If you currently run and operate an ecommerce store, then you probably know that it’s a tough world out there. While ecommerce is continuously going the upward trend, so is the number of competitors squeezing into your space. Sometimes, you feel like you’re the mom and pop corner shop up against the big shiny supermarket that’s opened next door. It’s tempting to keep your focus on getting new customers through your own front door, but there’s another way to hold your own against the competition — offer excellent customer service.

From live chat to helpdesks to strategies for scaling, below are ten ways to help your business deliver exceptional customer service.

1. Offer live chat

We live in a WhatsApp world, so if you run an ecommerce store and you’re not using live chat, prepare to be pleasantly surprised. In fact, if you’ve got traffic then this is possibly the only ROI that can be measured in minutes. There are too many benefits to offering live chat support on your site to list here, but think in terms if being able to handle anything from sales inquiries to proactive upselling to questions about invoices and shipping — not to mention post-sales support. Live chat helps you and your team to be more productive, and also more consistent in your responses, as you can build in some pre-written responses.

And if you’re already providing live chat support, don’t be too confident yet. When it comes to providing excellent customer service, consider that rapid-fire chats can also lead to a rich stream of opportunity. Provide ample time to go back through your chat transcripts to see if there are places to address customer service feedback or to follow-up about issues raised outside the primary reason may have initiated the chat.

2. Set up a knowledge base (KB)

Knowledge bases aren’t just for tech support companies. These can be set up for internal or external use and are valuable as a customer service tool. They’re also an SEO goldmine, providing the opportunity to target some long-tail keywords.

But businesswise, the main reason for self-service is that it’s inexpensive and customers prefer that. Their time is valuable and they want to solve the issues themselves as much as possible.

3. Post your FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions, when prominently placed on your product pages, have several distinct advantages. They’ll save you a lot of time answering the easy questions. And customers will appreciate being able to quickly find the answers. As with KBs, FAQ pages also help improve SEO by lengthening product pages naturally with additional keyword-rich content.

4. Offer 24-hour phone support

A number of integrated customer service solutions offer voice products that will take voicemails when you can’t be online. Alternately, you can use a 24-hour live answering service so that your customers are always talking to a live human, so that you are free to call back during office hours.

5. Measure customer satisfaction

If you want to improve something, you need to be measuring it first. This is also true for customer service, and there are a few ways to do this. Some customer service platforms include this feature, allowing you to easily send out surveys following an interaction. The CSAT ratings are a quick way to measure the quality of your service, and the feedback you receive is important, giving you a chance to provide a follow-up support.

6. Offer social customer service

Customer service over social media is becoming increasingly relevant. In fact, if you have social media channels set up, you should be able to easily provide customer service through them. Why? Because that’s what customers are expecting. Consider using a customer service platform that integrates social channels to make your job easier.

7. Video

Either for pre- or post-sales, videos are considerably useful, especially as an extension of your self-service offering. You can put up materials like “getting started” or detailed guides and walk throughs of your product’s advanced features, or maybe relationship-building materials like hints, tips, or advice on your site somewhere customers can easily access. Your videos don’t have to be extremely awesome or expensive. Nowadays, you can make videos out of your iPhone or by using a screen capture tool.

8. Honor your warranties

As retailers, we have to admit and face the reality that there will come a point in time that faulty products will arise. It’s unfortunate, but it happens. Offering a warranty is not just a tick in the “increased conversion” box. Warranties are there for a reason and so, when called upon, make it easy for your customers and to be able to deal with the issue quickly and fairly. You need to also consider that if you’re using a customer service platform to monitor interactions, you’ll be able to determine if the customer is new, or often requires assistance, and so on.

9. Show the billing history

Customers who can service themselves are indeed happier customers, especially for easy things they expect to be able to find online. Aside from that, customers also expect to be able to access their own accounts, including payment methods and details, order status, and billing history. All the back and forth inquiries regarding invoices or shipping status can pile up waiting for your response and attention.

10. Scale your team seasonally

The ecommerce calendar is full of holiday opportunities — Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas, Black Friday, etc. It’s important to be certain that you’ve got extra hands on deck for customer service both before and after holiday hotspots to answer inquiries and to help out customers for any returns and exchanges that may need to place. If a customer experiences a long waiting period on the phone, or a long response time over the chat or email, you’ll definitely lose a significant amount of revenue. By contrast, your ability to meet demand is one more building block for customer loyalty.

This entry was posted by Staff Writer on Saturday, July 9, 2016 at 6:43:50 AM and is filed under Mixellaneous.

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