Ecommerce Customer Service: The 10 best practices you need to know

Ecommerce Customer Service: The 10 best practices you need to know

Table of Contents

E-commerce companies, unlike traditional retail firms, don’t have to deal with the significant overhead of maintaining a store. This also implies that e-commerce businesses must have a more responsive online support and service center to satisfy strong consumer expectations.

This guide will teach you about 10 best practices to run a top-notch e-commerce Customer Service.

What is Ecommerce Customer Service?

Ecommerce Customer service is assisting online customers— from making better purchase decisions to resolving difficulties— while maintaining a smooth customer experience across multiple touchpoints.

If your online consumers have queries or require assistance after purchase, customer service representatives must be able to respond promptly. E-commerce customer care can assist you with the following:

  • Customer service concerns include difficulties with the checkout procedure, inability to add items to the cart, invalid coupons, etc.
  • Frequently asked questions about product returns, refunds, and delivery.
  • The need to provide a uniform experience over various communication channels.

How Is Ecommerce Customer Service different from Retail customer service?

The fundamental distinction between conventional and e-commerce customer care may be summed up in one word: technology. It’s true, it is a little more complicated than that, but the role of technology is paramount.

Customer journeys for many customers are entirely online. There are no face-to-face consumer interactions for brands to capitalize on. It’s those that keep bricks and mortar shops alive.

That makes sense as well. Through personal interactions, merchants may form relationships. They can offer personalized service and develop devoted consumers.

Ecommerce retailers must use technology to replicate the same procedures. Fortunately, there are now several technologies that assist with precisely this:

  • We use chat software to assist advisors in interacting with consumers in real-time.
  • Call center management software that helps to improve response time.
  • Customer support is quickly becoming a top priority for businesses, with the help of chatbots.
  • AI-powered applications aim to streamline data analysis, entry, and other time-consuming operations. As a result, you’re freeing up your customer support staff to handle consumption-facing activities.

The examples mentioned are just the beginning. However, because ecommerce clients use technology so frequently, it creates new difficulties for businesses. They include:

  • A higher number of client queries and demands.
  • Consumers have more stringent expectations due to Amazon-style standards set by massive ecommerce platforms.
  • Excellent customer service and rapid response times in a multichannel world.

So, how can ecommerce firms overcome these challenges? Building an excellent path creates trust and loyalty among a customer base they will never meet in person.

Ecommerce Customer Service: The 10 best practices you need to know

The 10 best practices for ecommerce customer service you need to know

Want to make your consumers happier while they’re shopping online? Here are the top 10 best practices of e-commerce customer service you should know about:

1. Choose channels your customers prefer

Customers should not have to go through more support channels than is required. You must provide many support methods to your ecommerce company to grow and develop.

If you’re restricting your customer contact methods to only phone and email, they’ll sooner or later become eager to explore alternatives.

According to a Statista survey, 65% of customers believe it is simple to contact a company by phone. However, an enormous proportion (39%) prefer to interact with a firm through social media.

Each customer is indeed unique. But is it possible to provide them with a broad range of options?

Keeping up with a range of communication alternatives might be difficult for any business. This may have an impact on your team’s response time. In fact, many internet retailers may find it impossible to train several agents for various platforms.

As a result, the most accessible approach to resolve this is to ask your consumers directly. You may provide them with a survey and inquire as to which customer support methods they prefer the most. The responses will help you better understand your customers and their preferences.

Top 3 Customer Service Channels

Ecommerce enterprises must be able to interact with consumers where they are. Customers employ a variety of different communication methods today. Brands, then, must maintain a presence across many platforms. Furthermore, they must utilize each medium in unique ways.

1. Social media

Social media is so prevalent that only someone living under a rock for ten years would be ignorant of it. It’s no longer a territory for hilarious videos and cutting remarks. Consumers expect businesses to appear there far too frequently.

You should go to the networks that are most popular with your target audience and perform an audit of their accounts. For example, it might be Facebook or a more current video platform. Engaging consumers through channels that they like establish empathy and trust in them.

2. Email

It’s easy to believe that email has been completely replaced by social media or IM channels. In reality, internet retailers still use it as a popular method of communicating with consumers. However, they now expect responses in the same timeframe as other more immediate platforms.

You must, therefore, maintain tight control of your inboxes. However, don’t give up personalization for the sake of speed. Customers do not want their demands or inquiries addressed by a boilerplate response. Even if what they’ve requested is one of the most common questions you receive.

3. Live chat

For online retailers, live chat is becoming increasingly important. Consumers value immediate assistance. It may assist you keep potential consumers who would otherwise leave your site by allowing you to provide it.

2. Improve your proactive customer service

Most internet retailers are reactive in their approach, focusing on reacting to problems and taking action only after they arise. Businesses can confirm a delay in delivery only when customers inquire about it.

How can you help customers who are shopping online?

  • Before consumers realize it, inform them of any problems: It’s critical to be upfront with your consumers. Problems should be announced as soon as they emerge, and issues should not be left to customers to bring up.
  • Continue communicating with clients: Follow up with your consumers even after their problem has been resolved. Create an automated email asking customers if they’re having the same issues again if you don’t hear back from them within a few days.
  • Apologize for any mistakes: Businesses aren’t run by superheroes, and there’s a good chance something will go wrong. However, you may reverse the situation if you acknowledge your mistake.

3. Maximize live chat

Remember when you were browsing the internet and had a few queries on your mind, such as “Are there any discounts available?” or “When will this item be available again?”

Prospects browsing through your e-commerce site might not know how to get help with their questions. A live chat window that provides immediate assistance may assist reduce delays.

According to a study, live chat has one of the highest customer satisfaction rates. According to research, 92% of customers are happy with live chat compared to other forms of communication.

Setting up a live chat window on your online store is considered an excellent ecommerce customer best practice:

  • You can support your customers with live chat agents in real-time.
  • In fact, they may conduct numerous chat sessions at the same time, which is not possible with other channels such as phone assistance.
  • Create cross-selling and up-selling possibilities.
  • Customers are kept engaged for a personalized and connected experience.

4. Create an attractive product catalog

In a physical store, a sales agent may show you around the product’s features and pricing. However, all of the information for an e-commerce firm is found in product catalogs.

Consumers will contact your company for assistance when they feel that product descriptions are missing out on important details. Some may not like the product pictures enough, while others might abandon their shopping cart because of a discount voucher that isn’t valid.

Before purchasing from an e-commerce company, around 87% of internet customers spend at least a minute reading product descriptions.

By improving the quality and design of your product catalogs, you can save a lot of time dealing with customer service issues. Here are some ideas:

  • Provide honest product descriptions and pricing information.
  • Place numerous “Call to Action” buttons (Share, Contact us, Add to cart, Add to wishlist, Remind me when product is back in stock, etc.) in strategic locations.
  • Add high-resolution product pictures, taken from various angles.
  • You may use genuine product reviews to assist customers in making informed choices.

5. Customers can find you on social media, so be available for them

Customers are more engaged than ever before on social media. They’re uploading vacation photographs and recapping their dining experiences, not to mention interactions with their favorite companies.

According to a Microsoft survey, 50% of respondents aged 18-34 have contacted a firm through social media.

Social media is a crucial component of every ecommerce customer support strategy. The most popular social networking sites, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and others, have evolved into powerful tools for retaining existing consumers and attracting new ones.

Encourage your staff to monitor what consumers are saying about your company online. Resolving their issues in public will help you develop a powerful brand identity.

Customers will love to to buy from a brand that shows its appreciation for their goodwill. Furthermore, wishing consumers on their birthdays or anniversaries and tagging them might help you build customer loyalty. You may also conduct contests and give customers special presents or discount coupons as part of your social media plan.

6. Empower Online Shoppers With a Knowledge Base

Customers don’t have enough time or enthusiasm to contact a person when they are in a hurry. Why wait for an agent to come to your call or text you back, when you can accomplish the task yourself and much faster?

After all, the ability to handle a problem alone is empowering. You can set up a knowledge base or an online help center that provides information on return policies, delivery, refund policy, estimated delivery dates, and more.

Your website may now have numerous online merchants registered on it. For effective e-commerce operations, your web knowledge base must include a seller-specific page.

Etsy.com, for example, is a website where users can buy and sell handmade goods and crafts. There are distinct categories for sellers and consumers on this site.

You may also include self-help blogs, FAQs, or news about your upcoming products for a pleasant self-service experience. You can also add instructional videos to help customers better utilize your goods.

7. Automate Your Customer Service Process

Customer service for e-commerce businesses is never easy, since agents must deal with a slew of support difficulties, constant stress, deadlines, and demanding clients.

This is where an automated customer service procedure comes in handy and allows you to outdistance tedious, time-consuming manual activities. An automated process makes everyone’s life easier: Customer care managers, agents, and consumers.

But how can you integrate automation into current operations?

The good news is that, for the most part, you do not need to spend thousands of dollars on artificial intelligence or big data analytics. A simple help desk software may automate your procedure and please customers.

With the appropriate help desk tool, you may automate your ticket generation and assignment procedure. This ensures that every incoming support problem is automatically turned into a unique ticket and assigned to the most appropriate agent.

You may build hundreds of canned responses to save your agents the trouble of typing the same replies repeatedly.

Furthermore, you may create automatic emails to customers once a ticket is closed. Such communications allow your consumers to rate your service and provide instant feedback.

8. Make Every Support Interaction Count With Personalization

All excellent e-commerce customer experiences have one thing in common: personalization. Personal attention, whether it’s through product suggestions or something as simple as treating clients on their special days, maybe the linchpin of a great support experience.

Is it feasible to deliver personal assistance on a mass scale?

Yes, you can instruct your agents to make every support session count by engaging with clients personally. Here are some things you should note down to get started:

  • Share product suggestions with consumers regularly, either through email or when browsing your website.
  • ​​Ask your representatives to utilize customer names during live chat sessions or phone conversations.
  • Create a loyalty program to recognize and thank your loyal consumers.
  • Handwritten thank you cards will be available, as well as the packed item.

9. Target First Contact Resolution (FCR)

Many e-commerce entrepreneurs are undoubtedly familiar with First Contact Resolution (FCR), yet only a few realize its significance.

The FCR metric measures the percentage of customer problems your team resolves on the first interaction with a client. This refers to whether a consumer’s request is completed before they hang up or terminate a live chat session, like phone support or online chat.

Why should you try to reach a first contact resolution?

  • Save Everyone Time: When more issues are addressed in the first contact, your agents will have to deal with fewer escalations and repeat contacts. This saves everyone time.
  • Increase Customer Service Efficiency: FCR has an immediate impact on the efficiency of your customer support team. With fewer personnel, you may handle a larger number of client problems.
  • Improve Customer Satisfaction: FCR is regarded as a critical factor in customer satisfaction. Getting to know your clients and resolving their issues in the first contact is an easy home run for your expanding internet company.

Ecommerce Customer Service: The 10 best practices you need to know

10. Listen, Improve, & Win

No impressive accomplishment has ever been made in the commercial world without customer consultation.

Listening attentively to what your consumers say can assist you in gathering business-specific data, avoiding worse situations, and improving customer service.

What method do you use to collect consumer comments?

After a support encounter, you may offer customers regular surveys so that they can provide their thoughts. Customer Satisfaction Surveys (CSAT) are a form of research that allows you to assess how satisfied clients are with your service.

You may also collect feedback on your online brand by asking clients to complete a Net Promoter Score Survey (NPS).

Frequently asked questions

Now that we’ve discussed the many e-commerce customer service issues, let’s look at some of the most commonly asked questions below.

Q1. Why is E-commerce support important?

You must first cater to every client to expand your e-commerce empire and encourage repeat purchases. Customers will be more likely to promote your business to their friends and relatives if they receive prompt assistance.

Q2. How is customer service provided in e-commerce?

Online enterprises must assist clients in helping them make better online purchase decisions and address their concerns promptly. To achieve this, you may have your customer service employees assist channels that are most popular with your consumers.

Q3. How can I improve online e-commerce customer service?

You may use the following tactics to enhance e-commerce customer service:

  • Provide excellent customer service by being proactive.
  • On your online store, enable a live chat window.
  • With a knowledge base, you can be accessible to clients 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Automate your customer service operations and increase efficiency.

Q4. What is Multi-Channel Ecommerce Customer Service?

Customer support over multiple channels means providing a variety of communication methods (email, phone, live chat, social media, and so on) to customers. Customers want a consistent and seamless experience regardless of the channel they use.

Q5. What are the most important tools for handling e-commerce website customer service?

E-commerce support software may be used to set up, manage, track, assign, prioritize, and resolve client issues. You can also combine incoming consumer inquiries from multiple sources and respond more quickly.

Customer service is an essential component of achieving success in your ecommerce business. Customer care is deeply linked with the entire customer experience. You must improve your ecommerce customer service best practices to maintain your brand’s reputation.