While eCommerce sites can be exceptionally convenient, they may come up short in certain areas. Most notable is the inability to provide the same personal customer service you would find in a brick-and-mortar store. If you want to surpass the competition, though, your business can still find ways to improve online customer service.
The value of customer service
Whether you realize it or not, customer service plays a major role in most of the purchases you make. Think about when you're looking to buy a particular item that multiple brands sell for roughly the same price.
What sets the one you select apart from the ones you pass up? While brand equity and familiarity often play a role, it often comes down to how fast you'll get the product, what support it comes with and how comfortable you are with the brand. Each of these aspects falls under customer service and indicates the importance of selling customer service to customers instead of just products.
These are some of the ways that help you know how to provide best customer service on your Shopify eCommerce store:-
1) Use E-Mail Support as a Simple Form of Contact
Providing an email contact for your customers is the simplest way to get started. Just publish either a contact form on your store or a public email address and you can wait for questions to start coming in. Often if you are dealing with a few requests per day, it can be tough to work with eased conversations, and you may forget to respond to a customer’s question.
One of the most excellent ways to make sure you don’t miss out on any important emails is to separate your personal email from your eCommerce store inbox. This makes it easier to organize what emails you need to respond to.
You’ll also need to be careful to “close” certain emails after dealing with them. Or else, your inbox will turn into a chaotic mess.
There are a few services, some free and others paid, which will let you have a custom email address for your store. For example, you could open up an email account for email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org and more.
2) Communicate With Customers on Social Media
If you have not been paying attention to your social accounts, now is the time. In fact, big companies are more approachable to social media than other channels simply because of the closeness of it.
It offers a form of communication with customers who are either asking about your product or business. Of all of the different forms of social media, one of the most efficient forms of providing social media support is through Twitter. However, it is vital to note that because Twitter is such a straight and short and snappy platform, if you are not answering quickly you might be in trouble.
A study by the team at Simply Measured showed that 99% of brands are on Twitter, 30% of which have a dedicated customer service account. They found that the regular response time was 5.1 hours with 10% of companies answering within an hour.
32% of customers voicing their worries on Twitter expect a response within thirty minutes, and 42% expect a response within the hour. Those are tough numbers to hit if you are a small team.
Another study found that people share their experiences via social media. 30% of customers share positive experiences on social media, and a total of 45% shared negative experiences.
So, with all of that in mind, what’s the best way to manage your social media support efforts? Ideally being able to manage everything from one platform would be your best bet.
3) Instantly Communicate With Customers Using Live Chat Services
A great way to let your customers get in touch with your team is by adding live chat functionality to your eCommerce store. If you can, always have someone available to answer any instant questions by being online during regular office hours.
Live chat is a tool to speak with your customers for a few reasons. Just think about it - they can use it while they are at work, they don’t have to make a long distance phone call, and they certainly don’t have to listen to hold music.
A recent study by econsultancy shows that live chat has the highest level of customer satisfaction as well. 24% of customers polled said they have used live chat, and 73% of them said they were happy with their live chat experience.
Those who completed the survey said that they prefer live chat over any other method because they got their answers quickly, and 46% agreed it was the most efficient communication method.
4) Use a Helpdesk Center as a Community FAQ
Having an online helpdesk where your customers can go to see commonly asked questions can be tremendously supportive to you as an eCommerce store owner. Not only will it quickly answer the customer’s questions, but it will also assist you to lessen support debt.
That means less time answering questions, and more time focusing on sales and marketing.
There are more than a few different helpdesks obtainable these days, so it is a matter of finding which one suits your requirements. I recommend trying out a few of them to see if they have a trial period in which you can test out the functionalities.
5) Take Customer Calls with Inbound Phone Support
For most eCommerce stores, having a phone number that your customers can reach you at is tremendously important.
It can, however, be daunting to provide your personal phone number if you are dealing with a large customer base. If you have never done any call center related work, it can be nerve-wracking to pick up the phone as well.
There are tons of great advantages to offering personal, quality phone support:
- It’s a great way to learn: Particularly early on in a new business, there is no better way to understand your customers than by talking to them directly. You will learn all sorts of things about them through casual conversation that would never come up in an email.
- Faster service: Few things resolve an issue or get a question answered faster than a phone call. It’s a great customer experience.
- Easier to build rapport: Talking directly with a person facilitates you to build a rapport and then turn a prospective lead into a long-lasting customer.
- Builds trust for high-priced items: Selling $4,000 diamond-studded fingernail clippers? You would better have a phone number! The more exclusive the items, the more likely your customers will want to talk to you before pulling the trigger.
All these platforms facilitate you to give a boost to your customer service and provide a superior experience for your store visitors while assisting you build a better store through common issues and feedback. Remember, having good customer service doesn’t have to be awfully expensive when you are starting out small. Try these options to see how they impact your customer experience workflows and levels.