Today’s online shopper wants more than just cheap prices, they also want a great user experience. Key to this is the quality of your customer service. Sites which provide this find they attract more new customers and retain existing ones. In this post, we’ll look at seven ways you can improve the customer service you give to your visitors.
1. Help visitors find what they are looking for
The first way to improve online customer service is to make it easier for visitors to find the things they want on your website. This doesn’t just include your products or services, it also includes all the other information they may want to access, such as shipping costs or your returns policy.
There are a number of things you can do to put this into place. The most important aspect is to create the right structure for your website so that pages, products and posts are in the places where customers would logically expect to find them. Creating the right product categories and subcategories is an essential part of this.
Once the structure is complete, you then need to put the right navigation in place so that customers can browse your store of the items they want. Make sure that menus are structured correctly, accessible on every page and are easy to see.
Besides menus, you should also have a product search box so that customers who are looking for something specific or cannot find something when browsing can locate an item quickly. In addition, try to offer product filtering so that customers can narrow down the products shown in your search results to meet their own criteria.
2. Add customer reviews
Buying online can be risky for customers because they are never going to be 100% sure the product is right for them simply by looking at a web page. You may lose a lot of sales because customers are hesitant. One of the best ways to reassure them is to let your past customers rate and review the products you are selling.
If a product has lots of great reviews it is a signal to other customers that it is a good buy. If it has lots of poor reviews, it’s a signal for you to stop selling it.
3. Make your site mobile-friendly
Mobile surfing has now overtaken computer surfing as the main way people access the internet, so good customer service means making your site friendly for smartphone users. Sites which are not mobile-friendly potentially lose up to 60% of online sales because their products and descriptions do not display well for visitors.
4. Let customers get in touch easily
Today’s shoppers want things done quickly. If they have a question about a product you are selling or need other information, they won’t hang about for a couple of hours waiting for you to reply to an email. They’ll expect that you’ll be around to answer their questions there and then.
This is why so many eCommerce websites now have online chat facilities on every page. They know that if a response isn’t quick enough, the customer will go elsewhere. Good customer service, therefore, means putting online chat on your site.
To offer the best customer service, you really need to provide 24/7 online chat, so that customers can contact you at any time of the day. Whilst this maximises the potential for sales, some eCommerce websites simply lack the finances to provide this service. However, there is a new solution. You can now get artificial intelligence chatbots that will carry out all your online chats for you. They may take a little bit of time to set up, but once this is done, you can be up and running 24 hours a day and not need to pay any member of staff to do the work.
Of course, online chat is not the only way customers may want to get in touch, so it is also important that you provide customers with an email address, telephone number and, possibly, a contact form. Your contact page, where this information should be displayed, should be clearly signed and easily navigated to.
5. Provide a FAQs page
There are some customer queries that will crop up over and over. You can offer good customer service by making sure that the answers to these queries are published on your website. The best way to do this is on a frequently asked questions (FAQs) page. Providing this information saves both you and the customer time.
If you have more detailed information which needs giving, such as technical guidance on how to use a product, your customers would also benefit from having a knowledge base or even a forum where they can help each other.
6. Say it in plain English
The entire aim of having a website is to communicate with your visitors. However, if the words you use are full of technical jargon or are overcomplex, that communication will fail to be understood by many of your potential customers. The plainer and simpler your text, the more people who will be able to access it. This applies to every aspect of your site from product descriptions to your terms and conditions. Everything should be simple to understand for your visitors, especially as 40% of the UK population have a reading less than that expected of an 11-year-old.
7. Remove unexpected charges
One thing customers hate and which often makes them abandon their shopping carts is unexpected charges. Good customer service means making full costs clear before the customer clicks the buy button. One particular bugbear is shipping costs, which are often hidden right until the end of the purchasing process.
To offer good customer service, make your prices, including shipping, clear on each product page. Most customers prefer free shipping; you can offer this by simply adding the cost of shipping to the price of the product. £19.99 with free delivery can be more appealing than £17.49 + £2.50 shipping.
Creating an eCommerce site that provides excellent customer service helps customers find the right products easily and gives them quick access to any assistance they need. This gives your site a unique selling point that generates new customers and keeps existing ones loyal to your business.
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