What does customer service mean in the online world? Quite a different thing from the physical world, as it happens. There are many similarities between conducting business online and doing so from a physical premises, but there are just as many importance differences too. This is one of them: to arrive at a working ethos for ecommerce customer service, you need to consider what a customer wants when they visit your ecommerce site, what they expect, and what type of problems they could potentially have.
What is Ecommerce Customer Service?
To start with the blindingly obvious, ecommerce customer services is the way in which online businesses provide assistance to customers – all the way along the line from when those customers first visit the site to when they check out with a purchase and beyond. In the world of ecommerce, however, it is important to note that customer service is perhaps even more important than it is in physical outlets. The reason for this is simply that the online world works on a basis of instant gratification; a customer can click off your site a lot quicker than they can walk out of your physical store. And they will often do so without a moment’s thought.
Olympic Eyewear, a bulk sunglasses supplier for many ecommerce businesses, says that the problems and hurdles facing a potential customer online are quite a bit different to those that could be faced in a physical store. For example, sites crashing and card payment problems are a new generation of the customer service problems, and so they require a fresh answer.
Tips and Best Practices for Online Customer Service
Beyond a cursory definition, it is perhaps best to outline what ecommerce customer service actually is by outlining just how you can get good at it. Follow these tips, learn by doing, and the entire process could very soon come to be second nature.
In the world of ecommerce, getting organized is especially important for customer service. This is simply because the majority of your interaction with customers will be through electronic communication, and it is all too easy for complaints and other correspondences to simply get lost in a pile of old e-mails. You should look into organization software, much like that used by companies to facilitate remote working, and try to consolidate things as best you can.
Personalize Your Responses
Ecommerce often encourages a certain one-size-fits-all approach to many different problems, but this is absolutely not the way to approach ecommerce customer service. Rather than send out a stock response to every e-mail or put a customer “through the motions” every time they have a problem, you should endeavor to meet the customer on their own terms. Moreover, you should always try to reply in a way that doesn’t look like the text has been copy-and-pasted.
“Self-service”, where ecommerce is concerned, refers to everything that can be arranged on an ecommerce site to allow the customer to take themselves through the purchasing process with the minimum of fuss. If customers are, at any stage, waiting on some kind of human response, then that is a sure-fire way to chase them from your site. Try to facilitate as much self-service as possible, but make sure you have a robust customer service system in place to respond to any technical issues that may arise during this process.
Business online means a whole host of other things online, with customer service being one of the most important to get right. Not just because of its eternal worth, but because of how it is done differently online.