Great customer service is essential in order to ensure repeat business from your customers. This is even more important if you are operating an e-commerce business, which may not have the brand recognition that a lot of larger businesses have. By making your business easy to deal with your customers will not only purchase again they will spread the word. And yes, bad customer service will guarantee that your customers will spread the word and complain about your business even more. So, that’s even more incentive to ensure your customer experience is fantastic.
1. Information Center
Ensure customers can easily ask questions and find information before making a purchase. This could include a FAQ section with useful information in it, online chat with a customer service agent, quick responses to questions asked via social media, and an easy to find 1-800 number.
2. Customer Friendly Return and shipping Policies
Nothing will turn a customer off more than a business that make it hard to do returns or get refunds. Ensure that you have a long enough time frame to make returns and that your return policy is easy to find on your website. Also have a customer friendly policy for refunding the difference for items that have since gone on sale. Recently some companies have started to automatically credit customers who have purchased items that have gone on sale within a particular time period. This is great for customers – they won’t get upset for missing out on a lower price and it saves them the time of making a call. It also helps to save your customer service department time since these customers no longer have to call in and ask for the refund.
Shipping costs are a huge obstacle for completing the transaction. Shipping costs are the number one reason for abandoned carts. Make sure your shipping cost policy is not only easy to find on your website but also customer friendly. Free shipping on all purchases is not necessary and probably not possible for you. But consider free shipping on a minimum purchase amount or on lighter weight items. Also consider flat shipping costs for standard items.
3. What they see is what they get
Make sure that the product photos and descriptions on your e-commerce site are accurate to what the customer will receive. Ensure it’s noted prominently when items may be a different colour then shown. Multiple product photos from different angles are important to ensure that the customer knows exactly what they will receive. Even more important is making sure the products sent are in great condition. Make sure the original packaging isn’t damaged and if possible do a quick check to make sure the product itself isn’t damaged. Also, essential is wrapping the product securely for shipping. By doing these checks you’ll get less returns and have happy customers!
4. Simple check-out
After spending all that time shopping customers want to be able to have a quick and easy check-out experience. Simple thing you can do to ensure this are
- Automatically have the option to create an account with the shipping information supplied instead of having 2 different paths
- Instead of having your customers fill in all their information before they can calculate shipping make sure shipping costs can be calculated at the beginning of the check-out process
- Only ask for necessary information
- Make sure your shopping cart and check-out is mobile and tablet friendly
- Ensure your security information is easy to see so your customers know their information is secure
- In case your customers have questions during the check-out process have your customer service number or live agent chat available on the check-out page(s)
Customers are not always right, but remember that it’s not in your best interest to argue with your customers. It’s better to have policies that are easy for the customer and that are a little flexible to ensure a great customer experience. You’ll benefit in the long run with customer affinity and positive word of mouth.
Use our lifetime customer value worksheet to calculate how much customer loyalty is worth to your e-commerce business.