Why Customer Service is the Cornerstone of E-commerce
When you run an online shop, you could sort of be forgiven for thinking that customer service isn’t exactly a priority, but you’d be dead wrong! Sure, your customers won’t actually be interacting face to face, or even over the phone in most cases, with your customer service team, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t have similar expectations about the kind of service they get and you’ll need to be able to provide it if you want to succeed.
Here are just four reasons why customer service is the cornerstone of eCommerce:
Customer Service Provides Vital Information
It could be arguing that, in a lot of cases, customer service from eCommerce shops is even more important. Take the example of an online clothing retailer selling various garments online. The customer won’t be able to come into the shop, try a few things on, get a second opinion and then buy the perfect outfit. In many ways, they will be buying blind, and that means that they may need to ask questions like “Does the sizing run small?” or “Will I be able to send this back if it doesn’t fit?” If they don’t get prompt answers to these questions, they might not buy at all, so you need to have a customer service team ready and waiting to take answer them quickly.
Customer Service Keeps People in the Loop
When customers buy goods online, it isn’t as simple as going to the shop, putting something into your basket, paying and then taking it home. You have to wait and while you’re waiting it can be very useful to know what is going on with your order. Having a good customer service practice of updating customers when an order is being picked, packed, sent and delivered, will keep them in the loop and they’ll feel happier with the process overall than if they’re left waiting not knowing what is going on.
Customer Service Smooths Over Problems
Even the best run online shops will encounter problems from time to time. For example, they may send out the wrong product, take an order and not send it at all or package something inadequately resulting in breakage upon delivery. These kinds of things are inevitable, although thankfully rare, but when they do happen they could damage a company’s reputation beyond repair, UNLESS customer service swoops in to save the day.
You see, most customers understand that mistakes happen, and although they’re annoying, they’re willing to forgive and forget, providing the mistake is put right quickly, effectively and in a caring manner. If the exact opposite happens and customer service staff are rude or unhelpful, the negative reviews will start rolling in, and the business will suffer. That’s why it’s never a bad idea to send staff to the Seven Institute where they will be put through a course in customer excellence, and why you ensure that continuous development is part of your business plan.
Customer Service Troubleshoots Problems
When the transaction has gone smoothly, and the customer has received their goods, there is still potential for things to go wrong, especially if you’re selling electronics or equipment which could prove too challenging for some. By having a good customer support team, versed in the products and how they operate, you can help your customers configure/start using their goods, prevent returns or angry calls and increase positive reviews.