Our guest author today, Emma Hobs, dishes on 5 ways to improve your ecommerce site and your customer service if you sell goods online.
Let’s face it. Your ecommerce furniture store doesn’t mean much if you don’t have customers. That’s why vendors spend so much time assessing shoppers’ interests, marketing to prospective patrons online and improving their site functionality for web users. How you treat customers is what makes your store stand out. These five smart ideas to improve ecommerce customer service will help you convert window shoppers into buyers, and one-time buyers into lifelong consumers.
Make Your Site Easy to Access
First impressions are everything. That’s why brick and mortar store owners make it a point to greet you warmly when you enter their stores. Here’s how you can do the same in cyberspace.
The first impression is your homepage in ecommerce. In all probability, a shopper found your store via a search engine—along with several of your competitors’. If your site loads slowly, or is visually displeasing, you could lose that potential customer very quickly. Tailor your design to be faster and more functional.
Promptly Respond to Customer Questions
Let’s say one of your customers found a product they like, but want to be totally sure about it before clicking “check out.” They reach out to your customer service team, but can’t get a response from anyone. So rather than making the purchase, they keep looking around the ‘net until they find the product on another site where someone is available to assuage their concerns. You just lost a sale.
If you want to hold on to your customers, you need to answer their questions or complaints in a timely manner. Unaddressed concerns can also find their way onto your social media pages, which can hurt your reputation.
While human customer service representatives are great, they can’t be on call all the time (especially when ecommerce allows consumers to shop at 3 a.m.). That’s where artificial intelligence help desks come in handy. These smart platforms can answer simple questions quickly and flag more complex questions for the human representative.
Keep It Simple
Another way to boost customer satisfaction is to anticipate customer questions. When you sell furniture online, you can reasonably expect customers to ask for details like what it’s made from, how to clean it and what the dimensions are. This information should be included in the product description. Similarly, if you sell clothes online, you should include a sizing guide in your FAQ section.
Other ideas include contact details on every page, easily located ‘”About Us” and checkout pages, live chat capabilities and etc. Ideally, you’ll give customers everything they want, without making them look for it.
Invite Customer Feedback
Web users have become accustomed to seeing customer-generated product reviews online. It adds a layer of credibility to your site and allows for honest feedback on your goods. If you don’t have this feature, add it right away.
Another way to invite customer feedback is with surveys. These can be sent via email or included in the packages when you ship product. A custom link with four or five questions about the experience of using your site, ordering the product, the quality of the goods and anything they’d like to see next time. Offer a 10 percent discount coupon code for completing the questionnaire as motivation. This gets you the feedback you need and sets the customer up for another purchase.
Provide Shipping Options
Last but not least, provide a range of shipping options for your customers. Research shows limited shipping options can lead to cart abandonment.
Customers are generally willing to pay a little extra to get their goods sooner rather than later. However, some ecommerce vendors are also experimenting with free, no rush shipping; or free shipping after a certain dollar threshold has been reached.
Incorporating these five smart ideas to improve ecommerce customer service will enhance the image of your store, give your customers the feeling of being cared for and set you apart from your competition.