Customer service is important really important. If you’ve ever been to a restaurant and received awful service, you know exactly what I’m talking about. It doesn’t matter how good the food is, bad customer service can ruin a meal. Same goes for shopping: Customers who receive bad customer service from an online store are highly unlikely to return, and even less likely to refer your business.
1. Respond Generously: If a customer complains, take it seriously and act on it immediately. Complaint departments have changed quite a bit over the years. People don’t fill out comment cards or send emails to the complaint department anymore. They go on Twitter and other public forums to raise hell, so it’s very important to fix a squeaky wheel as soon as possible. If the complaint is legitimate you shouldn’t cheap out… be generous.
2. Offer Live Chat: In a retail store if you have a question about a product you can ask a sales associate or head to the customer service desk. If you have a complaint you can ask for the store manager. As we’ve moved to buying products and services online, we’ve come to expect online stores to have a customer service hotline or at the very minimum an email address to offer assistance or resolve issues. Ecommerce merchants can take their customer service to the next level by offering live customer support through a chat window.
3. Send Customers a Survey: A survey is a good way to show your customers you care about their opinions. It’s also a great way to gather customer feedback for future offerings and to test current products on the market.
4. Create a Friendly Return Policy: Some people are hesitant to shop online because they’re unsure about purchase and return policies. Does your ecommerce store have a return policy? If not, you should seriously consider creating one. While etching the details, it’s important that all sales are not final, and all your policies are stated in plain English somewhere that’s easy to find.
5. Stay in Touch with Customer Needs: In short, always immediately get a detailed understanding of the problem. From there, you will need to tell the customer exactly how you plan to fix it. If this isn’t good enough, your next alternative step is to ask the customer how they’d like it fixed. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to agree. You can listen to their proposed solution, and offer to meet in the middle. This way, both parties are happy and the customer relationship isn’t broken.
One of the primary reasons people are drawn to their favorite brands is because of their customer service relationships. Customer service can make or break your chances with a new or existing customer, but you probably already know this. Don’t let bad customer relationships ruin your business.
Customer service can make or break a business. This should be a top priority as your business grows. Consumers who feel understood and appreciated are likely to return.