The sale is not the end point. Any successful merchant, online or elsewhere, knows that return customers are just as, and in many cases far more valuable than users who look elsewhere after one disappointing sales experience.
Especially online, customer service is absolutely crucial. Regardless of how hard you try, the ordering process will be more complicated than walking up to a checkout would be. In addition, online customer service has the potential to turn a potential disaster of a customer complaint going viral into the exact opposite.
But just how can you boost your sales with your eCommerce website customer support? Here are 5 steps that can help you get there, in time for the holiday season.
1) Offer Multiple Points of Contact
At every point in the sales process, your audience should have clear ways of reaching out to you with any problems. Ideally, you should include multiple points of contact, which allows your audience to choose their preferred methods.
Email and phone tend to be most common. Include them on all of your sales-related pages, as well as confirmation and shipping emails that encourage your customers to reach out to you with any questions they might have.
2) Establish a Social Media Support Presence
Increasingly, your customers praise or vent about their experience on social media. You need to be there, for two reasons: seek out and respond to complaints before they escalate, and offering another alternative for communication. Let's examine each in more detail.
- Social listening enables you to monitor mentions of your brand. As a result, you can respond to any positive and negative feedback about your brand almost instantly.
- Your social media presence should extend beyond marketing. Instead, respond to queries quickly, and let your audience know on your website that they can always reach out to you on Facebook or Twitter if a problem arises.
3) Integrate Live Chat
Especially in eCommerce efforts, live chat options have increased dramatically in the past few years. And with obvious reasons: this version of customer support offers by far the highest satisfaction rate among alternatives like phone and emails. No less than 44% of customers consider available live chat to be one of the most important features in completing their purchase online.
Integrating live chat, in other words, is becoming increasingly crucial. Unlike phone or email, it does not require a switch in medium; instead, customers can reach out directly and in the midst of their eCommerce experience.
4) Communicate Consistently
Customer service starts early in marketing. Plenty of stories have been told about customers that were unhappy simply because the actual product did not hold the promise that the marketing messages put forth. That, of course, leads to a simple conclusion: to be successful, keep your message both honest and successful.
Audit your website and digital marketing content to make sure that you're not making dishonest or misleading remarks. If you begin to get multiple complaints about a specific product feature, be honest about addressing them within your product copy. You may turn away some users; but you'd rather have 10 customers who will continue buying from you than 15 who will turn away unhappy after their first purchase.
5) Act Proactively
Finally, pro activity is key in successful customer support. In other words, don't wait until a problem escalates. Instead, address any issues as early as you recognise them. You might even want to consider seeking out issues, through methods such as the social listening techniques described above.
Proactive customer service can be as simple as explaining your shipping options in a bit more detail before the checkout process necessitates a decision. But it might also include taking existing customer complains, and integrating the feedback into your website and marketing strategy.
Does your eCommerce website follow these customer support strategies? If not, it may be time to start. Effective support can make all the difference between driving a customer to a competitor and turning them into a loyalist who will keep buying and actively promote your brand to their followers.
Of course, effective eCommerce customer support requires a website that can accommodate the above tips. If you do not have one, contact us. We'd love to partner with you to make sure that your customers are not only happy prior to, but also after each purchase they make on your website.