Have you noticed a lack of return customers in your e-commerce business? The missing component may be your online customer service.
Customer service in a brick-and-mortar storefront can seem obvious and easy to accomplish; "Welcome" cheerily shouted at the entrance and "Can I help you find anything?" asked frequently. But in an online store, being available for your customers can be more work. For e-commerce, good customer service is vital to success, even more so than for a traditional storefront business.
There's a saying in business: a customer with a good experience will tell one person, a customer who had a bad experience will tell 10. This pretty much holds true with online customer service, only the power of the Internet often multiplies the results. For instances, if a customer has a bad experience and then posts it on their blog or leaves a bad review, that bad impression could be read by thousands of people in a matter of weeks.
Clearly, good customer service online is crucial. So where should you start in improving your e-commerce customer service?
A customer is already frustrated by the time they have to email and ask, "When will my order arrive?" Keep them in the loop and calm—even in the case of a delay or problem—with automated emails. This is a common courtesy that online customers have come to expect, so missing this component could cost you a sale.
Online shoppers are often Internet savvy, and they probably don't want to take the time to email or call you if they can find the answer to their question on your website. Keep a comprehensive FAQ page in plain site on your website to help them out.
Have you ever walked down aisle after aisle of a store looking for someone with a name tag—just to ask where the lightbulbs are? Don't make your customers do the online equivalent of this on your website. Make your contact details easy to find and your contact form easy to use.
Online customer service is a vital component of your success in e-commerce, and getting it right will pay dividends. Best of all, it doesn't have to cost much. Just pay attention and your customers will respond.