5 Effective Customer Service Strategies for E-commerce Websites


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It is then essential for an e-commerce website to develop a customer service strategy to retain customers and maintain a good bond with their customers.

E-commerce sites interact with their customers through email, newsletter, social media, and in other cases, SMS. These are good ways to reach out to them but not as effective as actual conversations which provide a more personal approach in doing business with customers.

Unlike in brick-and-mortar stores where customer service is readily available, customers do not have the chance to talk to actual persons to inquire or comment. It is then essential for an e-commerce website to develop a customer service strategy to retain customers and maintain a good, professional bond with their patrons. These are some of the ways businesses can provide quality customer service:

1. Answer phone calls

Conversing through a telephone is one of the best ways to communicate with customers since they feel the assurance of still talking to a human being rather than to a machine. Customers feel secure if they hear someone receive their queries and that there’s something that can be done about it.

Also, some information can be better explained over the phone rather than reading in-depth explanations on how a product functions since they can be a little technical for some customers. Another benefit of answering calls or calling customers is hearing the tone of voice they use. It can easily be noticed if they are irritated or interested, which can be an opportunity for the business to offer them something else or introduce them to a new product.

2. Maintain the website

The website is part of the customer experience, and maintaining it is part of good customer service. Contact details should be visible and updated so that consumers will be able to contact the business easily. It is best to separate a phone number and email address for customer support from press inquiries or marketing to easily address their needs.

The FAQ section of the website should be detailed and should cover basic questions about the company, product, or service being provided. This section is necessary for e-commerce websites, as it has the potential to increase conversion by making it easier for shoppers to look for the information they need before making a purchase.

3. Send Emails

…but don’t just use emails to send mass-produced greeting cards during holidays. Rather, go for a more personal approach by creating an e-mail custom-made for your clients. If you have to send a confirmation email for them for their purchases, go by their first names and e-mail them their order details. Along with this, you may send them messages that invite to try a new product. Just don’t push it too hard or too often—no one likes spam!

4. Respond Quickly

Companies receive countless calls and emails every day and there will be times wherein you won’t be able to get back to all queries on time. A week-later response to an urgent call or email beats the purpose of customer service. As much as possible, the company should respond to an email at least within a 24-hour period.

The business should consider providing live chat support to prioritize small immediate concerns that need quick assistance. The live chat can appear on the right side of the window after a few minutes of inactivity or can be clicked on a prominent area whenever users feel the necessity to ask questions.

5. Never underestimate the power of Social Media

There are some comments and suggestions customers cannot say directly to the company and resort to posting on social media websites instead. Many customers use Twitter and Facebook to discuss their dissatisfaction over the business’ customer service, while blogs are becoming a venue for product reviews. These may be indirect interactions with the company but they can affect its image and credibility.

Address customer concerns by taking note of their feedback regarding the business’ product or service which can help the business decide on how to improve. If the e-commerce website has a separate social media account, reply to questions and thank customers for every positive comment.

Effective customer service always puts the needs of the customers in mind. And by constantly improving this particular aspect of your e-commerce site, your business will then increase its chances of acquiring new customers and gaining loyal ones.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Flavio Martins
Flavio Martins is the VP of Operations and Customer Support at DigiCert, Inc., a leading provider of enterprise authentication services and high-assurance SSL certificates trusted by thousands of government, education, and Fortune 500 organizations. Flavio is an award-winning customer service blogger, customer service fanatic, and on a mission to show that organizations can use customer experience as a competitive advantage win customer loyalty. Blog: Win the Customer!


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