Running an ecommerce business effectively isn’t just about getting people to buy from your website and sending orders out to customers efficiently. Providing good customer services that satisfies unhappy customers and keeps them coming back is also essential, from answering their queries to handling product returns.

Your customer service is something you should strive to keep making better too, to ensure it stands out in a competitive market place. So here are seven ways to improve your customer services for your ecommerce business.

Extend your customer service team

Problems that your customers experience can be dealt with quicker if you have the staff to deal with them. So a good place to start when aiming to improve your ecommerce business’s customer services is to extend your customer services team. You don’t have to hire full-time employees to do this. You could appoint part-time staff or assistants, depending on where or when they’re needed most. For instance, answering the phone or dealing with specific areas, like handling returns. Alternatively, you could outsource your customer services to a group of professionals. This can mean you have experienced people who know what they’re doing and don’t need training to deal with customer problems quickly and effectively.

Handle common problems well

A key way to improve your ecommerce customer services is to be able to handle common problems effectively. It’s all very well focussing on tackling complex problems, but if you can’t deal with the simpler issues, which most online retailers come across, then customers are likely to think you’re inexperienced and incompetent. Such problems could include answering customer queries about your products, providing information about your services, and dealing with payment issues.

Keep customers informed

When your customers contact you about a query they have, you should aim to keep them informed throughout the process. This should start right from after they’ve contacted you. For instance, you could immediately send out an automated email to say their query has been received, with a time stating when they should expect to hear from you. It’s also important to update them on any progress after this point, with the aim of stopping them from chasing you for more information. If they’re checking up on the whereabouts of an order, for instance, you should update them regularly. This shows that you are taking the matter seriously and are aiming to meet their needs.

Offer more ways to communicate

When it comes to providing ways for your customers to communicate with you, you should aim to make this as simple as possible and give them options. Different customers will have different ways that they prefer to communicate, from phone to email. So you should offer multiple ways for them to contact you. Examples include a live chat service, which allows you to communicate with customers in real time, so they’re queries can be resolved quickly. Offering a 24-hour phone service – instead of one that operates from 9am till 6pm, for instance – can also improve your customer services by catering for those people who don’t work typical working hours.

Post your FAQs

It’s wise to assist your customers where you can to help them resolve their queries themselves. A key way to do this is to post a set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) on your ecommerce site. This can include answers to questions such as how many days it should take for a customer to receive an order, and how to return a faulty product. Providing information like this can help give customers some quick guidance of what to do and where to go when they have a common query. In turn, this should encourage them to only contact you about more complex issues – reducing the number of queries you receive.

Respond faster

When dealing with customers’ questions and queries, you should aim to respond quickly. Leaving queries unanswered can cause frustration and put off a customer from buying from your business again. Whereas a fast response can show that you’re attentive, and pay attention to your customers’ needs. It can also help with your sales process. For instance, a question about a product can suggest that customer has an interest in that product and that they have a willingness to buy. So responding quickly, such as to provide them with some product information, could lead to a sale.

Be prepared

Finally, it’s important to be prepared for any issues that might happen involving the products you sell online. This can help you put processes in place that allow your customer services team to deal with them efficiently and effectively. This could involve training your staff to quickly look up the status of a delivery. Or it could involve putting together an email that can be sent out to customers to apologise for sending out a delayed or defected product. Or you could split your department into sections to focus on specific issues, such as handling returns, or tracking missing orders. This is just another way to improve the customer services you provide for your ecommerce business.

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