92%) are happier with live chat than other forms of communication.
Setting up a live chat window can be one of the most incredible ecommerce customer best practices:
- You can support your customers as soon as possible.
- They may conduct numerous chat sessions at the same time, and other channels, such as phone assistance can’t do this.
- Create cross-selling and up-selling possibilities.
- Customers are being involved in a personalized and connected experience.
4. Create an attractive product catalog
In a physical store, a sales agent may show you around the product’s features and pricing. However, all of the information for e-commerce firms is found in product catalogs.
Consumers will contact your company for assistance when they are not satisfied with your product descriptions. Some may not like the product pictures, others might give up shopping because of an invalid discount voucher.
Before purchasing from an ecommerce company, about 87% of internet customers spend about one minute reading product descriptions.
Improving product quality and design are the only ways to keep customers, you can save a lot of time dealing with customer service issues. Below are some ideas:
- Provide actual product descriptions and prices.
- Place numerous “Call to Action (CTA)” buttons (Share, Contact us, Add to cart, etc.) in strategic locations.
- Add high-resolution product pictures, taken from various angles.
- You may give product reviews to assist customers in making informed choices.
5. Customers can find you on social media, so be available there!
Customers now are so in love with social media. They’re uploading vacation photographs and recapping their dining experiences, not to mention interactions with brands they like.
Microsoft survey said, 50% of respondents between the age of 18 and 34 have been in touch with a brand via social media.
Social media is a crucial component of a customer support journey. The most popular social networking sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and others, have evolved into powerful tools for retaining existing consumers and attracting new ones.
Encourage your staff to monitor what consumers’ feedback about your brand on social media platforms. Solving their problems in public will help you develop a powerful brand identity.
Customers will love to buy from a brand that shows its appreciation for their goodwill. Furthermore, congratulating consumers on their birthdays might help you build customer loyalty. You may also conduct contests and give customers special presents or vouchers as part of your social media plan.
6. Provide online shoppers with necessary information to empower them
Customers don’t have enough time or enthusiasm to contact a person when they are in a hurry. Why do they have to wait for an agent to answer their call or text them back, when they can make the job done quickly by themselves?
In a nutshell, handling a problem alone is the feeling of empowerment. You can set up a knowledge base, a support center that provides information on return policies, delivery, refund policy, and more.
Your website may now have numerous online merchants registered on it. For effective ecommerce activities, your web knowledge base should have a seller-specific page.
Etsy.com, for example, is a website where users can buy and sell handmade goods and crafts. There are distinct categories for consumers and sellers on this site.
You may also build help blogs, FAQs, or news to update your customers about your new products for a pleasant self-service experience. You should also add instructional videos to help customers better utilize your goods.
7. Customer Service process should be automated
Customer service for ecommerce businesses is never easy, since agents must deal with a slew of support difficulties, constant stress, deadlines, and demanding clients.
That’s why an automated customer service procedure should be built to allow you to control outdistance tedious, or time-consuming activities.
But how can you integrate automation into current operations?
For the most part, you do not need to spend much money on artificial intelligence, big data because help desk software can automate your procedure and please customers.
With the appropriate tool, you can create tickets and assignment automatically. Therefore, every incoming support problem is automatically turned into a unique ticket and delegated to the most appropriate agent.
You may build hundreds of responses to prevent your staff from typing the same answers repeatedly.
Furthermore, you may create automatic emails to customers when a ticket is solved. Such communications allow your consumers to provide instant feedback.
8. Every support should be personalization
Excellent ecommerce customer experiences are personalized. Personal attention is always a great support experience.
Is it feasible to deliver personal assistance on a mass scale?
Yes, it’s great if you can instruct your agents to level up your customer support service by personally engaging with them. Here are some things you should note down to get started:
- Share product suggestions with consumers regularly, either through email or when they are surfing your site.
- Ask the representatives to call customers’ name during phone or live chat conversations.
- Thank your loyal consumers by a loyalty program.
- Thank you cards written by hands and the packed item should be nice to perfect your customer support.
9. Don’t underrate First Contact Resolution (FCR)
Many e-commerce companies are undoubtedly familiar with First Contact Resolution (FCR), yet only a few realize its significance.
The FCR metric measures the percentage of customer problems your team resolves on the first contact interaction with a customer. This refers to whether a consumer’s request is completed before they hang up or terminate a live chat session, like phone support or online chat.
Why is first contact resolution important?
- Save time: In the first contact, if more problems are solved, your staff will have fewer escalations and repeat contacts to deal with. And it saves time of course.
- Increase Customer Service Efficiency: With fewer personnel, you may handle a larger number of customer problems.
- Improve Customer Satisfaction: Getting to know your clients and resolving their issues right away is a good way to expand your online company.
10. Keep listening, improving and winning!
No impressive accomplishment has ever been made in the commercial world without customer consultation.
Listening attentively to your consumers can assist you in gathering business-specific data, avoiding worse situations, and improving customer service.
What method do you use to collect consumer comments?
After supporting customers, you may offer them regular surveys so that they can provide their thoughts. Customer Satisfaction Surveys (CSAT) are a form of research that allows you to assess how satisfied customers feel.
You may also collect feedback online by asking clients to complete a Net Promoter Score Survey (NPS).
Frequently asked questions
Now, it’s time to explore some FAQs.
Q1. Why should we take good care of ecommerce support?
You must first cater to every client to expand your ecommerce empire and motivate repeated purchases. Customers will more likely to promote your business to others if they receive prompt assistance.
Q2. In ecommerce, how is customer support provided?
Online enterprises must assist clients in helping them make the right online shopping decisions and address their concerns promptly. To achieve this, your customer service staff should support consumers in all their favourite channels.
Q3. How to improve ecommerce customer service online?
You may use the following tactics to enhance ecommerce customer service:
- Provide excellent customer service by being proactive.
- On your online store, Set up a live chat window.
- With a knowledge base, you can be accessible to clients 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- Automate customer service activities and increase efficiency.
Q4. What is multi-channel ecommerce Customer Service?
Customer support over multiple channels means providing a variety of communication methods (email, social media, phone, and so on) to customers. Customers want a consistent and seamless experience on every channel they use.
Q5. What are the most important tools for handling ecommerce website customer service?
E-commerce support software may be used to set up, manage, track, solve any customer problems. It would be better if you combine incoming consumer inquiries from multiple sources and respond more quickly.
Customer service is an essential component of achieving success in your ecommerce business. Customer care is deeply linked with the entire customer experience. You must improve your ecommerce customer service best practices to maintain your brand’s reputation.