Online Retail Customer Service: The Do’s and Don’ts

Online Retail Customer Service
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What do all love marks have in common? They put providing a stellar customer experience above all, and complement it with great customer service. Customer support is especially important for eCommerce, as it is one of the few human touchpoints along the customers’ journey, and it can define your brand’s reputation and growth.

If you’re looking to grow your business as an Amazon retailer or eCommerce brand, you must master the art of excellent customer service.

The Do’s of Online Retail Customer Service

A flawless customer service strategy can be the right step toward growing your eCommerce brand. Human psychology is complex, and the quest to keep customers who are experiencing issues satisfied requires careful consideration and expertise.

Provide self-service options

In a significant number of cases, the customer can solve their own problems and even prefer to do so. There are many means to provide easy self-navigation for customers, and it will save you time and resources. The most popular tool for self-service is having a knowledge base, with a compilation of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and neatly written copy explaining return policies.

Meet the customers where they’re at

The key to successful customer service is providing maximum convenience. When it comes to communication, there’s no one-size-fits-all, and you should be able to offer as many solutions as possible. Some people prefer to resolve their issues via phone calls, while the younger generations are more inclined to handle things via email, WhatsApp, etc. Offering a multichannel approach with a reasonable availability range and response time will make sure you meet the customers’ personal demands and preferences.

Keep track of metrics and optimize

There is no single ideal approach to customer service, especially now that the dynamics of communication platforms and the expectations of customers are shifting so momentarily. This is exactly where you can benefit from customer analytics. Using KPIs and different metrics, you can monitor the effectiveness of your brand strategy and overall customer happiness. From there, you can constantly optimize your strategies and approaches, and you will surely notice a positive curve of growth.

Offer a personalized approach

Our everyday experiences on digital platforms have become highly personalized and well-targeted, and people no longer want to interact with brands with a generic/formal “business” voice. You should optimize your product recommendations, segment your audience well and approach each customer with personalized journeys. A small humane gesture such as handwritten cards with the order can also go a long way.

Automate and use templates

Certain simple administrative issues can be recurring, yet time-consuming and require a lot of effort when dealt with manually. You don’t have to tackle each scenario with unique, on-the-spot answers. Creating templates for calls, emails, and comments can be lifesaving and create a standardized, professional brand voice. Though with limits, automation and ready-made templates save resources and time.

The Don’ts of Online Retail Customer Service

Now that we talked about the best practices, let’s dive into some mistakes to avoid in eCommerce customer service.

Stall the customers

Time is money. Especially at a time when communications are fast-paced, and our minds are wired to expect quick responses. Statista research shows that lack of speed is one of the top causes of customer service frustration. Clearly, no one likes the cliché of wasting minutes waiting on the line listening to muzak. You should aim for a good response rate and offer real-time support with live chat if possible. For more complex issues requiring action, using help desk software can streamline the processes and speed up resolving tickets.

Adopt a reactive approach

A reactive approach to customer service means offering help by demand and taking action after the concern is voiced. Though this might feel intuitively right, it’s not the appropriate response to mastering customer support. Brands should rather opt for a proactive approach, which requires preparing a plan for possible issues, reaching out to the customer to keep them informed and following up to ensure the issues don’t arise again.

Neglect customer reviews

Negative customer reviews can be commonly seen as a problem, but with the right approach, you can turn harsh criticism into actionable steps to improve your business and build a solid brand reputation. Take the feedback seriously and let the customer know they are heard. Offer options to resolve the issue to show you are not just about words, but take action to better their experience.

Make the processes complex and full of friction

Customers don’t want to go through multiple steps to solve their issues, and definitely don’t enjoy having to repeat their problem to multiple customer support agents with no solutions. What they want is First Contact Resolution, or in other words, having their issue resolved through the first contact they make with your customer service team. Aim to minimize the steps and streamline your problem-solving processes with effective team collaboration.

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