Good customer service has always an invaluable asset regardless of whether you’re selling online or offline, and now that we’re in a time when consumers are more sceptical and selective when it comes to choosing what to purchase online, building and maintaining efficient customer service is more important than ever.
Not only does it increase customer loyalty and generate great word-of-mouth for your business, fast and friendly customer service can have a direct impact on your conversion rates and average order total.
In this week’s blog, we’ve focused on the elements of customer service that could help to elevate your brand right now. Over the next few instalments, we’ll be creating more guides on all things marketing, optimisation and merchandising, and how to make the most of your ecommerce store during this current pandemic.
Getting the Right Message Out There
Explaining how your company is taking steps to handle the current pandemic can be a big reassurance to customers. Whether that’s explaining how you’re increasing hygiene measures or reducing staff contact, it’s important that your website is clear on how you’re keeping operations as safe as possible during this time.
And when it comes to your tone and style, it’s important to show your human side and personality as much as you can during this uncertain time. Online shoppers really buy into the story behind a brand, especially if you’re a local independent or have an inspiring start-up past, so make sure you’re getting that out there!
With initiatives on Instagram such as #facebehindthebusiness, it’s a great way to show the real you behind your ecommerce store, and by tagging and nominating your fellow retailers, you can build even greater relationships with store owners in other industries.
Lines of Communication
If you’ve traditionally communicated with your customers through email, now is the time to explore alternative options. Social media usage is at an all time high as everyone stays at home and many ecommerce retailers are using this captive audience as a powerful engagement tool. If you can, make it clear that your private messages are open, and respond to any comments on your posts quickly and with as much detail as possible.
If you’ve had to reduce the number of staff you have working but they’re still able to be active at home, live chat could be the perfect communication channel. Not only does it provide an instant connection to you as a business, but it also could increase your conversion rates as shoppers are already on your site and potentially ready to buy.
With social distancing rules in place, many warehouses have had to reduce the number of staff working together and as a result, many ecommerce retailers are warning customers that orders may take a little longer to reach them.
Is this the case with your store, and have you made this clear to those shopping with you? Warning customers early on that there could be a few delays in receiving dispatch emails will reduce any associated shopping anxiety that they may have.
Similarly, many delivery and postal services are struggling to keep up with demand at the moment so consider adding a notice on your site to explain this too.
Alongside delays in customers receiving their products from you, there will also need to be allowances for delays in some returning goods to you. Many online retailers have extended their returns period and will be accepting returns after current lockdown restrictions are lifted to ensure customers are as safe as possible.
Depending on the nature of the goods you sell, it may now be necessary to change your returns policy completely. If this is the case, it’s vital that your product descriptions are as clear and detailed as possible to minimise any buyer confusion and keep return rates as low as you can.
It’s important to remember that how you and your business react to the current coronavirus crisis will have a lasting impression on your customers.
If you’re struggling to fulfil orders at your usual rate or are a bit slower replying to questions due to a reduced number of staff, keeping your customers informed along the way is the best thing to do.
If you have a support email address that you can’t stay on top of as much as usual, add an autoresponder so customers know you’ve received their comments and will get back to them as soon as you can.
And if you can follow up to make sure that your customers are happy with their order and that they fully understand your returns policy, that’s going to leave them with a great impression of your brand!
If the team at IGOO can be of any help during this current crisis, whether that’s to help you make the move onto ecommerce or to maximise your marketing, we’d love to hear from you – firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’re hoping everyone is staying safe and well right now!