E-commerce is the buzzword when it comes to doing business innovatively and efficiently. Today, every business wants to be online in order to cater to a larger, more vibrant audience, while running operations in a cost-efficient manner. Customers, too, look to online stores to benefit from the convenience factor, as well as get the best price for the product they intend to buy.
With the proliferation of eCommerce stores today, business owners need to understand their audience better. They should strive to close the gap between what the customer wants and what they are being offered. Many times, web stores see a lack of interest from consumers in the form of abandoned carts, non-returning customers and dwindling interest in the product, among the target demographics. It is important to decipher why such obstacles come up and how to address these issues in a way that is beneficial to both, the customer as well as the business.
One of the most important factors that help to attract and retain customers is the kind of customer service they get when shopping on an online store. The quality of customer service can make or break a business, and should be considered as an opportunity.
So what is the best way to give your customers the greatest experience they could desire? The best way is to aim at giving them a ‘Wow’ experience. Exceeding customer expectations and winning their trust is essentially what the ‘Wow’ experience is all about. Here are some pointers towards what a typical online shopper looks for in terms of customer service on eCommerce stores.
11 Most Essential Customer Requirements from E-commerce Customer Service
Table of Contents
- 1 11 Most Essential Customer Requirements from E-commerce Customer Service
- 1.1 Ease of Access:
- 1.2 Availability of Multi-Channel Customer Service:
- 1.3 Consistency of Customer Service:
- 1.4 Knowledge of Product/Service:
- 1.5 Prompt Response:
- 1.6 Fast Action:
- 1.7 Showing Concern through Follow-Ups:
- 1.8 Communication:
- 1.9 Solve Problems Themselves:
- 1.10 Accountability:
- 1.11 Acknowledgement:
Ease of Access:
Many a times, websites tend to overdo their web design. This essentially means that there could be too many things happening at once on your page, which distracts the customer. The solution to this is to have a minimalistic page design and have a prominent button on the page by means of which the customer can contact your service representative in case of any problem.
Availability of Multi-Channel Customer Service:
There should be more than one way that the customer can get in touch with you, according to their convenience. Whether it is email, phone support or live chat, try to provide as many contact options to the customer and ensure that the representatives are always available to answer their queries. Live chat is a useful feature to incorporate on your website as customers are able to get a faster response to their queries. Social media too, is a great way to gain insight into consumer behaviour, their likes and dislikes, and to connect better with your target audience.
Consistency of Customer Service:
If the customer had a pleasant experience interacting with your business the first time, they would expect the same level of service any other time as well. They would want consistency of customer service on every communication channel, so that they do not get confused about the outcome of the conversation. Also, customer service has to be of the highest standard during critical and urgent times, such as a sale.
Knowledge of Product/Service:
Once your customer is able to get through to you, it can get extremely frustrating if your service representative cannot resolve their issues immediately. It can get even more frustrating for the customers when they are kept on hold. Equip your customer service staff to find solutions quickly by educating them about your products and services, company policies, and your business ethics and code of conduct as well as sensitive ways to handle customers.
If you want to make a sale, speed matters. The sooner you resolve an issue, the better the customer will feel about shopping from your store and the faster you will be able to close a sale. Features such as live chat and prompt responses on the phone go a long way in achieving this. You should aim to provide a seamless transition for the customer from the point when the issue is raised, to resolving it and closing the sale.
After your service representatives have interacted with your customers and assured them that their issue would be resolved ‘as soon as possible’, it is time for them to act upon their words. Ensure that your service representatives do not leave the query in the pending pile. Encourage them to resolve it swiftly and immediately, to avoid any further delays. This would help in building trust.
Showing Concern through Follow-Ups:
Whether it is after a sale, or after a problem is resolved, follow-ups go a long way in helping build customer loyalty. A non-intrusive way to do this is via text message or email, but in some cases, phone calls work too. This is a good way to gain insight into customer experience, as well as to get feedback on your product or service. This is also a great opportunity for you to upsell your other products, pertaining to your customer’s interests.
Being proactive with your customers and initiating communication with them is the first step towards building a loyal customer base. Social media tools such as Twitter and Facebook will help you in getting closer to your target audience. It is being observed that more and more online retailers are becoming responsive over social media, simply because of the immediacy attached to it. In fact, in a survey by Simply Measured, it was revealed that 92% of top brands tweeted at least once daily. It also reported that tweets that included photos and links received 150% more engagement.
Solve Problems Themselves:
A ready list of FAQs and an easily accessible knowledge base on the website is a must have for every online business. Even when customers have an option to interact with you, they might prefer relying on their own research. Also, at times customers may not feel the need to reach out to service representatives if they can find solutions to trivial issues by themselves. This is why FAQs are an important feature to have on your site.
If something goes wrong, your company needs to take ownership for the error and be willing to resolve it at the earliest. If a customer calls to report an issue, ensure that they are not kept on hold or shifted him from one agent to another. It would not only infuriate the customer, but would also tarnish your reputation. Instead, make sure that service representatives resolve the issue at the earliest, or pacify the customer with cash backs, rewards, discount coupons or other options.
When customers reach out to your customer service, they are looking for more than just problem solving. They are seeking acknowledgement for their concern and an assurance that their issues are important to you and that they will be given top priority by the company. A simple ‘Thank you for writing in’, or a ’Sincere apology for inconvenience caused’ message would go a long way in giving that assurance to customers and would act as a pacifier. Thus, online businesses should ensure that their service representatives remain empathetic towards customers and have a friendly tone rather than a ‘business-like’ demeanour.
In conclusion, it is important to remember that your customer service representatives are mirrors of your company and everything that it stands for.
Last Updated on August 20, 2020