While e-commerce sites can be extremely convenient, they may come up short in certain areas. Most notable is the inability to provide the same personal customer service you would find in a brick-and-mortar store.
If you want to surpass the competition though, your business can still find ways to improve online customer service.
Whether you realize it or not, customer service plays a major role in most of the purchases you make. Think about when you’re looking to buy a particular item that multiple brands sell for roughly the same price.
There’s more competition than ever online as you try to sell your goods. Customers are looking for more than just a utilitarian shopping site, they want an experience.
Here are 8 ways to improve the online customer experience on your website.
Improve your emails
Think about how you communicate with your customers. You want your emails to be upbeat and friendly, encouraging the customer to return while giving them important information about their order. Rewrite your automated emails to fit this objective.
Automate your sales process to keep customers in the loop
Use auto responders to thank your customers for their order, welcome them to your opt-in e-mail list, and send them order confirmations and other transactional emails like “your item has shipped” notices. Customers have come to expect these courtesies, but not everyone online bothers.
Have a detailed/helpful FAQ page
You can often eliminate a large percentage of common support questions with a thorough FAQ (frequently asked questions) page on your website. Answers to common questions related to the service or products you sell, refund and exchange policies, and warranty information are just a few areas to address on your FAQ page.
If you want to quickly identify some common questions go to the source — ask your customer support agents to write down the most common questions they receive. When you are able to eliminate the common questions it frees up your online support channels, allowing them to concentrate on addressing more urgent requests.
Have product reviews written for you
Customers trust product reviews, as they’re unvarnished descriptions of how the product actually works. If you have them on your site, you’re much more likely to get people buying that product from you.
Brands can significantly improve the customer experience by showcasing product reviews not only on their site but also on their mobile apps and in-store displays
Respond quickly and respond even faster on social media
Guess what will happen if you tell your customer service reps that they must respond to all inquiries in 24 hours or less? The majority of them will be replied to right around that 24-hour mark. Instead, strive to respond as quickly as possible. Create a bonus program that rewards your customer service reps that have average closed support ticket times under a specific time.
Eliminate the technical terminology
Avoid using a lot of technical terms and “industry talk” when communicating through online customer support channels. Not every person is going to fully understand the terminology, so make sure all replies are very direct and clear.
Use the ‘customer service tone’
Online, you want to replicate how employees may speak to you in a store. That means you must try and adopt a friendly, yet direct tone of writing. Tell your customers ‘you’re all set!’ when they complete an order, and be honest in thanking them when they buy from you. That tone is much better than the standard web copy you see on many stores. Kill your customers with the kind undertone and make them comfortable and believe in you.
Provide valuable follow-up
We’ve all received those annoying emails from companies after we’ve purchased one thing from their site. Don’t be that guy! Instead of sending lazy promotions for months after a purchase, shoot out valuable deals and offers immediately after they buy. People are more likely to convert when you are still fresh in their mind. Additionally, good deals and free offers show you care about keeping them as a customer.