How to improve Customer Service in an Online Store

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Did you know that there is a study that proves that attracting new customers costs 6 or 7 times more than maintaining existing ones? Or that 85% of customer losses are due to bad service?

Yes it's correct. The customer service of an online store is key in order to get more engagement and recurring sales.

So in today's post we explain how you should raise your customer service so that it becomes a competitive advantage. Do not forget that 86% of consumers would be willing to pay more in order to receive better care.

Do you still need more reasons? I do not think so, let's get going!

1. Know your customer even more

In any business everything revolves around the customer and their needs. Defining your buyer person not only helps you to detect which are the most attractive products or how to focus the promotion to increase sales.

Knowing your audience is also important in order to improve the customer service you offer.

If you identify the doubts or objections they have at the time of purchase you can offer solutions. And that means selling more.

How to collect this information?

In addition to paying attention to the usual channels of communication (see below), you can also know the opinions of your users in other ways:

  • Surveys: create small forms on your website to ask very specific questions.
  • Suggestions box: let them explain what you fail or how you can improve.
  • Email marketing: ask your subscribers questions.
  • Blog: encourages readers to leave comments.

In addition to knowing your customers well, it is also very important that you master your products.

Many people go to sell on the Internet (especially when sold without stock) without knowing what they offer very well. And this is a very serious mistake in the face of giving good customer service.
Any questions that arise can not be answered without calling the provider. And this will lead to longer response times and less precise information.

Sales or not, through dropshipping you need to know the virtues and flaws of everything you have in your e-commerce.

2. Plan

One of the most common problems of customer service in online stores is the absence of a plan. When a problem arises everything is improvised and this usually causes the following errors:

  • Unanswered messages.
  • Delays in management.
  • Lack of judgment.
  • Inconsistent answers.
  • Etc.

To avoid all this type of issues you have to create a plan of action in which the following information appears:

  • Who is responsible for answering customers?
  • Who makes the decisions?
  • What information do you need? (Warranties, shipping times, telephones, materials ...)
  • What channels of communication do we use?
  • What hours of customer service will you have?
  • What are the criteria for making a return?
  • What is the process to follow to deal with a claim?
  • Expected compensations (discounts, gifts, etc).

Even if your store is small, do not think you do not need to have a plan. Sooner or later you will end up managing something bad and you will lose the customer.

3. Advance

A large part of the questions that come to customer service from online stores could be avoided. It's just getting ahead of the possible questions that may arise to your customers.

Let's see how you can do it.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

When you spend some time with your store you will see that the same doubts are always repeated. That is why it is very useful that you create a special page where you answer such questions.

If your articles are complex you can also create a section within the product sheet.

Content Marketing

Having a blog not only makes you gain visibility, but it can also help you to offer better customer service.

Create tutorials where you show how your product is used or how to configure it. You can also explain tricks or offer ideas on how to get more out of them.

For example, do they send you products to repair that they could fix themselves? Create a guide and teach your customers to repair the breakdown. Many will prefer to do so than have to send it and wait for it to be fixed.

Legal pages

Have on your website the legal obligatory pages and be transparent when showing all your data. There is nothing that generates greater mistrust than seeing that there is no page of 'legal conditions', 'who we are' or 'return policy'.

Apply the same idea with prices and what the shipping costs. There is nothing worse for a customer than, being about to pay and see that the figure increases when you apply VAT.

Clarifies the purchase process

Program an email so that when the payment has been made an email arrives with the following information:

  • Deadline.
  • Carrier.
  • Warranty.
  • Telephone or ways to contact.

Remember that in an online store you do not attend the customer in person. That absence of "deal" you must solve by informing the detail of the whole purchase process.

Let yourself be served

Many times the best customer service of an online store is the one that is not needed. Check that your online store meets all of these points:

  • Is your design intuitive and attractive?
  • Is it easy to navigate through it?
  • Is the user experience good?
  • Do you have a search engine like Doofinder to quickly find what they need?
  • Does your website load quickly?
  • Do the photos of your products show what the customer wants to see?
  • Do you have the best payment gateways?

Do not think that the customer service of your e-commerce only boils down to answering the chat or the calls you receive. The whole experience that the user lives in the store influences how they perceive the service you give them.

4. Choose which channels to use

It is true that it is good to have many channels of communication open. But the reality is that if you are not going to have them well taken care of it is better that you do not open them.

Choose a few and focus on them.

Phone

If required. Stores that do not offer telephone service generate mistrust because it seems to hide.

In addition you now have other variants that facilitate the process: Skype, Hangouts and ClickToCall systems (the client requests with a button to call).


Online chat

Real-time chats are an option that works better every time. Always specify the time in which you answer questions and try to be fast and pleasant. Not seeing the person does not imply that you can be impolite.

There are many programs to install your chat, but the best known are Olark and Zendesk Chat.

E-mail

It remains the most used channel. However, you have to know that in certain circumstances it is better to pick up the phone and talk to the customer directly.

It is also important that wording is polite. There are many stores that send mail that seems to be written by robots. Remember that you are addressing a person.

Social networks

Social networks are a great channel for communicating with our customers and knowing what they need. However, this is one of the points where many online stores fail.

Many e-commerce sites do not respond correctly, take too long to do or do not even do so.

Managing a community is not easy. If you can not or do not know how to do it you better hire a professional.

Whatsapp

At the beginning of 2016 Whatsapp already had 1,000 million users. If people like this channel to communicate, why not use it?

5. How to handle a complaint

Sooner or later there will always be a complaint. A defective product, a delay in messaging, a misunderstanding ... no matter what the reason.

The important thing is that you have an angry customer and you have to manage to solve that problem. Follow these steps:

  • Let the client explain himself: you will get him to relax and you will get information about the problem.
  • Apologize for the beginning: they will feel that you are empathizing with them and will calm down. Many problems are solved just by saying "I'm sorry".
  • Problem: Identify what has happened and offer a solution according to what you have planned in your action plan.
  • Keep the customer informed: if the solution is going to take time inform the customer from time to time how everything is going.
  • Verify that everything is closed: there is nothing worse than making a mistake in the management of a complaint. Always check if the customer is satisfied.

When you get a complaint resolved and the customer ends up happy you have a high chance of their loyalty returning to the brand.

6. Learn from your mistakes

Do not see the complaints or complaints as problems, but as ways to improve. After managing a problem you have to do analyse it and think about what you could do to prevent it happening again.

Never stop listening to your customers. Every opinion they give you is pure gold.

How do you manage the customer service of your online store?

We would love for you to share your opinion on this topic:

  • What communication channels do you think are most important?
  • What is your secret to calm down an angry customer?
  • Do you have any action plans to handle complaints?

We are waiting for you in the comments!