In the world of online business and extensive competition between merchants, it’s rather difficult not only to satisfy customers with appropriate production (almost any online store can offer a wide range of required items) but mainly provide quick, reliable and smart customer service they expect. This is clear because the more e-commerce business grows the harder is to maintain end users’ preferences. It doesn’t matter whether you have a small web store or a huge mall at any rate if your customer service has poor skills you will not notice significant distinctions.
What should a web store owner do? The answer is simple only the high- quality customer support can save his business. Make your customers feel like their inquiries are always valid and they can be sure that they will receive assistance in a short period. Suggest an idea to a customer that he is the only special and valuable client what will really increase the reputation of your online shop. This is the case where customer service via phone, chat and email becomes especially crucial.
Comprehensive Knowledge Base
One of the most common and essential faults is the lack of an extensive and easy to search the knowledge base. This means that first of all, you will have to build an extended FAQ system because customers will not be satisfied with answers to basic questions. It must include full-fledged information about offered products and give customers an understanding of their utility and functionality. Especially you should pay attention to the explanation methods of a products usage from different points of view in the articles. Don’t forget to update a FAQ page – add new questions and answers and delete irrelevant ones.
Moreover, make sure that your knowledge base possesses links leading directly to the each of the articles what will arise the page ranking and help your customers not to be misled. The other issue is to make customer service representative available at any time and make knowledge base system management smart and able to answer customers’ questions with minimum personal contact.
Help Desk Ticket System
Providing end users with information and support service a help desk must be able to track all their interactions and resolve issues quickly and properly. A customer will see a historical log and can accomplish a task on his own if it happens again.
A lot of customers prefer to use more than one support channel expecting to receive answers by the time they need so, in this case provide your website with a contact form in multiple places. Tracking questions by phone, email, online chats and technical support will help to organise the database of the most popular answers and responses.
Online Chat Integration
If you want your online venture becomes a successful and popular among customers online chat is one of the most effective customer service channels that will help to implement it. A customer is able to ask questions in a real time without waiting for a long time to get the answer and a website owner can understand his preferences more clearly. Online chats are useful when FAQ sections can’t give the full information about products or services but a customer thinks that it isn’t so urgent and significant to pick up a phone to know something.
Don’t forget that online chats must be available all the time because unstable working will not attract people to your online shopping mall. They want to get a direct channel to your support and expect for the fast service
The telephone is one of the most used customer service channels in e-commerce. Having a telephone number on a web page increases website reputation and level of customers trust. People want to talk to real shop assistants and be sure that their preferences and complaints will be heard. Moreover, sometimes a customer wants to obtain more specific information concerned questions of payment, shipping, warranty.
Some websites want to reduce costs on their call-centers and hide their telephone numbers instead of providing customers with email and social media what can really confuse them. Of course, it’s a good solution but not a replacement for phone support.
Social Media Activity Support
For a recent period, social media and especially such websites as Twitter and Facebook have become rather popular ecommerce customer service channels. Having a page of a web store on social media allows tracking customers’ preferences and define trends. Furthermore with social media is possible to place all the complaints directly to online stores and a support team can react immediately.
Also, social media allows to build a brand and show the most pleasant service to your customers. It’s a well-known fact that most of the conversations are happening in publics so polite and comprehensive responses will interest customers in your company and extend online sales.
Traditional Online Means of Communication
Basic communications for example such as email, AIM, ICQ, Skype are still main methods of interaction in e-commerce between vendors and customers. The significant advantage of using email is the opportunity to help a customer without being in some determined place. Using automated email responder is possible to remind the customer about coming of new products or offer new services.
As for the instant messaging services I can say that online store owners shouldn’t ignore them because with their help customers can understand what they are offered in a very short period. An IM service may serve as a flexible navigation system for example if a customer hasn’t attended an online store before but he needs immediately help.
As you have understood creating good customer service is an essential part of online business. Your website may have not all the mentioned services but it depends just on you in what way customer service will be released that will influence on sales rates and your web shop future growing too.
Nicolas Fincher is a marketing and PR manager working for the CS-Cart ecommerce software company, which offers the comprehensive range of multifunctional shopping cart tools, including CS-Cart and Multi-Vendor.
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