Regardless of the industry, customer service is an incredibly important component of success. Without customers you can’t sustain a business, no matter how grand the idea is or what pain points the products solve. Businesses depend on customer service, but in the 21st century internet-driven marketplace, it’s not as easy to master as it once was.
The Shift to Ecommerce
Twenty-five years ago it would have been difficult to imagine a world where more than $1.3 trillion in sales would take place through some channel other than physical retail. And while ecommerce still only accounts for around five or six percent of the entire worldwide retail market, the growth rates are staggering. All over the world, small and large corporations alike are taking notice. Even businesses that have been around since the 19th century are making the transition to ecommerce.
It’s a monumental shift in the way consumer products are purchased, and while most businesses find the transition from physical to online retail fairly straightforward, there are a number of challenges to overcome. Chief among those challenges is customer service. Companies everywhere are wondering how they can remove barriers and better connect with customers.
Tips for Improving Ecommerce Customer Service
Use these four tips to enhance your online customer service efforts:
Humanize your brand. The hard part about offering good customer service without being able to interact with people in-person is that you’re seen as an entity – not an individual. In order to overcome this, you need to humanize your brand by including detailed “About Us” pages, employee profiles, and personal elements. Don’t be afraid to let some personality shine through in your website’s tone.
Make yourself accessible. The standard for large ecommerce websites is to now offer 24/7 support. While you may not be able to provide around-the-clock support, you should aim to get as close as you can. Clearly list your contact information and respond quickly to any and all inquiries.
Use split testing. Have you invested in A/B split testing yet? This process involves offering two versions of the same web page and analyzing the efficacy of each. You use one as the control variable and the other can be tweaked. As a result, you can see which versions customers prefer and which lead to higher bounce rates. It allows you to make critical decisions on what elements to chance and which to keep.
Monitor social media. Social media is your best friend when it comes to customer service. You can use it to listen to what people are saying about your brand and then use this knowledge to improve. It also serves as a great tool for further humanizing your brand by allowing you to directly communicate with your customers in a unique and safe setting.
Make Customer Service a Selling Point
It’s the ecommerce businesses that are able to flip customer service from a weakness to a point of differentiation that see massive success – just look at how companies like Amazon and Zappos handle it. By using these tips and understanding your capabilities, you too can master customer service in the commerce world.