4 Actionable Tips to Enhance Online Customer Service
Customer is king, they say, and nowhere is this truer than in e-commerce. Fail to give a customer the support that he expects and you may find yourself subject to a furious social media campaign that your brand will be challenged to weather.
1. Offer multichannel support
To give the best customer service, you should be reachable on more than one channel. Multichannel support means being able to respond to questions, queries, and complaints through email and social media at minimum. If you can afford it, live chat, a helpdesk, and phone support will also be convenient ways for a customer to reach you.
Make sure to respond to customers as promptly as you can. Users want human interaction in their e-commerce transactions and will likely buy again if they feel that you care about their needs.
Making a help desk page, where users can search for answers to their most common queries will help save you time and will also help customers who may be too shy to reach out to you.
2. Engage customers on social media
Social media is as much a part of a brand as its website is and is more likely a point of contact for many buyers. Leaving queries and complaints made through social media unanswered and unaddressed is a quick way to lose customers and credibility.
3. Track customer interaction and address problems
Make sure to keep track of customer interactions no matter what channel they use. This is easy when you only get a few queries a day, but can get overwhelming as your business grows. It is vital, however, to always know whether a certain customer concern has been addressed. It is okay, although not ideal, to tell a customer that you will get back to them regarding their concern. Make sure, however, that you actually do.
Nothing is worse for customer experience than having a query ignored except being promised action and then having a company fail to follow through.
4. Be human
Many users choose e-commerce websites instead of brick and mortar stores because of the convenience it offers. That convenience should include ease and pleasure when dealing with customer support. If you are responding to a query, do not be flippant or rude. Remember, just because you are not face to face is no excuse to forget your manners.
Being courteous also helps because in the age of social media, all it takes is one screen shot that makes it look like you are giving bad service to turn off hundreds of potential clients.
Be prepared to compromise with an unhappy customer a little. Maybe their complaint is not as bad as it seems and they might be happy with a small rebate or store credit on their next purchase. It is better to lose a few dollars to make a customer happy if it will mean a repeat purchase and a potentially good review on social media. At the same time, being too inflexible over a few dollars could cost you a loyal customer and earn you a bad reputation online.