Customers have high expectations about the service they get from ecommerce businesses. As a small business selling online, you’re competing with the service levels set by the biggest online retailers in the world. Good customer service is one of the things that can set you apart from the crowd, and an in-house or outsourced customer relationship manager can help you to make that difference.
What does good customer service look like?
Your customers feel like they have had a good buying experience if everything goes smoothly from start to finish. So that’s from the moment they get onto your online shop to the point that the goods are delivered – and beyond, should they have any problems or questions.
Putting thought and process behind your customer service means that everyone in your organisation knows what should be happening, what to expect and how to fix things if they go wrong. You can work with a customer service outsourcing service to benefit from their expertise and experience, and then use the same service to help you run things on a daily basis.
So, what processes should be covered in your customer service approach?
Online ordering process – this should be as smooth as possible. Often, the buying process is to complicated or fails in some way, and shoppers leave the site without completing checkout. The easier you make it for people to buy online, the more positive they will feel about the start of their customer relationship with you.
Enquiry response – customers may have a question about your product or service, either before they buy or once the order arrives. A friendly, efficient and useful enquiry response will give customers confidence in your brand and encourage referrals and repeat business.
Social media management – this is now a key part of your customer service approach. If you run an ecommerce business, customers expect you to be available to answer questions or sort out problems via your social media accounts. That’s where outsourced customer support can help – services like virtual assistant support covers all aspects of marketing and social media, giving you a seamless approach no matter how your customers get in touch.
Order fulfilment – again, experiences with large ecommerce businesses mean that today’s consumers expect quick delivery and efficient order fulfilment. So make sure you have the right processes in place, work with a courier service you can trust, and be realistic with your customers about delivery costs and expectations.
Returns and complaints – every complaint is a learning experience for your business. It shows where things may not be working well, and so you can see where you need to improve. Don’t take returns or complaints personally – be quick to apologise, make personal contact with your customer and make a genuine effort to resolve the complaint, or sort out the return issue.
Call handling – outsourced customer service can take the burden of call handling off your hands. With an agreed process, tone and responses, you can be confident that your customers are getting the quick, responsive service they’re looking for, and you can concentrate on expanding your business rather than answering the phone.
Small businesses often outsource customer services, because the better you look after your customers, the more likely they are to recommend you to others – and to come back and buy more. You haven’t got the time to manage all the customer issues that come your way. Investing in a customer relationship manager will give your customers the service they expect, enhancing your brand reputation and helping to increase your turnover.
If you’re short on time and need help with managing your customer service process, feel free to call us on 0800 994 9016 or use our contact form in the menu above.