Test, test and test! There is no one-fits-all solution. Keep these principles in mind; use website optimization tools such as Google Analytics to track performance and identify areas for improvement. Testing and optimization is an ongoing process in e-commerce website design.
Serve customers as a ‘consultant’.
Online shoppers are more suspicious of simple texts and pictures instead of actual products or sellers. When concerns arise, having live chat communication is a viable solution. A smile or a cordial text greeting can make customers feel they are doing businesses with a thoughtful person rather than a cold computer, which in turn helps customers relax their initial vigilance.
Thankfully, setting up a live chat system is pretty easy these days with software tools from SaaS service providers. A professional customer service representative with good sales tactics can help customers find suitable products and guide customers’ purchasing behavior, thereby increase the sales close rate.
Extend after-sale service.
The long complicated purchasing process of many e-commerce stores determines the time span of after-sale service which begins right after customers render payment. The time a customer spends waiting for product or service arrival could cause changes in customer psychology and mindset. So it’s wise to inform customers about every step in the delivery process, enable them to track the order independently, and build close relationships to show you care.
After customers receive their order, considerate follow-up and service should be provided. Word-of-mouth (WOM) is important for both online and offline stores while the difference lies in the fact that customers’ reviews are easier found online. Thus, a customer service manager should check customer reviews every day.
When there’s a negative comment, handle it immediately. Use telephone communication to get in touch, if possible. Although some criticism may be unreasonable, your team should still try to redeem itself. Every business will experience unsatisfied customers, but the key is the attitude and method used to solve their problems, which is also an effective way to gain customer loyalty.
Follow up closely on logistics.
Most online store owners will experience logistics problems as they scale, some of which are quite painful. When orders rapidly increase, logistics problems arise. This is inevitable. Very few online stores have their own transportation system, and instead rely on third party express services to complete the transactions. It seems that you cannot control, let alone solve, the problems occurring in this step. But in fact, you can optimize your logistics system to a certain extent through indirect methods.
Reducing the time gap between placing an order and dispatching the package is the first step that can be optimized. After the packages are shipped, remind customers to keep an eye on the logistics information, letting them see your efficiency and level of care. Moreover, customer service staff should actively follow up on product delivery, communicate with transport services immediately, and if any delay or error happens, try to solve it before customers notice. In short, try to control logistics problems and avoid customer dissatisfaction.
Ultimately e-commerce is a virtual shopping process that links data, communication, logistics, after-sale service and even IT techniques. It seems that the process cannot be seen or touched, which is exactly the reason why a minor mistake can affect the entire operation and ruin the whole experience. Thus, for e-commerce, it’s vital to optimize and perfect the customer experience from every detail.
Kevin Gao is the founder and CEO of Comm100, a leading provider of live chat software for business. As a software developer as well as a small business expert, he’s always ambitious to revolutionize the way of online customer service and communication.
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