Whether it’s an angry email or a poor review when you didn’t respond fast enough, eCommerce customer service is a difficult task for anyone.
To 97% of customers, though, customer service is of the utmost importance.
So how do you make it less time-consuming and painstakingly difficult while still making a profit and keeping clients happy? By following the tips below.
Keep reading to learn 11 customer service strategies that work and that all eCommerce merchants should know.
1. Offer Live Tracking
As much as we like surprises, most of us like to know when our package will arrive. Amazon Prime is successful in its tracking because you can see where your package is on a map and how many stops away it is from your house. When it arrives, you’re even sent a picture of the package on your doorstep.
However, Amazon Prime is only an option if you sell on Amazon. Thankfully, there are plenty of live tracking options out there that let your customers stay on top of their purchase.
Here at YunExpress, we offer global tracking so that no matter where your customers are in the world, they’ll be able to keep an eye on their purchase.
2. Employ Seasonal Staff
Your business doubtless has a time of the year where you’re flooded with orders, emails, questions, and complaints. Hiring seasonal staff to take on some of the customer service tasks can be a major help in getting customers the assistance they need.
If customers get responses quickly, they’ll be more likely to come back and purchase again.
When employing seasonal staff, look for people who have customer service experience and who have technological capabilities. If you’re using a customer service software (see below) you want them to be able to get up and running with this quickly. Because your business is eCommerce, your seasonal staff will likely be working remotely so you won’t be able to stand over their shoulder and help them get started.
3. Ship Internationally
We live in a global world and if you want to make the most of your business, you should be shipping internationally. Some of the customer service issues that you deal with are likely related to international shipping questions.
Eliminate these issues by including completely secure international shipping options. Here at YunExpress, we are represented all over the world and can help you set up international shipping options that will increase your customer base. We want to help you succeed as an international eCommerce merchant!
4. Create a Multi-Channel Strategy
People like to feel connected. Creating a multi-channel strategy in which your clients can reach you on their preferred platform (email, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.) is a great way to help your customers feel heard.
Although from time to time you might get the same message from one customer on all platforms, creating a multi-channel strategy can help you to excel at customer service.
You should take some time to survey your customers and see what platforms they prefer using. Do they want to message you on Whatsapp or is email more than enough? Would they rather talk on the phone or use live chat?
If you have an international clientele, research what platforms are the most used for communication. For example, if you have a lot of clients from China, setting up communications through the app WeChat is a good idea. If most of your clients are in the United States, they probably won’t be messaging you over Whatsapp.
Above all, don’t rush to have every channel accounted for. You don’t want to spread yourself so thin that you can no longer provide quality service. It’s better to have 3 or 4 channels that customers can reach you through to start with and then work on expanding if you see a potential new channel.
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5. If Nothing Else, Use Live Chat
More than half of all customers prefer to use live chat over any other method of communication to talk with a customer service representative.
If you have international clients, having live chat on your website means that you don’t have to worry about international phone numbers or having a representative for every language. Live chat is a great option because you can install translation services so your representative and client can each write in their language.
Here are a few live chat software options that are worth adding to your website:
- Zendesk Chat
When looking for a live chat option, be sure to consider these elements. Do you need something robust or will a basic chat platform do the job? Do you want an artificial intelligence option that can help monitor and prompt while you’re away from the desk? Would it be useful to have live analytics options or is this an added cost that you don’t need?
Considering these questions can help you determine what the best live chat option is for your business.
6. Automate Online Ordering
When we order something online, we want to be sure that our order went through and that we’ll know when it has shipped. Automating online ordering and sending automatic confirmation and shipping emails is a perfect preventative measure. If there are no problems or uncertainty with the ordering process, you’ve probably already eliminated about half of those customer service issues.
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7. Create a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Section
Most of us would rather solve the problem on our own rather than deal with a customer service representative. Creating a FAQ section on your eCommerce site can save you and your clients a great deal of time.
Plus, since Google’s goal is to answer questions for people, having your questions and answers in written form for Google to crawl can help improve your website’s SEO and bring you new traffic.
Your FAQ page shows that you’ve got experience. People have asked these questions in the past and you’ve taken time to write them out for people. This can help build trust with potential clients.
Here are a few tips for your frequently asked questions page:
- Title your page “Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)” so people using the find or search feature will be successful
- Use language that your customers will understand
- Write from your customer’s point of view (use first-person “I” or “we” pronouns)
- Use questions that are frequently asked by customers
- Look at your competitors’ FAQ pages
- Use Google’s autosuggest feature to get ideas for questions
- Answer the question, don’t just link to another page
- If it’s a yes or no question, make sure that you start with a yes or no response
Creating an FAQ page is a great first step to improving your eCommerce customer service.
8. Offer 24/7 Customer Support
One of the worst things that a business can do is offer live chat or phone support only from 9 to 5. Most people will be working during this time and can’t spare a short lunch break to call and check in on the service request.
Setting up 24/7 customer support shows your customers that you understand their need for flexibility.
Additionally, if you have international clients, offering 24/7 customer support, whether that’s via live chat or phone, gives them another way to connect with you from around the world. Customers want to know that they are heard and this level of committed support shows just that.
9. Don’t Make Customers Repeat Themselves
Customers are usually already frustrated when they’re trying to get service support and having to repeat themselves more than once only adds to the annoyance. Make sure your customer service agents know that they should be ready for a customer to tell them everything when that phone is picked up before they even have the opportunity to introduce themselves.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, customers just want to be heard. Showing that you recognize and understand their frustrations goes a huge way and is easily one of the best customer service strategies for eCommerce merchants.
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10. Use Software to Optimize eCommerce Customer Service
eCommerce customer service software can help you to streamline your support process and make sure that everyone gets a response promptly. You won’t waste time trying to organize complaints and requests sent in on different platforms and instead, you can spend your time engaging with customers.
Here are a few customer service software options that might be worth investing in:
- Salesforce Service Cloud
- Hubspot’s Service Hub
Whichever platform you choose, you should look for a few things when deciding on a customer service support software. If you’re not very techy or are new to customer service software, it will be useful to have something really user friendly and with great customer support (the irony!) so that you can be up and running almost immediately.
If the service is brandable, that’s a great bonus as this is a step towards creating brand recognition. Additionally, the ability to create customer accounts is really helpful if you have a product that people might frequently purchase.
11. Make Sure That Your Refund Policies Are Clear and Visible
Having the correct refund return policies can save you a huge amount of money. That’s because returns are becoming normal. Many customers will purchase something either in multiple sizes or styles with the intention of returning all but one product.
That being said, you should probably have free returns in exchanges because it’s pretty much what drives the online shopping industry. Even if you don’t have free returns or exchanges, you should be clear about your return policy.
Nothing makes a customer as angry as going to return and realizing that they’ll have to pay shipping costs or a restocking fee. That information should be very visible before the client purchases.
Bonus: Predict Your Inventory Needs
Imagine that you go on a website to order a swimsuit. You add the top to your cart successfully but when you go to purchase the bottoms they’re out of stock.
You sigh and leave the website because it doesn’t make sense to only order a top with no guarantee of the bottoms being available.
A good product forecast would prevent this from happening. Website tracking can help you to visualize the movement and see what pages and products get the most traffic.
If a certain carpet is getting a lot of views but few purchases, it might just be because people are waiting for an occasion or a sale to purchase it. You’ll want to make sure that you have enough stock available to ship things out immediately if it does suddenly start selling.
Additionally, it’s a great strategy to allow people to put in their email to know when a certain product or size is back in stock. It not only adds another person to your email list but is almost a guaranteed way to draw back the potential customer when you have exactly what they want in stock.
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Expand Your International Client Base Today
Now that you know how to improve your eCommerce customer service, it’s time to think about expanding to an international clientele.
The first step is to evaluate your shipping options, and we’re here to help!
Here at Yun Express, we can help you ship globally with our parcel direct service. We also offer package tracking services so that your clients can know exactly where and when their purchase will arrive.
Contact us today to learn how you can take your business global.