In eCommerce, customer service is essential. Your contact with customers is almost entirely online, and keeping your customers happy requires a responsive and multi-channel solution system. Whether customers want to ask a pre-purchase question or need to track their packages, positive customer service experiences build retention and long-term brand loyalty.
Let's dive into some of the best ways to satisfy your eCommerce customers by anticipating their needs with an excellent customer service strategy.
One of the most powerful ways to create a positive customer experience is with a self-help information center. We know it seems a little counterintuitive to provide customer service with a curated list of articles - but it works. Why? Because customers today are independent. They're used to researching the answers to questions online before reaching out for help directly.
A well-built self-service information center with a robust search feature can help customers answer their own questions before it becomes a customer service matter at all. Many brands also place a small FAQ and even an interactive Q&A section on product pages to empower customers to get answers to questions before they have to ask.
The checkout experience is essential for both successful conversions and satisfied return shoppers. Customers need to be able to view, rearrange, and plan their carts smoothly and to checkout without a single technical error. Transparency and control are key in the checkout experience. This is where customers know that SNAFUs like choosing the wrong shipping option, failed order processing, and even double-charging can occur.
A custom cart design is also a great sign of a brand taking charge of the customer experience. Slide-out carts, transparent shipping options, and a sleek order review page can all make that difference and create brand loyalty.
Customers today seek support in several ways. Some will reach out by email, some by phone, and most enjoy a responsive live chat channel. However, it's also essential to keep an eye on your social media feeds, as many customers believe (rightly, with many brands) that a public request for service is more likely to get results than leaving a review or even sending an email.
So take charge of your customer service channels and make sure there's a team ready to respond to customers no matter how they choose to reach out for support.
Never let a negative review or a social media question sit too long. It's best to respond within the day or on the next business day at the latest. Customers who reach out for help are giving you an opportunity to sell them on your brand and turn frowns upside-down. Even low-star ratings are often cries for help, not an outright denunciation of the brand.
By responding quickly, you show customers that their experience matters to you and that you are motivated to make sure they are ultimately happy with their purchase and choice to work with your brand.
Shipping transparency has become essential in eCommerce customer service. With several shipping routes to choose from and delays predicted around every corner, it's important to both show your customers what to expect (expectations management) and give them options to meet their own shipping needs.
Many brands are starting to present shipping options on the product page - especially around holidays when timing is key. Working with a reliable 3PL partner can also help you provide your customers with good options and find solutions to the current shipping industry concerns.
Next, always give your customers shipment tracking information. Not only is this a way to keep interested customers engaged, but it also provides peace of mind should shipments be delayed by the weather. Shipment tracking updates customers every time the package is scanned into or out of a facility or vehicle. Typically, customers will see between one and four updates per day, which assures them that their package exists and is on its way, even if a winter storm delays delivery by a day or two.
Consider a custom shipment tracking page, giving your customers a comforting branded experience along with their updating tracking details.
Know your remedies. Most eCommerce brands can easily set common customer service issues into categories. From there, you can prepare ready-to-go solutions to provide customers with fast and satisfying responses to every problem. Product missing a piece? We'll ship them a replacement part. Ordered the wrong size? Have a smooth returns system ready to go. Product missing the manual? Have a PDF ready to email on the spot.
Finally, don't forget to make use of your loyalty program. Think like a hotel and give your customers a little something extra - in points - when they experience an inconvenience. A well-built loyalty program can smooth over a lot of ruffled feathers, especially for things like shipment delays where you can't control the weather - but you can show that you care. The right loyalty rewards program creates a good buffer for dissatisfied customers who want to feel like the brand is taking care of them no matter what.
Ready to win customer loyalty and boost customer retention? We can help. Optimize your customer experiences with a reliable 3PL partner for all your shipping, tracking, and package resolution needs. Contact us today to discover how we can help you improve your customer experience, satisfaction, and brand loyalty.