Did you know that it costs more for a brand to acquire a customer than it does to retain one? The secret to keeping a customer is exceptional customer service. That’s because the average consumer, nowadays more than ever, looks for an experience that is hassle-free and convenient.
By providing customers with excellent customer service, you effectively make them brand ambassadors who not only favor your brand over others, but persuade their friends and family to do the same. However, before you start prepping your company for a customer relations upgrade, you must educate yourself on the various practices that you can implement for successful e-commerce customer service. Here are 15 helpful methods that your customer service team can incorporate today.
1. Take Responsibility For Your Brand
A customer’s irritation is often at its peak when they have to deal with a customer service team, so imagine the frustration when your customer service live chat team blames someone else. For example, while your customer deals with a damaged product after taking it out of the packaging, the last thing they want to hear is that it was the courier service’s fault.
A live chat team member should carefully listen to the customer before coming to conclusions as to whose fault it was. Even if your brand isn’t to blame, but rather a third party, you should still take responsibility for your contracted companies. By stepping up and offering to shoulder the responsibility, customers will understand that you are willing to make it up to them, and they will accept what you have to offer.
2. Be Respectful Towards Even The most Irritated Customers
An essential rule of any department in a business is to be respectful, whether you’re dealing with staff or customers. In customer service, a person calling with a problem or query already has a complaint, so being disrespectful will only make things worse. Not to mention, it gives them another reason to complain.
According to the ‘Customers That Stick’ website; when asked which out of seven service triggers would make them most angry, a majority of customers responded that ‘being disrespected’ would be the worst. Therefore, train your customer service team to stay calm throughout the ordeal and treat a customer, as they would like to be treated.
When dealing with angry or rude customers, it can be easy for your staff to lose their temper as well. But one bad reaction from a customer service representative is bad news, and bad news spreads fast, no matter how polite the rest of your customer service team is.
As an e-commerce business owner, you should invest significant resources in finding and training your customer service team to be polite and calm. Also, it can be beneficial to thank a customer for their time after your live chat team has resolved the issue. This makes a customer feel like you value their time just as much as they do.
3. Be Quick and Use Their Name When Addressing Them
Response time is critical for a stable customer service department because your competitors are only a Google search away. Use a live chat for sales to help your team attend to more than one customer at a time. This ensures your customers’ issues are addressed in a timely manner. You could even start with an automatic computer-generated message that simply says ‘Hey there! Let us know how we can help you and we’ll be with you in just a moment’. This doesn’t require any additional staff time and helps your staff to prepare for the customer’s specific issue.
Once the conversation is underway, it pays to use the customer’s name and make the message more personalized. So while automating different aspects of your company may be a good thing, it’s best to add a human touch to customer service wherever possible. Whether you’re replying to a query on social media forums or replying to an email, it’s best to use their name, so they know that they’re talking to a real person.
4. Remember to Apologize
Apologizing to an unhappy customer is more than just saying that you’re ‘sorry,’ it involves understanding the problem and being sincere. To keep it short, they’re expecting a genuine, human approach to apologizing rather than one without comprehension of the issue. It sounds confusing, but immediately saying that you’re sorry can do less to alleviate the issue, so it’s best to wait until your live chat team has thoroughly understood the problem.
Being empathetic with a customer can go a long way; even if they don’t appreciate all your products or services, they’ll still know you as a brand that looks out for their customers. A thoughtful apology, followed by a solution can improve any customer relations disaster.
5. Don’t Be Anonymous
This point is similar to using a customer’s name to make the interaction more personal, but in this case, we’re highlighting the importance of using your name when talking to customers. Instead of having nameless chat heads that say customer service representative #, add the team member’s name as well.
The same applies to exchanges over social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Whenever a member of your customer service team is handling queries on such forums through an official account, they should add their name at the end of every exchange between them and a customer. This keeps things on the record and adds a more human aspect to the exchange.
6. Follow Up After Sales and Feedbacks
Customer service isn’t all about resolving problems when there are issues, even though complaints do take up most of a customer service team’s time. Maintaining customer relations revolves around following up a purchase or sale. Your team members should contact customers after their purchase to follow up with their experience and ask if they had any trouble with the product.
This can be beneficial, especially if your business gets a product review out of it, and it leaves your customers with an impression that you care about their experience. It’s also crucial that your customer service team reach out to a customer after they give feedback on your company’s products.
This type of data can provide valuable insights as to what your company is doing well and what needs to be improved. According to Hubspot, a staggering 80% of sales require a minimum of five follow up calls before you can classify them as a winning sale that promises a loyal customer.
7. Reply on All Forums if You Must
An essential part of customer service is to see if customers are getting riled up on social media platforms. Sometimes disgruntled customers pick Twitter or Facebook to lash out on a brand instead of contacting customer service directly. In these scenarios, asking customers to direct their complaints towards a live chat team can annoy them even further, so members of…