Excellent customer service in e-commerce will help the brand in building trust with their customers by encouraging them with repeat purchases. As per the Microsoft State Global Service Report, more than 61% of the customers focus on customer service and think as the main differentiator while choosing any brand. With more consumers switching to online shopping, e-commerce retail companies are focusing more on serving their customers better than ever. Every e-commerce business knows that each positive customer review matters a lot that can either enhance the brand reputation or diminish it. Hence, e-commerce customer service is considered a part of the business growth strategy that eventually helps in growing the business in leaps and bounds.
Best Practices for Building E-commerce Customer Service
In this fast-paced digital world, e-commerce customer service is not only a simple addition to the business, but rather it is a prerequisite for a successful e-commerce business. Nowadays, customers have higher expectations from the brands, hence to fulfill the expectations, companies must excel in the realm of customer support. In this blog, we have picked a few best practices which will improve your e-commerce customer service. Let’s get started.
1. Implement Omnichannel Strategy
Integrating an omnichannel mode of communication is proven to have a multitude of benefits that is very essential for an e-commerce company to solve its customer’s queries. Brands having a well-defined omnichannel communication have more than 91% of customer retention. As a company, you must give liberty to your customers to use their preferred mode of communication to reach you. The aim is to provide consistent customer service across all the communication channels that are possible only through implementing an omnichannel strategy in your business process.
2. Provide Self-service Customer Support
Customers nowadays prefer solving their problems by themselves with the help of self-service FAQs present on the website rather than contacting customer support. An excellent e-commerce customer service is all about anticipating the upcoming issues and solving them before they escalate which means proactive customer support. It will not only reduce the customer support interactions but also builds customer loyalty. Eventually, self-service customer support allows your brands to provide a delightful customer journey.
3. Forecast Inventory Needs
Successful e-commerce companies are known for forecasting their inventory needs, buying behavior of customers, market trends, etc. It will not only help in fulfilling the customers’ demand in time but also it will help you in maintaining the inventory to the maximum. Ordering items in excess quantities or fewer quantities has adverse effects. Either your products will expire or your inventory will be flooded with lots of products that will not create any room for the other products.
4. Proactive Live Chat Support
Live chat services on the website can yield a faster means of communication with the customers and the brand. The integration of live chat applications will eventually provide a faster resolution time for customer queries. Offering live chat on the website or on the mobile app helps the customers in asking questions during their buying process. It is one of the best ways to provide good e-commerce customer service by online brands which helps in customer retention and improved sales.
5. Measure CSAT Score
The most important aspect of improving e-commerce customer service is to measure the customer satisfaction score. There are multiple ways of measuring customer satisfaction scores that online retailers can implement based on their availability. It is one of the most relevant ways of increasing the level of customer service which is very important for e-commerce companies. Brands must focus on what their customers are thinking about their products and services, as they are the backbone of any business.
Social media platforms usually allow the brands in projecting their unique brand statement and voice. E-commerce customer service through social media has gained immense popularity in the market. When the customers will not be able to reach you via email or phone support, they will definitely reach the social media handles of various brands. Up your social media game while engaging your customers in the social media with your social media customer support team. It is a positive medium where the brands advocate customers’ feelings.
7. Focus on Customer Reviews
Nowadays, customers are more powerful than ever in making informed decisions. Customers want to be praised by the brand and they also want to know the opinion of other customers regarding a particular brand. Most of the consumers shop online based on the reviews posted by the users of that particular brand. Be it a website review or in social media channels, brands must not neglect any customer review. Appreciating the customer review will help in creating a positive experience in the minds of the customers.
8. Improve Response Time
Consistent customer service in the e-commerce business is very important in creating a delightful customer experience. Customers expect consistency in terms of e-commerce customer service across all communication channels. It helps in reducing average response time, gaining higher FCR (first contact resolution rate), and getting deeper insights about customer journeys and profiles. Response time can be improved by setting KPIs, standards, and analytics so that you can check the accuracy of the initiatives taken by the brands.
9. Identify Bottlenecks & Trouble Areas
The more a brand solves the most common customer issues, the more it can free up the customer team for solving more complex problems and challenges. Send customer surveys, apply a heat map, check the rate of cart abandonment, engage in CRO, check the customer reviews and feedback and act accordingly. Solving the above-mentioned issues will help the customer care agents to become more productive and serve customers in a better way.
10. Offer Personalized Customer Service
Customers always want to feel valued by their favorite brands. Nowadays customers want hassle-free easy shopping experiences which are unique and frictionless. The only way to offer excellent customer service is to know the customers better and understand their expectations and meet their expectations with your products and services. Offering a personalized shopping experience and individualized customer service will attract more customers and eventually the rate of profitability will also increase.
11. Track Entire Customer Journey
According to Jeff Bezos, a company will become more resilient when it focuses on its customers. Tracking the customer journey is the best way to take care of the customer’s needs. It can be done by mapping the customer’s touchpoints, identifying the customers’ pain points, and fixing roadblocks. The customer support team can effectively help in mapping the customer journey when they are trained in a proper way in offering excellent customer service.
12. Improve Customer Retention Strategy
One of the key challenges that e-commerce companies face nowadays is customer retention. Research says that brands that focus on tracking customer mapping journeys get 53% more return on their marketing investment. Customer retention strategy should be done by improvising rewards, the incentive to the customers, introducing loyalty programs, community development for customers, and so on. It is always easier to retain existing customers than to acquire new customers. Loyal customers are known to spread positive word-of-mouth promotions to their friends and families regarding your brand.
The quality of the e-commerce customer service significantly impacts the growth and success of your business. Hence, it is very important to formulate proper strategies that ensure the customers a positive delightful shopping experience with your brand. There is a direct relationship between customer experience and customer service that e-commerce companies need to nurture in a timely manner. Having customized e-commerce customer service strategies, your brand can continue to earn a positive brand reputation in the market. As a result, profitability, customer loyalty, the shopping experience of customers, customer service, and business growth will grow eventually.