Running an ecommerce website comes with its advantages and challenges. While on one hand, an ecommerce website allows you to offer your products and services to a wider audience, on the other hand, the lack of personal customer service may lead to losing out on potential customers.
When you meet a customer face-to-face you can gauge body language, make more personal recommendations, and have a better chance of converting them. Can you do the same online?
Well, the answer is yes and no!
While you cannot physically be present and understand body language, facial expressions, and gestures – you can get an understanding of your customer’s needs, preferences, and other key elements that could help you offer personalized customer service on your ecommerce website.
To be able to offer the best customer service to your ecommerce website visitors, you need to think about their experience from the very first step – the moment they land on your website, to the very last step – checkout and after-sales communications.
Each step of the way can make or break a customer’s shopping experience and it all depends on how thoroughly you have crafted the customer service journey for them.
Let’s break it down to get a better understanding.
Understanding Customer Service for an Ecommerce Website
Let’s take it from the top.
To get online and start selling, you need to first build an ecommerce website. You then get the right WooCommerce Hosting plan to make sure your website has all the resources it needs. That’s the foundation – you then build on it.
You need to make sure your ecommerce website design is simple yet effective, allows your customers to notice the right information, and makes it easy for them to navigate through your website. You also need to consider SEO for your ecommerce website, payment gateways, shipping and returns and other logistics. Furthermore, you’ll need to establish social media presence for your brand and devise other marketing strategies to get noticed by your target audience.
All this and more will only work when your customer service is on point.
What’s that? Customer service for an ecommerce website is all about being readily available to answer all customer queries, needs and concerns – across platforms – to facilitate the shopping experience pre, during and post a sale.
To offer satisfactory customer service you need to create multiple channels, like phone, email, social media, text messages, etc for your customers to reach out to you – and you need to ensure you respond quickly and correctly.
When you’re new and just starting, it may be easy to do all of this by yourself. However, as you grow you might want to consider hiring a team of customer service representatives to help you cover all bases and ensure that no customer communication goes unnoticed.
Lastly, but most importantly, customer service for ecommerce websites is highly critical because this could be the thin line between a customer leaving your website never to return or converting into a loyal returning customer.
Now let’s look at some ways you can improve your ecommerce website customer service.
7 Tips to Offer Effective Customer Service on Your Ecommerce Website
For a customer, whether they’re shopping online or offline, customer service is a key deciding factor. It not only makes them feel heard but also well informed. To make an informed buying decision a customer needs to know all the right and relevant information. While most of this information must already be available on your ecommerce website in the form of product descriptions, FAQs, website copy, about us page, etc, if a customer still has some questions, you must be readily available to answer these – that’s where customer service comes in.
Here are some tips to take your ecommerce customer service to the next level:
Multi-Platform Customer Service
Just like your ecommerce website products must offer multiple options to choose from, for your customers, your customer service must have options too. Offer multi-platform service through emails, phone calls, chat support, contact forms etc. Thus, allowing your customers to choose how they get in touch with you. This makes it easy for everyone, no matter what their preferred mode of communication is, to get the right answers. Additionally, make sure you actively review all points of contact to ensure timely responses.
Ask for Genuine Feedback
Who better to tell you what you need to do to improve your customer service than your customers! Getting genuine feedback from your customers is the best way to ace customer service. Ask for feedback about your products and services, your website and other elements that directly impact your customers. With WordPress, you can easily look for a plugin to build feedback forms to make it easy for your customers to share reviews, feedback or any other thoughts they might have about your ecommerce website.
Provide Valuable Information
Use your website and other platforms to lay down all the information that can be valuable for a customer. Think about questions that a customer could have about your product, shipping, tracking, return policies, warranties and all the other information that could help a customer to make the right buying decision. Having all this information on your website and making sure your customers can easily access this information is highly important to delivering satisfactory customer service. Don’t wait for customers to ask, make sure the information is already available so you can just let them know where to find it.
Easy Navigation and Search
Using design and the right tools to make it easy for your customers to navigate through your website and easily search for what they’re looking for will minimize queries and boost conversions. Sometimes customers don’t want to take the hassle of sending a query and waiting for a response – they want instant solutions. A well-laid-out website that makes it easy for them to quickly search and get to what they’re looking for positively impacts customer service.
Follow-Up On All Communications
How was your experience shopping with us? We hope we were able to help you? Did you get what you were looking for? Can we help you in any way?
Following up on your interactions with your customers is the best way to keep them engaged and show them that you value your customers. If someone shares feedback, follow up to know more or ask them to come back and see how you fixed their problems. If a customer makes a purchase, follow up with a discount code for their next purchase. If a potential customer asked for more details about a product but did not make a purchase, follow up to know if there’s anything else you could help with to help them make that purchase. Always follow up – don’t leave your customers hanging and keep the interactions going.
Everyone loves a good deal and to boost customer service you must have some good deals up your sleeves at all times. First-time buyer? Get free shipping! Sign up for our newsletter and get a 10% discount code in your inbox. Shop above a certain amount and get free goodies – there are many ways to offer an incentive while also making it all about customer service. It’s all about making sure that prospective shoppers get converted to paying ones, and existing customers keep coming back for more!
Sell More with a Strong Customer Service Plan
Listen to what your potential and existing customers are saying.
Be Available to answer all customer queries.
Offer Value through timely responses and detailed information.
Follow Up to keep the interaction going.
It’s that simple to offer great customer service!
Good customer service is not just about helping customers with real-time queries but also ensuring that they keep coming back for more. You need to be a step ahead and understand how to fill the gaps that might be coming in the way of a customer to complete the buying journey. As an ecommerce website owner, you must always be willing to adapt, evolve and improve to make sure that your customers can easily shop with you – time and again!
For more tips on how to build and grow a WordPress Ecommerce Website, head to our WordPress Tutorials page.