eCommerce customer service tips

The Most Effective Customer Service Strategies to Retain and Gain Customers

Customers are the core of every business and the key to your eCommerce strategy. Positive customer testimonials on your website or social media have the potential to convert many more potential customers, while negative ones can damage your reputation. As business author Michael LeBoeuf says, “a satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all.” This is why it is crucial to have a highly effective customer service strategy that scales with your business. Managing customer questions, complaints, and conversations on multiple channels seem like a daunting task. Here are some important customer service tips for retaining and gaining customers. 

Use Multiple Channels and Access Points

Gone are the days where you can offer one single method for customer service. In order to deliver effective customer service, you must use multiple channels. Customers expect to be able to reach you in a way that is most convenient for them. Develop a multichannel customer service strategy to take your service to your customers. Make it easy for them to reach you, and make sure customers know the options available to reach you. Some channels to highly consider for customer service include:

  • The contact form on your website
  • Customer support email address
  • Phone number
  • Chat support
  • Respond to social media comments and direct messages

Be Proactive

By anticipating problems and solving them before they turn into complaints, you will greatly improve your customers’ experiences. With proactive support, you can build customer trust and streamline the customer journey. In order to provide proactive support:

  • Be transparent about any problems before customers notice and share it online. For example, make issues like delayed shipping or out of stock products clear to customers as soon as you notice. 
  • Send automated follow-up emails to check in on customers who made a purchase. Ask them if they enjoy the product and to leave an honest review. By doing this, you may catch and remedy any issues with the order before the customer shares it elsewhere. 
  • Monitor social media comments, messages, and conversations. Many customers turn to social media to share their opinions of products or brands. Respond to any questions or complaints, as well as any positive comments or reviews. 
  • Create an FAQ for any common issues that have an easy solution. This will help reduce the support emails and calls you receive, allow customers to quickly remedy their own situation, and improve customer satisfaction. 

Detailed FAQ Pages

Many eCommerce customers are technologically savvy, and over 50% want to avoid contacting support and solve problems on their own. As part of your proactive service, create detailed FAQ pages to address specific issues. For very common issues, you can also create a help page that details the steps to take to fix it. Common topics to address include:

  • Billing/Payments
  • Answers to common customer questions (price, delivery, shipping, etc).
  • Returns, exchanges, and refunds policy. 
  • Terms and conditions of your business. 
  • Options for troubleshooting

Republic Wireless is a cell phone company that has mastered proactive customer service. Check out their help center which offers detailed how-to guides on solving common problems, a Q&A section, solutions, notes, and a community section. You can even ask other customers for help or open a help ticket if you cannot find the answer through the other help center resources. 

Provide a Live Chat Option 

Generally, customers want an answer to their questions right away. Nothing is more frustrating than encountering an issue that is preventing you from ordering and waiting days for an answer. Customers want real-time interactions and quick means of communication. Live chat can help save an order because customers can quickly and easily resolve barriers preventing them from purchasing. With live chat, you can reduce the response time for customer interaction and ultimately boost conversions. 

Use Customer Data for Better Business Decisions 

Customer service is about more than just interactions with customers. You must also operate your business for your customers. Put the customer data you collect to good use. Analyze the data to determine how you can improve operations and other business decisions. Additionally, this data can help you manage customer interactions more effectively. 

Tips for Customer Service

The avenues you use to provide customer service are important, but the way you handle each interaction is also very important. Here are some important tips for providing the best customer service:

  • Seek to understand the customer’s position. Why are they frustrated? What are they looking for? What do they need to remain a customer? Truly listen to their perspective. 
  • Be polite, friendly, and professional. You should interact with customers in a professional and friendly tone, even if they are not providing the same courtesy. It is crucial to remain level-headed and calm to help reach a resolution and prevent situations from escalating. 
  • Respond in a timely manner. Features like live chat will help you respond to customers quicker, but you must be timely on all channels. Make sure you have trained staff in place to handle customer inquiries on all channels and do so as soon as possible. 
  • Correct in the right way. A customer, while very important, is not always right. Sometimes, they may have the wrong information or want a solution that is directly against written policies. Always say you are happy to help and kindly provide the correct information. 
  • Apologize for the inconvenience. No matter what the issue is, apologize for the inconvenience. This goes a long way to making a customer feel valued and heard, even if the problem was due to another party. 

Optimize Order Fulfillment 

One reason customers order online is for convenience, and thanks to major eCommerce players like Amazon, they expect quick delivery. Automated order fulfillment is the only way to keep up with eCommerce demand and ensure accuracy. Improve your order fulfillment with Listing Mirror. We can connect with our existing fulfillment process or a third-party logistics provider for order fulfillment. We also offer warehouse management through Inventory Mirror to ensure your inventory management and order fulfillment is optimized to provide the best customer experience. Learn more or get started today by contacting us HERE.