What is eCommerce Customer Service?
eCommerce customer service representatives support your business by assisting customers with their product, shipping, and service problems.
Of course, providing excellent service is everyone’s job at your eCommerce business. However, your customer service team is often your business’s only form of direct contact with your customers. Because of this, it’s important to make sure that your customers receive a smooth and satisfying experience.
Your customer service team will ensure that your customers are happy with their experience and your products, and will likely recommend your eCommerce business to others.
Excellent customer service representatives are a necessity for any eCommerce business.
Let’s dig into the top 7 ways customer service representatives can support your eCommerce store.
1) eCommerce Customer Service Representatives Keep Your Customers Happy
A whopping 95% of customers say that excellent customer service is critical for brand loyalty. Customer service representatives assist your customers by:
- Listening and responding to the needs and concerns of your customers
- Handling product or return questions and complaints
- Taking orders
- Answering frequently asked questions
- Researching and answering customer problems
- Referring customers to supervisors or managers for issues that require an additional expertise
Your eCommerce customer service representatives have a variety of methods in which they can work to keep your customers happy with your brand.
It is important to empower your customer service representatives to make small and mid-level decisions to serve your customers best.
This allows your customer service reps to:
- Resolve customers’ issues in a single call, without needing transfer to a supervisor, and
- Be empowered to solve customer problems themselves, making them feel like an invaluable part of the team.
Here are some of the top ways in which your customer service team members can make certain your customers are satisfied with their experience:
- Actively listen to your customers
- Maintain a positive, professional, and empathetic attitude
- Focus on improving your average response time
- Be proactive in your support of customers
- Make self-serve options available
- Provide customer service via social media
- Use live chat
- Offer of phone support line, so your customers can speak with a real person
- Offer options to your customers to solve their issue
- Be clear
- Invest in quality site search
- Offer free or faster shipping
- Follow up after the problem has been solved
- Ask for feedback
2) They Can Reduce Store Returns
A great eCommerce customer service team can help your business reduce the number of returns to your store.
This is accomplished by providing your customers with the information they need to use your products, resolving common issues, or just listening to customer frustrations with empathy and kindness.
An estimated 65% of returns are because of an action by the retailer. The primary reasons for returns include:
- Receiving the wrong product
- Inaccurate description or photo of the product, or
- A damaged product
If the buyer receives the wrong product and also has to deal with a difficult or frustrating return experience, you’re likely to lose that customer for life.
On the flip side, if a customer received the wrong product but encounters a helpful and empowered customer service agent who can quickly set up a return and get the correct product into the customer’s hands as quickly as possible, you’re more likely to have earned a happy customer, and hopefully, a customer for life.
3) They Can Turn Angry Customers Into Loyal Customers
A recent consumer survey found that after a bad customer experience, 97% of customers changed their future buying decisions due to the interaction.
- 58% stopped buying from the company,
- 52% switched to a different company for that product or service,
- 52% told others not to buy that product or service, and
- 48% would not consider that company when making future purchases
A great customer service team member can turn an angry customer into a loyal, lifetime customer simply by handling their issue well.
When it comes to resolving their issues, customers want:
- To interact with pleasant people
- To receive fast, effective responses to their inquiries
- To avoid having to explain their situation multiple times, and
- Someone who will solve their problems
The same survey reported that 87% of customers said that a great customer service experience actually changed their future buying behavior, from recommending products or services to others to purchasing or using more products and services from that company.
Most customers know problems are going to occur sometimes. The difference between a one-time customer and a repeat customer depends almost entirely on how you handle all of those problems as they arise.
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4) eCommerce Customer Service Reps Can Provide Higher Level Service Than Brick-and-Mortar Stores
While brick-and-mortar stores have the advantage of face-to-face interaction, eCommerce customer service representatives can often provide faster service and more satisfying resolutions to customer issues.
For example, eCommerce customer service is generally available 24 hours a day, while brick-and-mortar stores are limited to operating hours. This can be highly inconvenient for customers because it does not work well with their work schedule or availability.
In this day and age, few customers want to spend their lunch hour standing in line at an understaffed customer service counter at a retail store, trying to get their problem resolved.
5) They Can Make the Experience More Personal
One of the key advantages of eCommerce is the ability to personalize the customer’s experience based on their purchase history with your company and their habits of interacting with your business, such as reaching out on social media.
This knowledge gives your customer service representatives the ability to personalize the buyer’s experience, helping your eCommerce business stand out from the crowd and making the experience more favorable for the customer.
6) Meet the Customers on Their Own Terms
About 75% of your customers still prefer to speak with a real-life human being, while others would rather resolve their problems over their favorite social media platform. One significant advantage in eCommerce customer service is the ability to meet your customers on their terms, including:
- By telephone
- Using self-serve options to resolve their issues
- By email
- Over social media
The easier and more frictionless you can make the customer service experience, the happier your customers are. And that starts with meeting them on their terms.
7) Use Best eCommerce Customer Service Practices
89% of customers said a quick response is important when deciding what companies to buy from, and 85% said a smooth experience overall. And 9 out of 10 customers say they will stop buying from a company after three (or fewer) bad customer service interactions.
That’s why it’s critical to make sure you’re following eCommerce customer service best practices, including:
- Make it easy to talk to a human
- Meet customers on their terms
- Enable self-service
- Improve your response time
- Empower customer service representatives to solve problems on their own without escalation
- Measure, optimize, and repeat to improve your customers’ experiences with your brand continually
Your marketing team is probably working hard to establish the best of all possible advertising — positive word-of-mouth, when your customers tell their friends, colleagues, and family about the great experience they had with your business.
But a bad customer service experience is even more likely to be shared. In fact, 6 out of 10 customers will share their bad customer service experiences with others.
Your customer service representatives are a crucial part of your team, and their effectiveness has a major impact on how your brand is perceived by customers.
Investing in great customer service for your eCommerce business doesn’t just keep your customers happy; it’s good for your bottom line.