Customer service can make or break an e-commerce site.
It was not long ago that any call to a customer service center was a dreaded occurrence. Picking up the phone meant long hold times, rude representatives, the run-around, and, frequently, little to no resolution. Now, however, the tides are shifting in the customer service world and even the biggest e-commerce companies are stepping up their game.
At Amazon, every employee spends two days every two years working at the service desk to answer calls. Employees at Wayfair start at the customer service desk when they are first hired. Zappos has removed all scripts and limits on call times. These tactics prove that businesses of all sizes MUST take customer service seriously. A negatively impacted customer has a bigger voice than ever before and the word will spread like wildfire across the web if you provide poor customer service.
Even if you’re not a huge e-commerce business with hundreds of phone reps, you can take strides to make your customer service experience a better one.
Remember: the customer is always right – Ok, that might not always be the case, but there are many things you can do to turn a poor customer experience around.
1. Make returns easy. Include everything a customer will need in order to return their item, including a return-shipping label. And let the customer return the item at any time, for any reason.
2. Send out a replacement item quickly and with no charge. Was something damaged in shipping? Does the customer need that item immediately? Send them out a replacement that day and let them return the damaged item at their leisure.
3. Are you the OEM of the goods you are selling? Consider a lifetime warranty or some type of replacement program. Patagonia and LL Bean have had great success retaining customers because they offer a lifetime guarantee on their goods.
4. Be friendly. People are usually angry/frustrated/disappointed when they pick up the phone and dial or shoot off that email to customer service. Being kind, courteous and understanding will go a long way in building relationships with customers.
While not all customer issues will be easily resolved with a replacement item, free shipping or an easy return process, putting some thought and care into how customer service is handled with your e-commerce business will go a long way to building strong and lasting relationships with your customers.
The Bottom Line
Ask yourself: Do we deliver great customer service? If the answer is no, give us a shout. At Accorin we think about all aspects of the customer journey. We can talk about how to improve your e-commerce customer service experience.