Get More Sales with Great Customer Service

Posted on
September 7, 2020

The key to success for any business is good customer service. We all know that if customers buy from a store and have a bad experience, they don't repeat as buyers.

We consider customer service as a support for solving incidents but it works for driving sales too, so customer service is functional before and after closing a sale. In fact, when visitors enter your website, your relationship starts, and if you offer a chat you can consult about particular products and encourage them to close the sale. Once closed, you can offer tracking services for your order, through an SMS. And, later, send them information about your products and services, promotions, etc. This way, the relationship continues even past the sale.

The shopping experience

Let’s take it a step further and look for ways to create a memorable shopping experience for the customer, for example, surprising customers by sending them a gift when they place orders over a certain amount or calling new customers to ask if they are happy with the service. In sum, you’ll get these benefits:

  • By solving their needs and answering their questions. You will obtain a more satisfied and loyal customer with the brand. It is essential to boost customer recurrence.
  • Lead the customer to close the sale. If you do care about your customers and their needs, you’ll help them to buy and solve their problems in your store.  
  • Humanize the company.  Customers want to know that the responsibility for management falls on people, despite a screen separating them during the purchase process. It conveys confidence and can soften the initial tone in a complaint.
  • Avoid the loss of a customer or brand reputation. It is normal that questions arise during the purchase process, our recommendation is to try to anticipate them, answer and solve those questions quickly and transparently. Good customer management will minimize abandonment during the purchase and will sometimes avoid the publication of negative comments about the company, service or product.

Providing a service that genuinely helps your customers will make the difference between a successful business and a business that could fail. We recommend you strive throughout the sales process and not only after an incident occurs with the product. Ask the question, how can I improve my customer service even more?

Know thy customer.

How to improve customer service online

Customer service is essential to achieve more engagement and have recurring sales. For this reason, we recommend you follow these steps:

1. Know your customer

In any business, everything revolves around the customer and their needs. Defining your buyer persona helps you detect the most appealing products or how to increase sales. Knowing your target is also fundamental for improving your customer service and if you identify what are your customers’ doubts or objections, you can offer them solutions – and that means more sales.

How to collect that information?

  • Surveys: create small forms on your website to ask very specific questions.
  • Suggestions mailbox: let them explain to you where you fail or how you can improve.
  • Email marketing: ask your subscribers questions.
  • Blog: Encourage readers to leave comments.

Additionally, for knowing your customers well, it’s advisable to know your product perfectly, so that you can offer relevant information that helps your customers make decisions no matter what your industry is or niche is, knowing your product will improve customer service. And many people are selling online and they never try their own products and don't know what they offer. And this is a very serious mistake in order to provide good customer service because this will lead to longer response times and less accurate information. 

2. Have a plan

One of the most common problems of customer service in online stores is the absence of a plan. When a problem arises, you can't improvise all the time or you will fall into the following errors:                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

  • Unanswered messages
  • Management delays
  • Lack of criteria
  • Inconsistent responses

To avoid all these kinds of issues, you have to create an action plan that contains the following:

  • Who or who is in charge of answering customers?
  • Who makes the decisions?
  • What information do you need? (Guarantees, shipping times, telephones, materials...)
  • What communication channels will you use?
  • What are the customer service hours?
  • What are the criteria for making a return?
  • What is the process to address a claim?
  • Planned compensation (discounts, gifts, etc).

Even if your store is small, don’t think that you don’t need to have a plan. Sooner or later, you’ll end up managing something wrong and you will risk losing the customer.

3. FAQs

A large part of the questions that come to customer service are similar and just about getting ahead of the possible questions that may arise from your clients, you can save time for your customers and you.

When you have been with your store for a while, you’ll see that the same doubts are always repeated. That is why it is very useful to create a special page where you answer these types of questions.

4. Content Marketing 

To stand out from the competition, you need to add something extra to your products and services, and one of the best ways to do this is through content creation. Creating content related to your brand will help you increase the visibility and SEO positioning of your website, in addition to positioning yourself as an expert in the market. 

One of the most typical and effective ways to do it is through a brand blog, whose content is good for sharing through different social channels. Having a blog not only makes you gain visibility, but it can also help you offer better customer service. Create tutorials where you show how your product works or how to configure or ensemble them. You can also explain tricks or offer ideas on how to get more out of them.

Finally, make sure to switch between different formats: Videos, infographics, downloadable, image galleries... There are many options that go beyond written text posts. Make sure to include a variety of formats in your content plan and discuss which ones work best with your audience.

5. Clarify the purchase process 

Schedule an email when the payment is complete informing your customers the following:

  • Date of delivery
  • Carrier
  • Guarantee
  • Telephone or ways to contact

Remember that with an online store you do not attend to the customer in person. That absence is not a big problem if you fill that hole with regular communication, starting with the detail of the entire purchase process.

6. Let them take care of themselves

Many times the best customer service is the one that you don't need. So, check that your virtual store meets all these points:

  • Your web design is intuitive and attractive.
  • Is it easy to navigate through it?
  • Is the user experience good?
  • Do you have a search engine like Doofinder so that they quickly find what they need?
  • Does your website load quickly?
  • The photos of your products show what the customer wants to see?
  • Do you have the best payment gateways?

Do not think that your e-commerce customer service is only reduced to answering the chat or the calls you receive. All the experience that the user lives in the store influences how they perceive the service you give them.

7. Optimize your online store

You will need to have an optimized website to succeed because a page, which takes time to load or with unclear information will have a very negative impact on your conversions. In the same way, a site where users can clearly find what they are looking for and buy in a few clicks will multiply the conversion rate.

Therefore, in order not to waste the qualified traffic that comes to your store, take these tips into account:

  •  Accessibility from mobile. Users are preferring their mobile to consult and buy. Today, we are making more and more purchases directly from mobile phones. To generate a good experience on all devices, it is necessary for the website to have a 100% responsive design and load times as short as possible.
  • User experience (UX). Responsible for generating positive feelings when interacting with a system (in this case, your website) and optimizing processes (for example, subscription or purchase). These types of experiences not only improve conversion rates but are also part of your brand image.
  • SEO & SEM. If you want to sell more online, the first thing is that users find you easily, so search engine advertising (both organic and paid) is your ally.

8. Create unique landing pages

Landing pages are essential for online sales since they are the place in which the traffic of leads transforms into customers. To create effective landing pages, the first step is to find a structure that works. In general, the simpler and clearer a landing page is, the better. 

9. Choose which channels to use 

It is good to have many open communication channels. But the reality is that if you’re not going to have them active, it’s better not to open them. So, pick a few and focus on them.

10. Live Chat 

Stores that do not offer chat services generate distrust because they seem to be hiding something. Offer a direct chat via Zendesk, create a custom channel on Slack or Discord, even use Skype or Whatsapp, or another service that suits your line of work. At the beginning of 2016 WhatsApp already had 1 billion users. If people like this channel to communicate, why not use it?

There are many software options to streamline your chat, such as Olark or Zendesk Chat. Real-time chats are an option that is working better and better. Always specify the hours in which you answer questions and try to be quick and pleasant. Not seeing your customers directly doesn’t imply that you’re not polite.

11. Email

It is still the favorite channel for marketing purposes. However, you need to know that sometimes it's better to pick up the phone and solve the problem with the customer directly. In any case, you need to send engaging emails and deliver emotions as there are tons of stores that send emails that seem like a robot is writing them. Remember that you are addressing a person.

12. Social Media

Social networks are a fabulous channel to communicate with your customers and find out what they need. However, this is one of the points where many online stores fail. Many e-commerce companies don't respond correctly, take a long time to do it or do not even do it. Managing a community is not easy and if you cannot or do not know how to do it, it is better to hire a professional.

13. How to manage a claim 

Sooner or later a claim will come. A defective product, a delay in the courier, a misunderstanding... it doesn't matter what the reason is. The important thing is that you have an angry customer and you must manage to fix that problem. So, follow these steps:

  • Let customers explain: you will get them to relax and you will capture information about the problem.
  • Apologize at the beginning: customers will feel that you are empathizing with them and they will calm down. 
  • Manage the issue: identify what happened and offer a solution according to what you have in your action plan.
  • Keep the customer informed: if the solution is going to take time, inform the client from time to time about how everything is going.

When you manage to resolve a claim and the customer ends up happy, you have many options for them to become loyal to the brand.

14. Learn from your mistakes

Don't take complaints as problems, but as ways to improve. After managing a problem you have to read and think about what you could do so that this doesn't happen again. That’s it. Never stop listening to your customers. Every opinion they give you is pure gold.

And don’t forget that customer service is a process that starts very early on your sales process and basically does not end if you keep your customer loyal to your brand.

If you want to learn more, contact us and we will get back to you!

Let’s take it a step further and look for ways to create a memorable shopping experience for the customer, for example, surprising customers by sending them a gift when they place orders over a certain amount or calling new customers to ask if they are happy with the service. In sum, you’ll get these benefits:

Objectives of the online customer service strategy:

  • By solving their needs and answering their questions. You will obtain a more satisfied and loyal customer with the brand. It is essential to boost customer recurrence.
  • Lead the customer to close the sale. If you do care about your customers and their needs, you’ll help them to buy and solve their problems in your store.  
  • Humanize the company.  Customers want to know that the responsibility for management falls on people, despite a screen separating them during the purchase process. It conveys confidence and can soften the initial tone in a complaint.
  • Avoid the loss of a customer or brand reputation. It is normal that questions arise during the purchase process, our recommendation is to try to anticipate them, answer and solve those questions quickly and transparently. Good customer management will minimize abandonment during the purchase and will sometimes avoid the publication of negative comments about the company, service or product.

Providing a service that genuinely helps your customers will make the difference between a successful business and a business that could fail. We recommend you strive throughout the sales process and not only after an incident occurs with the product. Ask the question, how can I improve my customer service even more?

Know thy customer.

How to improve customer service online

Customer service is essential to achieve more engagement and have recurring sales. For this reason, we recommend you follow these steps:

1. Know your customer

In any business, everything revolves around the customer and their needs. Defining your buyer persona helps you detect the most appealing products or how to increase sales. Knowing your target is also fundamental for improving your customer service and if you identify what are your customers’ doubts or objections, you can offer them solutions – and that means more sales.

How to collect that information?

In addition to paying attention to the usual communication channels, you can also know the opinion of your users in other ways:

  • Surveys: create small forms on your website to ask very specific questions.
  • Suggestions mailbox: let them explain to you where you fail or how you can improve.
  • Email marketing: ask your subscribers questions.
  • Blog: Encourage readers to leave comments.

Additionally, for knowing your customers well, it’s advisable to know your product perfectly, so that you can offer relevant information that helps your customers make decisions no matter what your industry is or niche is, knowing your product will improve customer service. And many people are selling online and they never try their own products and don't know what they offer. And this is a very serious mistake in order to provide good customer service because this will lead to longer response times and less accurate information. 

2. Have a plan

One of the most common problems of customer service in online stores is the absence of a plan. When a problem arises, you can't improvise all the time or you will fall in the following errors:                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

  • Unanswered messages
  • Management delays
  • Lack of criteria
  • Inconsistent responses

To avoid all these kinds of issues, you have to create an action plan that contains the following:

  • Who or who is in charge of answering customers?
  • Who makes the decisions?
  • What information do you need? (Guarantees, shipping times, telephones, materials...)
  • What communication channels will you use?
  • What are the customer service hours?
  • What are the criteria for making a return?
  • What is the process to address a claim?
  • Planned compensation (discounts, gifts, etc).

Even if your store is small, don’t think that you don’t need to have a plan. Sooner or later, you’ll end up managing something wrong and you will risk losing the customer.

3. FAQs

A large part of the questions that come to customer service are similar and just about getting ahead of the possible questions that may arise from your clients, you can save time for your customers and you.

When you have been with your store for a while, you’ll see that the same doubts are always repeated. That is why it is very useful to create a special page where you answer these types of questions.

4. Content Marketing 

To stand out from the competition, you need to add something extra to your products and services, and one of the best ways to do this is through content creation. Creating content related to your brand will help you increase the visibility and SEO positioning of your website, in addition to positioning yourself as an expert in the market. 

One of the most typical and effective ways to do it is through a brand blog, whose content is good for sharing through different social channels. Having a blog not only makes you gain visibility, but it can also help you offer better customer service. Create tutorials where you show how your product works or how to configure or ensemble them. You can also explain tricks or offer ideas on how to get more out of them.

Finally, make sure to switch between different formats: Videos, infographics, downloadable, image galleries... There are many options that go beyond written text posts. Make sure to include a variety of formats in your content plan and discuss which ones work best with your audience.

5. Clarify the purchase process 

Schedule an email when the payment is complete informing your customers the following:

  • Date of delivery
  • Carrier
  • Guarantee
  • Telephone or ways to contact

Remember that with an online store you do not attend to the customer in person. That absence is not a big problem if you fill that hole with regular communication, starting with the detail of the entire purchase process.

6. Let them take care of themselves

Many times the best customer service is the one that you don't need. So, check that your virtual store meets all these points:

  • Your web design is intuitive and attractive.
  • Is it easy to navigate through it?
  • Is the user experience good?
  • Do you have a search engine like Doofinder so that they quickly find what they need?
  • Does your website load quickly?
  • The photos of your products show what the customer wants to see?
  • Do you have the best payment gateways?

Do not think that your e-commerce customer service is only reduced to answering the chat or the calls you receive. All the experience that the user lives in the store influences how they perceive the service you give them.

7. Optimize your online store

You will need to have an optimized website to succeed because a page, which takes time to load or with unclear information will have a very negative impact on your conversions. In the same way, a site where users can clearly find what they are looking for and buy in a few clicks will multiply the conversion rate.

Therefore, in order not to waste the qualified traffic that comes to your store, take these tips into account:

  •  Accessibility from mobile. Users are preferring their mobile to consult and buy. Today, we are making more and more purchases directly from mobile phones. To generate a good experience on all devices, it is necessary for the website to have a 100% responsive design and load times as short as possible.
  • User experience (UX). Responsible for generating positive feelings when interacting with a system (in this case, your website) and optimizing processes (for example, subscription or purchase). These types of experiences not only improve conversion rates but are also part of your brand image.
  • SEO & SEM. If you want to sell more online, the first thing is that users find you easily, so search engine advertising (both organic and paid) is your ally.

8. Create unique landing pages

Landing pages are essential for online sales since they are the place in which the traffic of leads transforms into customers. To create effective landing pages, the first step is to find a structure that works. In general, the simpler and clearer a landing page is, the better. 

9. Choose which channels to use 

It is good to have many open communication channels. But the reality is that if you’re not going to have them active, it’s better not to open them. So, pick a few and focus on them.

10. Live Chat 

Stores that do not offer chat services generate distrust because they seem to be hiding something. Offer a direct chat via Zendesk, create a custom channel on Slack or Discord, even use Skype or Whatsapp, or another service that suits your line of work. At the beginning of 2016 WhatsApp already had 1 billion users. If people like this channel to communicate, why not use it?

There are many software options to streamline your chat, such as Olark or Zendesk Chat. Real-time chats are an option that is working better and better. Always specify the hours in which you answer questions and try to be quick and pleasant. Not seeing your customers directly doesn’t imply that you’re not polite.

11. Email

It is still the favorite channel for marketing purposes. However, you need to know that sometimes it's better to pick up the phone and solve the problem with the customer directly. In any case, you need to send engaging emails and deliver emotions as there are tons of stores that send emails that seem like a robot is writing them. Remember that you are addressing a person.

12. Social Media

Social networks are a fabulous channel to communicate with your customers and find out what they need. However, this is one of the points where many online stores fail. Many e-commerce companies don't respond correctly, take a long time to do it or do not even do it. Managing a community is not easy and if you cannot or do not know how to do it, it is better to hire a professional.

13. How to manage a claim 

Sooner or later a claim will come. A defective product, a delay in the courier, a misunderstanding... it doesn't matter what the reason is. The important thing is that you have an angry customer and you must manage to fix that problem. So, follow these steps:

  • Let customers explain: you will get them to relax and you will capture information about the problem.
  • Apologize at the beginning: customers will feel that you are empathizing with them and they will calm down. 
  • Manage the issue: identify what happened and offer a solution according to what you have in your action plan.
  • Keep the customer informed: if the solution is going to take time, inform the client from time to time about how everything is going.

When you manage to resolve a claim and the customer ends up happy, you have many options for them to become loyal to the brand.

14. Learn from your mistakes

Don't take complaints as problems, but as ways to improve. After managing a problem you have to read and think about what you could do so that this doesn't happen again. That’s it. Never stop listening to your customers. Every opinion they give you is pure gold.

And don’t forget that customer service is a process that starts very early on your sales process and basically does not end if you keep your customer loyal to your brand.

If you want to learn more, contact us and we will get back to you!

Posted on
September 5, 2020
in
Tips
category