How To Provide Great eCommerce Customer Service

How To Provide Great eCommerce Customer Service

May 31, 2021 14 min read

Do you want to make your customers happy without offering your product at a lower price?

Good customer service does that for you.

You don’t get a second chance to make your first impression - this saying goes true in the field of customer service for eCommerce businesses as well. Every interaction with your customer forms a part of eCommerce customer service.

Your company can offer the greatest product in the world. Still, if you don't make it easy for your customers to purchase and use your products and service easily, then you haven’t fully understood the definition of customer experience.

Customers have now more choices than ever. Thus, the concept of customer service for eCommerce business has become more critical than ever.

The three basic steps of eCommerce customer service are:

  1. Agreeing with your customer’s complaint
  2. Apologizing to your customer (even if it’s not your mistake)
  3. Rectifying and resolving the customer’s complaint at the earliest possible

How your customers perceive your brand depends a lot on the kind of customer service, you provide. You might not control the shipping experience, but the level of customer service you provide and how you deal with the customer complaint is all in your hands.

This blog will help you to spark your eCommerce customer service stragtegy, overcome hurdles and win in the field of customer experience. So keep reading!

You can directly jump to a section of your choice or keep scrolling.

What Qualifies As Good Customer Service?

Good customer service stands for making the before and after purchase process smooth for your customers. For providing an excellent customer experience, you should address the complaint in a way that exceeds the customers expectations. Your shoppers have shown trust and loyalty in your brand and their complaints should be acted upon swiftly.

Remember the basic rule of customer service. Your customers are always right, even if they are not!

If your customer is dissatisfied, there is no point in arguing over who is correct. You might not agree with your customer's complaint but you need to resolve their complaint and convert them into happy customers.

The ultimate goal of good customer service should be that your customers have no complaint about the level of service they receive from your brand. They should have no reason to look anywhere else the next time they want to buy something. Good customer service improves brand loyalty and attracts new customers through word-of-mouth marketing.

Good customer service puts you a step ahead of your competitors.

eCommerce Customer Service Statistics That Are Worth Thinking About

If you want to succeed in your eCommerce business, make customer service your USP.

Wholesome eCommerce customer service creates a base of loyal customers that stay with your for a long-term. By focusing on retaining customers, your business will have a steady revenue flowing each month. They can even boost your marketing effort by recommending your brand to their friends and family circle.

If your business still doesn’t have an eCommerce customer service strategy to retain such loyal customers, we have compiled a list of customer service statistics that showcase the benefits. This data will help you make informed strategic decisions that will pay dividends in the future.

  1. 84% of companies that have actively prioritized customer experience have gained an increase in revenue.
  2. Only 38% of consumers claim that company's customer care representatives have understood their needs.
  3. 52% of customers say that they will pay more for an experience they believe is speedy and efficient.
  4. 87% of customers who had a great experience with a company claim they are likely to purchase from that same company.
  5. In the United States, businesses lose $1.6 trillion each year whose customers switch brands due to bad customer experience.
  6. 69% of consumers say that they want an individualized customer experience.
  7. 77% of online shoppers say they feel connected to a brand when they can contact it directly.
  8. Microsoft found that 54% of customers are more optimistic about brands that address questions and complaints via social media.
  9. 75% of customers want you to know who they are, their purchase history, and their service history. Yet, Microsoft reports that 31% of customers feel that this happens only occasionally.
  10. Up to 37% of customers expect an answer within the same day of asking a question.

Role Of Customer Service For eCommerce Business

eCommerce industry has an ever-changing landscape that is both exciting and scary for owners. There are a bunch of changes taking place every year that helps the industry grow or bring up challenges to which some business owners are not able to keep up.

The uncertain situation of Covid 19 has accelerated numerous innovations and trends in the field of eCommerce customer service. The focus remains to create meaningful and personalized customer experiences at every touchpoint with your eCommerce brand.

Covid 19 has made eCommerce customer service all about user experience.

The customer mindset has changed as they have become careful of what and where they purchase online. Hence, as an eCommerce brand, it becomes imperative to build trust with consumers and deliver value.

Treat your customers the way you want yourself to be treated when you have a complaint.

Role Of Customer Service For eCommerce Business

Image Source: Stance

Customer experience is never about forcing your customers to stick with your eCommerce brand. eCommerce Customer service should be carried out with compassion and understanding. Put yourself in the shoes of your customer to understand their concern.

Dealing with customer complaints is crucial. Look at it as if when your customer is not happy with your product or service; you get one chance to make things better. Don't mess up with this opportunity.

You can offer services in the form of a refund, repair, replacement, or upgrade. The key point here is - a positive eCommerce customer service experience can convert a dissatisfied customer into a happy and satisfied one which increases their chance of coming back to your brand.

Top Trends In eCommerce Customer Service: Social Media Is The MVP

Social media can be used as an effective tool to amplify your customer experience.

Social media serves as the first touchpoint between you and your customers. As soon as potential customers catch sight of your social handles, you should start treating social media as your very first customer service tool. Think of social media as a pre-purchase customer service medium.

With social media, consumers have the power to praise or condemn an eCommerce brand publically based on their level of satisfaction. Social media has amplified the customer voice to reach thousands and millions of people.

When people are showing interest in your product, they don’t just want to purchase a commodity, but instead, they would like to build a relationship with your eCommerce brand.

Customer experience has now become the key differentiator among top eCommerce websites. If your brand is not investing correctly in eCommerce customer service, it might someday cost your business a bomb.

A study says that over 50% of companies have diverted their marketing funds towards improving their eCommerce customer service.

Below listed are the top six trends for eCommerce customer service that will dominate in 2021.

1. Simplify The Communication Channels For Quicker Response

Customers now expect brands to be always reachable. As an eCommerce brand, you should always keep your communication channel open to address the customer query. Deal with the customer request on priority.

60% of Gen Z folks are more likely to hang up if their call isn’t answered in under 45 seconds.

Thanks to social media, Yyur customers no longer have to wait in long queues for customer care representatives to answer their call. Using AI-powered chatbots, your customers can receive answers to general questions within a few clicks. This does not even require them to scroll through your FAQ section to find answers to common questions. The fitness brand FightCamp have have made it easier for customers to having conversation with them using a Chat option on the homepage of their eCommerce website.

Simplify The Communication Channels For Quicker Response

Image Source: Fightcamp

If you have information about a delay in shipping, convey it to your customers first rather than waiting for them to reach out. Ecommerce websites can also outsource their customer service requirements as this will provide them with a pool of skilled employees across the globe.

2. Make A Move From Multichannel To Omnichannel

A study by Microsoft has shown that most customers use 3-5 channels to resolve issues.

eCommerce customer services have now taken a conversational turn. When customers connect with eCommerce brands across several platforms, they don’t want to start a separate conversation every time. They expect the brand to remember their conversation irrespective of the channel or medium.

The desire of customers to choose a platform of their choice to connect with your brand without having to repeat the same conversation again has eventually led to the trend of omnichannel experience in eCommerce customer service. Using omnichannel, customers can receive a unified conversation across their entire journey with an eCommerce brand.

Learn more about How To Create A Customer Journey Map For eCommerce

3. Personalization With Privacy Remains On The Rise

Almost every brand today collects terabytes of data about their customers. But only a few of these brands are leveraging that information. The majority of eCommerce websites are still unable to utilize their data fully.

The data you collect from your customers can be used to engage with consumers in personalized conversations. Start managing your existing customers by sending them personalized reminders and recommendations based on their previous shopping habits from your eCommerce website. Innovate and find new ways to engage with your customers on a one-to-one basis.

Personalization With Privacy Remains On The Rise

Image Source: Hiverhq

But that’s not enough. You have to strike a balance between personalization and privacy of customer data. When collecting tons of data from your customers, you also hold the responsibility to protect that data.

Be transparent with your users and inform them how you will use their data that you are collecting and storing. Assure them that the data you collect and store is secure. Also, give your customers the ability to opt-out or control their data whenever they desire.

In this manner, customers will feel better and be assured that their personal information is safe. Remember, they have trusted you and your brand with the data they have provided and not any third party.

83% of customers will share data for personalization if the brand is transparent about usage and gives them control for their data.

4. Self-Serve Solutions

Your customers will not have the time to wait for a live support agent to come online on chat and help them. Fortunately, your eCommerce customer service team doesn't even need to remain 24/7 online to respond to customer queries. Most customers like to resolve their issues on their own.

69% of consumers first prefer to try and resolve their issues on their own rather than reaching out to eCommerce customer service.

Hence, make it easier for your customers to access their personal information on their own such as order status on a platforms of their choice. In 2021, self-serve options will continue to grow in the field of eCommerce customer service. In this manner, your customer support teams will be able to spend their time on challenging questions that need special attention. This will enable you to keep your customers happier with faster support.

5. Use eCommerce Customer Service To Evolve Your Brand

To evolve your brand to match with the customer’s expectations and needs, you will have to redefine your brand by understanding what is most important. And who better than the customers themselves can let you know about their needs and expectations.

Using social media, it becomes very convenient to reach out to your customers. Listen to what people are saying about your brand on social media. Try to consider all suggestions. How your brand treats your customer becomes a huge deciding factor in customer retention rate.

Bonus: If many customers highlight the same suggestion, it's high time for you to improvise on that point.

6. Manage Comments On Social Media

Social media helps to build deeper relationships with your customers. For most brands, customer conversations on social channels becomes more of a casual type. Still, it is critical to interact and respond to your customers in the same manner as you would in a business environment - thoughtfully and professionally.

88% of customers said that if their comments on social media go unanswered, they are less likely to purchase from that company in the future.

View comments as an opportunity to open conversations with your audience base. If a user is posting a query, try to quickly respond with an answer. This will help to convert just a random follower into a loyal one. If users are voicing their frustrations, you need to lead with empathy along with a sincere apology. When you receive positive comments on your posts, these are opportunities for you to engage with your users and strengthen the relationship.

Learn How To Hide Spam Comments On Instagram

eCommerce Customer Service Best Practices

Customer service for eCommerce businesses has evolved from one on one interactions to online support on social media. Excellent eCommerce customer service goes beyond solving customer queries. You need to dedicate time & resources to understand your customer's expectations and how you can exceed them.

Here are the eight best practices of eCommerce customer service that will help you better connect with your customers and provide a stellar customer experience.

1. Listen First And Then Respond

As simple as this might sound, most eCommerce brands miss out on this essential yet straightforward rule. You need to first listen to your customer’s complaints and concerns.

It's easy to get offended when your customers are unsatisfied with your services even though you gave your best. But this might not be the case every time. Only when you start listening to your customer's complaints without any bias, you improve your customer experience.

You will soon understand where these complaints are coming from and why they are essential to be addressed. While responding to customer’s complaints, make sure you provide them with an alternative or advice. Don't leave them hanging even if it’s not your fault. At the end of the day, you want as many customers as you can to love and share your product.

2. Respond Quickly

Responding within the first hour of conversation is six times more likely to qualify a lead than responding in the second hour.

eCommerce brands today need to understand that huge waiting hour for customers are decreasing their conversation rate. If time is an important asset to you, it is also for your customers. Customers today prefer to purchase from the first responders. Responding to customers quickly makes them feel that their time is being respected and valued.

Understand that if your customers are reaching out to you first, that means they did not just like your product but are also interested in purchasing it. Hence, if you find it difficult to convert leads, chances might be that your competitors are responding to your customers faster than you.

Thus, improving your customer response time remains the simplest and most effective way to increase sales.

3. Spotlight Customer Experience

People love to spend their time on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and learn more about their preferred brands. Use this time of your customer for the betterment of your brand engagement. Organize competitions and giveaways to engage with your user base on social media. The brand Quad Lock highlights their customer reviews on their homepage that provide assurance to their future customers.

Spotlight Customer Experience

Image Source: Quad Lock

Ask your happy customers to share video testimonials on your social media handles for honest reviews. Respond to queries and comments on your social handles that are posted by your audience.

This will bring you out as a caring and responsive brand in front of your audience base. This will help your eCommerce website increase your user base, and customers will feel as if their words are being valued and respected by your eCommerce brand.

4. Be Effective In Handling The Returns Part

Even the most excellent brands in the world cannot deliver the right product to every customer, and that's fine; you can still win them. In the eCommerce market, returns form a vitally important part of the sales cycle.

If you have provided a damaged product, make sure to replace it as soon as possible. Do not keep the product replacement time for months. Your customers might just cancel orders and shift to your competitors. Provide access to your customers to monitor their item return status. Make the return process simple yet straightforward.

Be-Effective-In-Handling-The-Returns-Part-2

Image Source: Sticker Mule

Make it easy for your customers to share their experiences. Be generous with refunds because a dissatisfied customer can cost more than a refund in the form of lousy feedback any day.

91% of customers say that a return policy is a key factor in making a purchasing decision.

5. Maintain A Consistent Tone Of Voice

Great customer experiences are built through an appropriate tone of voice. If the customer service representative has a terrible tone, no matter how helpful information they provide, it will lead to a bad customer experience.

Adopting a requesting tone while speaking with your customer makes them feel respected. Identify the culture of your eCommerce brand and drive your tone with it. Ensure to maintain a consistent tone on all social media platforms and wherever you engage with your customers. You can also create a social media brand guideline to maintain consistency in replies to your customer across all platforms.

Consistent presentation of the brand throughout several channels has increased revenue by 33%.

6. Be Proactive In Your Response

40% of customers want companies to focus on taking care of their needs and queries quickly.

For becoming proactive in eCommerce customer service, you need to have clear and fast communication channel. When you become proactive in responses, you are transparent with your customers, and you are ready to offer a solution or information to them when needed.

A proactive approach in your eCommerce customer service will provide your business with many benefits such as improved customer loyalty, acquiring new customers, reduced support requests, and creating brand advocates.

Social listening will pay focus on what users are saying about your brand. Social listening goes beyond responding to customer queries. It takes a holistic approach towards your customer's interaction on social media. It formulates insights from all social conversations to influence the overall strategy that will help you become proactive in responding to customers.

7. Track The Results

You need not just be investing resources to deliver the best eCommerce customer service. You also need to measure if your efforts are aligned in the right direction and are they bringing good results.

Make a note of which method is satisfying the customer and which one is not. Obsolete processes that are not bringing any positive results and are consuming your time and resources should be discarded.

Keep track of how many calls were made in a day? what was their wait time? what is the net promoter score? Measuring these metrics is essential to your ability to make informed, data-based decisions for improving your eCommerce customer service. Combine the key performance indicators that are performing well for your brand in a way that complements your overall growth strategy.

8. Ask, Ask, Ask

Customer suggestions are FREE and the best resource to understand your customer base. Ask for reviews and feedback from your customers. Work on feedback and suggestions as it will help you rebuild eCommerce customer service. Continue this process, and you will soon realize that you have built an excellent eCommerce customer service pipeline.

9. Make A Shift To Social Media Customer Service

Shifting to social media for customer service is not limited to answering complaints. You can help a confused customer to find the product of their choice. When responding with solutions to your users, highlight the features of your product to convert them into potential customers.

Social media is not just an additional channel to your eCommerce customer service, it helps you to gain insights on market trends and acquire brand engagements. You can get familiar with your customer’s opinions, challenges, and feedback through social media. In this manner, you can convert customer service on social media into another form of marketing for your brand.

Redefine Your Customer Service With Statusbrew For Your Brand’s Better Future

You work hard to bring customers to your store. It's disappointing when a poor customer experience erases your hard work and causes a valuable loss to your business.

The challenges of providing an excellent customer experience are many. As a business owner, it becomes overwhelming to keep track of all customer queries and respond accurately.

Statusbrew syncs all your customer conversations in one place to help you keep track of different profiles & networks in one place. Conversations can also be assigned to team members based on keywords, social profiles, and types. In this manner, you will be able to respond to your customers quickly.

Want to discuss further? Book a free demo or start you free trial today!

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Rushali Das

Rushali is a content writer at Statusbrew. She is fond of writing content that compels people to slow down and look more closely to discover the unknown stories.