A successful eCommerce marketplace is not just about quality products and eye-catchy website design.
Well, obviously these two will help you cross the first few miles smoothly. But soon after that you will begin to face the heat of the competition. You might feel tempted to ask, what will differentiate one business from the other at this stage? The answer is pretty simple.
The way you are servicing your customers will define the long term future of your business. No matter which products you are offering and at what price, if you are not providing quality customer support, you are doomed. Make sure that your customers are getting help whenever they reach you. And most importantly, do not forget-
When you make a customer feel valued, you create a customer for life.
In this write-up, I will first discuss about why you should make customer support an absolute priority. After that, there will be some tips on how to achieve highest customer satisfaction.
I would insist you to bear with me. Because this time it will definitely add some real value into how you have been running your show.
Why You Must Ensure A Solid Customer Support
The reasons are manifold, it is not just restricted to your budget book or reputation. As a matter of fact, how you approach customer support in our business tells a lot about who you are as a person. Companies with short-sighted vision will not actively solve customer's issues. They will try to find out the return of customer servicing in a faulty approach. In most of the cases, this attitude indicates where the company is heading to- ‘nowhere'.
You might have heard about this popular stat about customer retention and acquisition-
“It costs five times as much to bring in a new customer than to retain an existing one.”
Excellent support gives you this leverage to retain customers. Issues with products or services is not totally uncommon. It definitely hurts the customers but what follows after that is more important. If she receives post-sale service from you, she will consider to purchase from you next time. Otherwise, you will remain as a sorry memory in her mind.
Word of Mouth Advertising
This is possibly the best form of promotion in today's connected world. Whenever you are making a customer feel valued or avoided, she will discuss about it with her friends and families. In this age of social rating, it will be difficult to step up your game if you get labelled as a hostile company, even for once.
Brand Reputation & Trust
Enhanced reputation and customer trust is a collective result of all your customer oriented activities. The more you give efforts to satisfy your customers ( i.e open up priority support channel, deliver promo offers etc.), your customers will become your fan and take an active role in building your brand image.
Excellent customer support is like a guarantor for potential partners. If a company is treating their customers in the best possible way, there is no reason why it wouldn't do the same with partners. In many cases, it turns out a lot of customers have their own initiatives that can be tied up with your business.
So these are the broad business area that gives you positive results when you give your best at providing customer support. There are some other indirect results such as higher employee turnover, reduction of problems and so on.
Time To Step Up Your Game
So you already know why customer support is essential to stand out in the overcrowded industry. Now you need to equip yourself with the right kind of knowledge that will help you achieve that. In this segment, I will share some ways to offer great customer support. Go through it and think how you can implement it for your business- if you haven't already.
Contact Form & Newsletters
This is a must have thing in your website to help both potential and existing customers to reach out to you. You should provide contact forms at relevant places in your websites. Your support email ID should be featured in visible spots as well, preferably at footer and sidebars.
Newsletters can be a great way to provide customer support. For example, you can email resources to your customers who bought a particular type of products from your store. Or you can send automated follow-up email to customers who have used products for a certain time.
Live Chat & Phone Support
Customer expectation has evolved a lot with new tech and cutting edge apps. That is why live chat is becoming popular among the digital shoppers. There are loads of benefits that comes with live chats. Customer can explain their problems easily, and as a result, their issues are resolved almost instantly. Same goes for phone support too. But you need to have resources allocated for these support channels, otherwise the idea might backfire.
Support ticket is a great way to report service requests to the providers. With this, your customers can let you know about the issues she is facing in an organized way. She can track the tickets, get notification for updates while you can assign tickets to particular team members, check ticket history, set priority, track resolution time and many more. A customer centric online business will definitely struggle without a support ticket system. So you should check out some solutions for you and purchase one that suits you best.
Most of the customers look for FAQ section right after they decide to purchase your goods. That is why you must invest substantial time to find out which questions your prospective buyers ask most before buying? After you have noted those down, write the answers as plainly as possible and get them live on your FAQ page. Don't forget to make it easily navigable from your landing page!
By resource here I mean anything that adds up to the knowledge base of your customer. A certain section like blog can serve as an excellent resource for them. Your social media account like Facebook group or LinkedIn page can provide excellent and up to date knowledge too. Whatever the channel is, make sure you feed updates to your customers related to campaigns, new features, sales offer and achievements.
A golden rule is to ensure your customer do not need to leave your site to find information on your product. Also keep in mind that, customers find visual contents more engaging than text contents.
Before implementing any customer support, it is important that you understand why it is important and how it will sync with your operation. Once you got hold of that, decide which of the aforementioned support options you can set up using your current resources. Carefully implement these plans and allocate resources for them. I guarantee that you will reap its long term benefit.