7 Practical Tips to Enhance Ecommerce Customer Service Experience
With ecommerce growing as rapidly as it is, customer service has become a predominant factor for customer satisfaction.
15:18 20 January 2022
Great customer service is paramount in the digital world. It is how you add value to your customer experiences and how you stand out from the competition. With ecommerce growing as rapidly as it is, customer service has become a predominant factor for customer satisfaction. Delighting customers with stellar customer service should be at the center of your ecommerce business development strategy.
96% of consumers say that customer service is necessary for brand loyalty. Customer retention is proportional to customer satisfaction, and the latter is mostly dependent on your customer service standards. As customers want immediate resolutions to their problems and they walk in with sky-high expectations, maintaining customer satisfaction can be challenging but not impossible.
The lack of face-to-face contact can also pose problems, but thriving in the digital arena requires businesses to address their customers' needs, concerns, and questions at every step in the customer journey. As a customer-facing business, follow the seven tips below to strengthen your customer service, improve customer engagement, and deliver positive experiences.
1. Implement an Omnichannel Strategy
Your customers can contact your brand through multiple channels: website, social media, phone, email, text, etc. You cannot have all these channels work in silos. Do a detailed customer experience journey mapping exercise to find out about all touchpoints across all channels where customers engage with you. Connect all these channels with each other with a frictionless omnichannel strategy.
If a customer has shared a concern on social media, you should be able to take it up by email or on the phone without having the customer repeat themselves. While you should customize your responses for every communication channel, consistency is key. An omnichannel strategy also ensures you don’t limit customers to just one channel. It makes you available wherever your customers need you to be, whether on social media or on the phone.
2. Embrace Personalization
Impersonal customer experiences result in frustrated customers who won’t come back. Customers want quick answers, but they also want a personalized and sincere approach to their question or problem. Personalized customer service does not simply mean addressing the customer by their name. It means tailoring the entire conversation to the needs of each individual customer.
Personalized customer service creates meaningful conversations as customer service agents curate a resolution for a specific problem. When you take time to analyze a customer issue, it fuels trust from the other end. Customers look up to the brand to be experts, which is why they deserve a level of understanding that personalized customer service can offer.
Personalized customer services give you a competitive edge because you increase the value you offer your customers. It isn’t just your product or service but also your knowledge base. Personalization requires you to get to know your customers. Personalize the entire customer experience by finding out what they like and value. Understand their needs to create a unique shopping experience supported by excellent customer service.
3. Offer Real-time Support Through Live Chat and Phone
Ecommerce has created the concept of instant gratification. When customers buy online and expect fast deliveries, they also want you to match your customer service to this speed. While chatbots and emails are all good options for customer care, most customers aren’t at ease until they can speak to a person on the other side who can immediately alleviate their pain in real time.
You have several options to ensure that customers have access to your customer service agents 24 hours a day.
- 24-hour phone support: the comfort of a human voice at the other end is unparalleled.
- Voicemail and visual voicemail: integrated customer service solutions allow you to take voicemails if 24-hour phone support isn’t affordable or practical for you. For those asking “What is visual voicemail?” It is a new feature in enterprise telephony that also lets you transcribe voicemail messages, so your agents can save time by just reading them instead of listening to them.
- Live chat: live chat on your website or social media pages lets you answer customer questions instantly. Human interaction helps build trust and confidence, and one customer agent can handle multiple chats at a time. Live chat also offers the convenience to help the customer while they’re shopping on your website.
4. Leverage Customer Feedback to Measure Customer Satisfaction
Customer feedback is the single most important tool to help improve your customer service. Asking customers for insightful feedback does two things: it helps you identify bottlenecks and trouble areas, and it also shows customers you care. Customers want to be heard, and when you lend an ear, you can learn a thing or two to enhance your customer experience.
Positive customer reviews can be used as social proof to attract new customers, and negative ones can give invaluable insight into areas that require improvement.
Develop a habit of asking customers for feedback and using that to measure customer satisfaction. These are the different ways to ask for feedback:
- Follow-up email.
- On the phone
- By SMS
- Using third-party review platforms
5. Invest in CRM Software
Customer relationship management (CRM) software can help streamline processes and ensure no customer's query goes unanswered. You can adopt CRM software to assist your omnichannel customer service strategy, and it will manage all interactions with customers across all platforms.
CRM implementation results in call center improvement because the CRM database will have the purchase history and prior interactions of every customer. So, the call center agent knows exactly what to say and how to personalize the conversation. You can also add an integrated business VoIP system.
CRM lets you make informed decisions by centralizing the help desk and creating a ticketing system. It also allows you to connect your social media accounts and live chat. Customer interactions become transparent, and responses become faster.
6. Automate Order Management and Order Fulfillment
Customers' major concerns always center around their order deliveries. When the order management process isn’t organized, inaccuracies abound and lead to exasperated customers. An automated order management and order fulfillment process can reduce the number of issues that arise because of human error and help improve your online business.
Manual order fulfillment systems are slow, prone to mistakes, and inefficient to boot. Automating the entire process can save you tons of time while improving productivity and customer satisfaction. Ensure that the automation software has a high software quality attributes score especially for attributes like efficiency, reliability, and learnability. You should be able to personalize it around your operations, instead of a run of the mill order management software that can’t be personalized.
7. Focus on Transparency
Ensure your customers have complete access to their billing history and the status of their orders. When you create this transparency on your website, it is redundant to have customers call or email to find out where their order is. You could also consider emailing the status of the order as it is prepared and then dispatched.
Customers highly regard brands that are honest and transparent with them. Transparency needs to extend into your business activities as well. It gives you an opportunity to build trust as customers can see and verify your actions. Transparency allows for openness and accountability and is key to delivering better service to your customers.
A culture of transparency fosters customer retention as people like doing business with brands that are open and truthful. While being transparent isn’t easy in the day-to-day grind of business, as you have to share both positive and negative information, it is crucial for the sustainable growth of your business.
Sensational customer service is guaranteed if you follow the seven tips above. While you don’t have to set a customer service approach in stone, you do need to be proactive in ensuring your customers are at the center of all your processes. Measure customer satisfaction and track customer service performance at various touchpoints. Use the data to rewire your customer service strategy so results are optimized.
Customer service is the backbone of any business. You can have a fantastic product, but if your customer service is poor, you give customers no reason to come back. As ecommerce becomes more popular, customers have high expectations, and it is your job to meet them if you want to thrive in a competitive ecommerce landscape.
The best practices listed above can help you reinvent your customer journey and increase the lifetime value of your customers. When you understand that customer satisfaction is your ultimate goal, you will create a shopping experience that will pay dividends for years to come. Invest in your customer service and watch how you increase customer loyalty and drive growth for your business.
Provide your customers with unrivaled customer care. Implement the ideas detailed in this post for a five-star customer service offering that increases trust in your brand and raises brand equity. Invest in your customer service now so you can save time and money in the long run.
Grace Lau - Director of Growth Content, Dialpad
Grace Lau is the Director of Growth Content at Dialpad, an AI-powered cloud communication platform for better and easier team collaboration. She has over 10 years of experience in content writing and strategy. Currently, she is responsible for leading branded and editorial content strategies, partnering with SEO and Ops teams to build and nurture content. Here is her LinkedIn.