The term online shopping implies that you are unlikely to have any contact with a sales person as such. This is why it is common to see people getting disenchanted with ecommerce in case they have issues with the order or with the website for that matter.
It has been seen that a number of online business are unable to succeed for the simple reason that their customer service is not up to the mark. They are slow to respond and are in a perpetual cycle of delay. What is worse is that at times they do not offer any response as such.
The problem with poor customer service
When your customer service is not at par with the best out there you can be sure that you are driving people away every single day from your business and bleeding money. In fact, it is the single biggest reason as to why people leave an e-commerce site. For that matter, at least 60 per cent of the people out there may not actually complete a transaction on your site just because they are not getting the levels of customer service that they expect from your site or the kind that they are used to getting normally from your competitors.
Having a return policy that can be understood easily
One of the major problems that most people, who shop online, face is regarding returning products. Normally the percentage of people returning products that they have bought online has been mapped at somewhere between 15 and 30 per cent. This is why it is very important that you have a clear return policy for your e-commerce site. You should definitely provide such instructions in great details and they should be listed a number of times on your site. You can also provide this information through other avenues such as emails. This will assure the customer and he would be confident about buying from your site.
You should state clearly the terms and conditions of your refund. Do you offer a full refund? Is it partial refund with you or do you offer other benefits such as store credits that can be utilized in future purchases? Or, do you offer no refund at all? In any case, you should be crystal clear. In certain cases, you can think about increasing your refund window. You might offer lifetime guarantees as well. In fact, it has been seen that 68 per cent of online transactions happens because the concerned site makes it easy to get refunds.
Personalizing each and every experience
These days, people who buy online want their experiences to be as personalized as possible. It has been seen that around 70 per cent of the online buyers in the United States of America (USA) wish their online transactions to feature an experience that is designed keeping them in mind. Now how can you offer such an experience? You can offer personal accounts for these buyers where they can log in and see details such as records of what they have bought earlier from your site.
They can also get other important details such as shipping addresses. In fact, on these personalized channels, you can actually suggest products from your inventory that the customer in question may be interested in buying. This you can influence and shape their next decision.
You can also employ market automation and send out emails that can contain special offers that are meant just for that person. Normally such work is done on the basis of the previous behavior of the concerned buyer. There are so many ways in which a personalized shopping experience can be created and in order to do it effectively, you need to be really creative as well.
Looking for feedback
Stevie Wonder, a man who definitely needs no introduction, had once said that “If you don’t ask, you don’t get.” This means that if you wish for your customers to provide you the feedback you got to ask for it. It is unlikely that they would do so if they were not asked to. Chances are that if you do not ask for it, your customers may not provide you a positive review. If you get back to them with emails and requests to send a feedback for your product then the likelihood that you would get a good feedback is high.
You should also value their contribution and include the comments in your social media channels as well as your website. In fact, how well a product has been reviewed on your site can determine what kind of business it does. People will buy based on such reviews. The thing with such actions is that you make the customers feel important and this day and age it is very important, even more so than before. Normally, people only review only when they find a product to be really good or equally bad but you need to be proactive in such cases.
Using live chat
If you have the option of live chat on your website you can be sure that your customers’ satisfaction would know no limits. On top of that, it is also a convenient way to answer any questions that your customers may have regarding any of your products or other crucial aspects of your business. The problem with emails is that people have to wait in order to get a response. But in a live chat, everything happens in an instant. This also means that the chances of people leaving your site without buying anything are less.
A great strategy that you can take in this case is outsourcing your online chat service. This is especially true for online businesses that have either started out or operate on a smaller scale whereby they are unable to handle such work with the level of efficiency that it deserves. They may also not have the resources to hire customer representatives on a round-the-clock basis. In fact, there are plenty of service providers such as Influx that can provide such services in an efficient manner on a 24X7 basis.
People who visit ecommerce websites these days expect that they would receive customer service through various social media channels as well. This is the age of instant gratification and people are unwilling to wait even one second in order to get responses to their queries. Almost everyone out there uses social media these days because for them it is easier to find their favorite brand and get in touch with it directly. However, using social media for such purposes can come with some issues as well. The biggest such problem is obviously the lack of privacy that comes with the territory.
Quite often it has been seen that companies respond to queries on social media with links to their customer service pages. At times, they respond to such queries with a private message. Before you go this way, always see which social media site has most of your followers and gets the maximum amount of activity.
You should ideally promote your services over there. You can also use certain tools to monitor your social media channels and receive alerts as and when people talk about your brand. This will allow you to respond to questions in a short span of time.