6 Ways to Improve Customer Service for Online Retailers
With the paradigm shift from brick-and-mortar to online retail, too many business owners think that great customer service has lost its importance. A customer, however, is always a customer, and whether the purchase process takes place in a store or on a laptop, in order to get repeat business, you want to give your buyer the easiest, most enjoyable experience possible. If you're unsure how to improve customer service online, follow these helpful pointers:
1. Offer live chat. Live chat provides consumers with the ability to receive information in real time from a real person. Requiring a shopper to read the fine print of a policy manual or have to navigate the labyrinth of telephone customer service may just propel them to your competitor. Live chat is an effective customer service option that you can provide at relatively little cost which can boost your repeat business markedly.
2. Streamline the process. Make it easier for your customers to make a purchase. Institute a guest checkout program so your buyers don't have to create a full account. Those that want to create an account can always do so, but the more requirements you have, the more shoppers you're going to drive away.
3. Use your social media presence. Reach out to prospects via social media and devote the appropriate attention to keeping your current customers satisfied. If anyone posts a complaint about your business, address it immediately. Doing so can help convert that potentially harmful event into a positive one for your business. Respond to all comments within one business day at most, and post fun information and enticing offers regularly, but not too regularly — nothing scares off a "friend" faster than spam.
4. Clearly explain your return policy. Make sure your return policy is absolutely clear, especially if you accept limited returns. The last thing you want is for customers to make purchases and then be hamstrung by your returns policy. Make it clear going in what's returnable and what isn't, who pays shipping costs, and exactly what customers need to do to complete the process.