Whether you are planning to build an online business or an offline business, you will need some elbow grease. In order to get an edge on your competitors, you will need to focus more on one aspect of your business than any other: customer service. Keeping your customers happy is the key to keeping them as loyal customers.
In this article, we will talk about 50 things that you can do to make sure your customers have the best ecommerce experience possible.
Ensure that communication is as easy as possible. It will likely make them think that you do not care about what your customers have to say if they have to work hard to work out how to contact you if they have a problem or concern. Make it a point to list your email address, fax number, and phone number where shoppers are sure to find them, or you can even devote a whole page to contact information.
Developing a rating system is a good start. A common mistake many online businesses make is ignoring the importance of customer follow-up. Provide customers with a way to rate their purchases and write reviews for other potential customers if you have the budget for that. There is often enough assurance in hearing that other customers are happy with a product to encourage an undecided buyer to add the item to their shopping basket. Please keep in mind that even negative feedback can be of help to you if you use it in order to improve your products.
Make sure that your policies are clear. The best way to prevent future headaches is to be clear about your company’s policies regarding purchases, returns, privacy, and whatever else might concern your customers. So, in the event of a conflict in the future, the rules will be clear, so there will not be any confusion. The rules will protect you as well as your customers.
Always maintain an attitude of professionalism while caring for others. Whenever you are dealing with your customers, you want to appear professional, but you do not want to appear detached. You should ensure that your customers feel as if you genuinely care about their issues and concerns.
Send a confirmation email as soon as possible. It is very important that, when you receive an order from a customer, you let him or her know that you have received it and that you will be processing it. You should send them an email to let them know if you are going to ship it, so that they are aware of the progress of their purchase at all times. As a result, your customers will feel confident in placing an order with you, and there will be no surprises.
Set up a live chat so that you can communicate with each other. Setting up a live chat program on your site is one way for you to provide your customers with easy access to customer service. With this feature, customers can ask questions about their purchases and find out more information without having to spend time calling or writing to the company.
Keep track of your orders carefully. Make sure, before going live with your e-commerce site, that you have an effective means of tracking orders from your storeroom to your customers’ homes. In the event that your products are great, you will find that your customers will be eagerly awaiting their arrival, and will want a way to find out when they will arrive, so make sure you are able to provide tracking information to them.
Make sure that you know everything about your products. Whenever you are selling something, you should make sure you know as much as you possibly can about it or know how to direct your customers to someone who does. By doing this, when customers call, you will be able to answer questions quickly and easily.
You should always deliver on the promises you make. It is important to make sure you keep your commitments, whether it is a fast delivery, or a replacement item, if you promise them something. The only thing that screams poor customer service is backing out on promises, so don’t ever commit to something you won’t be able to keep.
Make the process of purchasing the product as simple as possible. There are a number of reasons why people choose to shop online. One of these reasons is because it is much easier and simpler than driving to a physical store and waiting in line. You should make it as easy as possible for your customers to shop on your site if you want them to keep coming back. We encourage you to keep the shopping experience as simple as possible by requiring the customer to make as few clicks as possible. Less time spent checking out means less time for customers to change their minds.
Involve your customers as much as possible. Making sure that you can consistently let your clients know what’s happening, even if there is going to be a delay, is a big part of creating customer confidence. It is important for your customers to be informed about the status of their order at all times, so send them emails, call them if there is anything unusual going on, and provide easy options when it comes to making a change to their order.
You should trust your customers. There are some people who will take advantage of any opportunity to milk the company for all they are worth, but most people are reluctant to complain. Hence, you need to believe your customers when they tell you there is a problem. Most of the time they will tell you the truth and if you help them to solve their problem, you will turn them into a loyal customer.
Please provide as much information as you can. It is important that you provide your customers with as much information about what you are selling as possible so that they can make informed decisions. Provide customers with information such as size, color, weight, and any special features the item comes with so they know exactly what they’re getting when they purchase something from your website.
Make sure you have a FAQ section. Your customers are most likely to have some common questions that they may need your help with at some point. You do not have to spend a lot of time answering these kinds of questions individually – you can create a special FAQ page so that your customers can find easy answers right away.
Take a look at your usability as a whole. In order to make sure that your e-commerce site is as easy to use as possible before you launch it, make sure you set it up properly. Have even the least computer-savvy person you know take a look at your site and see where you can improve. You may save yourself some lost sales later on.
Make sure that all personal information is kept secure. One of the major fears many people have when they order online is that their personal information would not be secure when they place the order. By making sure that your site is secure, you can calm their fears and let them know that you have taken the necessary steps to protect their privacy.
It may be a good idea to add some incentives. There are many ways to bring in more customers, one of them being incentive programs. It can be anything from providing free shipping on certain items to giving discounts to the customer who refers others to the business. Basically, you must do everything that you can to set yourself apart from your competition.
Keep in touch with your customers. Once a customer’s order has been completed, you should not simply let them fall by the wayside. Make sure that you follow up with customers to find out how their experience was and that any problems have been resolved satisfactorily.
Design and develop email templates. This does not mean that you should not personalize your emails; however, templates can help you to make sure that you are providing all your customers with the same information and the same level of service. Creating basic templates will allow you to add in individual responses to each customer as you need them as you go.
Set up a system that allows you to respond to emails in a timely manner. You are going to have to figure out how to handle the emails that you get from customers so they can get timely responses to their questions and orders unless you have a department in your company dedicated solely to customer service. Make it a habit to check your email at set times and to answer straightforward questions first rather than those that require you to do some research, so you do not have to worry about anyone waiting too long to hear from you.
Ensure that your employees are properly trained. The first thing you should do if you have a customer service support staff is to ensure they are well trained and knowledgeable about your business and what you are selling. Make sure everyone involved has a positive experience since this may be their only direct encounter with your company. Make sure it’s a positive experience for everyone involved. They will be able to help customers better if they have more knowledge.
Make sure you go the extra mile. By going the extra mile to make a customer happy, you will set your business apart from others. The initial investment may seem high, but it can pay off greatly with repeat business and evangelistic customers in the long run.
Make sure you end on a high note. You should make sure that you don’t end the call with a negative tone when a customer calls with a problem or concern. Rather than ending your call or sending an email with an apology, you might be able to put a positive spin on things by telling the customer what you are doing right now to resolve the problem and how they can look forward to a satisfactory resolution.
Be careful when writing emails. Even the simplest of statements can be very tricky to understand when you are dealing with an email, as it is very difficult to determine the tone and meaning behind them, which can be a real problem when trying to diffuse a situation with a customer. If you are writing an email, you should try to keep your tone polite so that there is no chance of misunderstanding what you are trying to communicate.
Give customers a choice of solutions to choose from. There are times when it turns out that what you think your customer wants as a solution to a problem is not what they actually want. If you want to make your customers happy, you should provide them with options so that they feel that you care about their needs and about resolving any issues they may be experiencing. The best way to find out what the best solution is in case of doubt is to just ask-it is the easiest way.
Respond to emails and phone calls as quickly as possible. Make sure your customers are not left waiting. You need to answer inquiries as fast as you can. You never know, if you are especially quick, you may impress customers enough to get them to return.
Being able to apologize is an important skill. Sometimes the best solution to a problem is one that is as simple as possible. Please apologize to your customers if any mistakes were made on your part. Apologizing is a simple thing to do, and customers will appreciate it.
Listen well and learn how to do so. It’s sometimes necessary to be quiet and really listen to what your customers tell you if you want to know what will make them happy. It is important to listen to the tone of voice, the choice of words and most importantly, how they feel about their experience.
Make sure that you are not overcompensating. I believe it’s perfectly fine to give unhappy customers a little extra to ensure they leave satisfied. However, make sure not to overdo it. In spite of the fact that you may have the best intentions, you will appear unprofessional.
Keep in mind the little details. You can set yourself apart from the sea of other online retailers by giving customers the little things that they will remember when making a purchase from you. To thank those who make large purchases, offer free gift wrapping services or send handwritten thank you notes.
Be responsible for your actions. Occasionally, everyone makes mistakes, so you should take responsibility for any mistakes your company makes, even if the error is not directly your fault. The customer’s problem will not be solved by passing blame off onto someone else, so take charge yourself and make sure that the situation is rectified.
Names should be used. In the age of the internet and automated business processes, it can be easy for a customer to feel like little more than a number and a dollar sign to organizations. You can make your customers’ experiences even more personalized if you refer to them by name. You will make the customers feel more appreciated and you will be able to get to know whom you are selling to a little better.
It is not a good idea to pitch to unhappy customers. Several business guides will advise that you should make the most of every opportunity to upsell your customers, but I urge you to step into your customers’ shoes and think from their perspective. If you have ever had a negative experience with a purchase, wouldn’t you be annoyed if the same company tried to sell you something else in the process of solving your problem? You should save the sales pitch and focus on keeping your customers happy, rather than focusing on a few extra dollars.
Give your customers the feeling that they are important. You need to make sure you make your customers feel as if they really matter to you, and that their orders, no matter how small, are important to you in order to keep them coming back to you. It is important to listen to what they have to say and to show sincere appreciation for what they do.
Don’t forget how important it is to say yes when the opportunity arises. If it’s within reason, saying yes to customer requests can make a big difference to their perception of you and your business. You don’t have to balk at every request your customers make of you, but if they are within reason, you should say yes to them.
Honesty is the best policy. Even when you feel like you’re protecting your reputation by lying to your customers, don’t do it. It’s important to be honest when making mistakes, so if you do make a mistake, be honest about it. Your customers will appreciate the gesture and might even think you’re a more trustworthy business when you do it.
Find the right people to work with. For some people, helping out others comes naturally and they excel at providing customer service. Make sure the employees you hire will enjoy working with your customers and will go the extra mile to make their experience as pleasant as possible.
Make sure you know your customers well. When you don’t know who you’re dealing with, it’s hard to provide a good level of customer service. Understand who you’re selling your products to, both on a general as well as specific level. The better your knowledge about your customers, the more likely you are to be able to satisfy their needs.
Be sure to go above and beyond what is expected. If you want your customers to be pleased with your customer service, then you have to exceed their expectations. Even if you are able to make sure that a package arrives on time or go the extra mile to get a special order, if you offer great customer service customers will remember you and come back for more.
Display a prominent “help” link on the website. This will make it easier for customers to ask for help when they need it. Using that technique, you can quickly direct them to a competitor’s site that is much easier to navigate. Make sure you always have a help button that customers can click on and get help with any step of their ordering process.
Know when you need to give a customer over to the competition. The truth is that, as hard as it might be to accept, there are times when your business isn’t always the best fit for a customer. Even though it might cost you a sale to send them away, you will also avoid having a dissatisfied customer.
Make sure you use a good hosting service. What effect does your web host have on your customer service? In a nutshell, it increases your customer service by keeping your site fast and reliable. If your site won’t load, you will not be able to make sales, so make sure that your host is capable of handling the traffic on your site.
Multiple payment options should be available. You should not assume that a payment method is more convenient for potential customers because it is more convenient for you. If you only provide one payment method to your customers, you will lose sales.
Remember to include the images as well. It is very important that your customers know what they are purchasing when they click on the link. Make sure that you post images of your products from every angle and in every color on your site so that your customers will not be surprised when they receive them.
Make sure that the shopping cart software you are using is of the highest quality. If you are running an ecommerce website, the shopping cart feature is the meat and potatoes of your business, so you should not get a less expensive product. Make sure you purchase a solution that will be very easy and reliable for your customers to use, as well as one that has a great support team.
Credibility must be established. There are many reasons why people are hesitant to trust an entirely online business, especially those who are still getting used to the concept of online shopping. Therefore, it is extremely important that you be as transparent as possible with your business. It is crucial to provide your customers with addresses, photos, as well as testimonials that will help you build trust among your clientele.
Problems should be viewed as opportunities to learn. In order to improve your customer service skills, you have to simply change your attitude. Consider customer complaints as an opportunity to prove to your consumers how great of a business you run instead of seeing them as a negative.
Your phone calls should not be scripted. You don’t have to make the phone support a scripted affair, if you’re going to offer it. The problem is that it annoys customers and it makes them feel as if they are not getting the right answer to their problem. Make sure you have some standard operating procedures on hand to handle common problems, but don’t script out whole conversations.
The best thing you can do for your customer is to never argue with them. As far as your business is concerned, the customer may not always be right, but they are right when it comes to the customer. Don’t waste your time and energy arguing with customers; just try to fix whatever they are unhappy about and don’t waste your time and energy.
Make sure you are concentrating on making customers, not sales. As a new business owner it can be easy to get swept away by the numbers game, but the long term strategy for your business needs to be more focussed on building customer relationships rather than making individual sales. Remember, it takes a lot more time and energy to attract new customers than it does to keep existing ones. Happy customers will be your best source of business.
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