Customer Service for E-Commerce

Customer service will be a familiar term for any business owner, whether in the world of e-commerce or not. While any successful e-commerce store will understand the need for a customer service department, many might not recognize just how important that department is to the growth of the business. This guide is here to help you understand more about the impact customer service can have on your e-commerce store's overall success.

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What is Customer Service?

Customer service is the direct interaction between a customer and brand; this can occur before, during, or after a purchase is made. E-commerce stores can all too easily neglect customer service. After all, when you are pursuing large-scale digital marketing campaigns, a one-to-one interaction can seem insignificant in comparison. However, the quality of your customer service should never be undervalued. The list below outlines just a few reasons why customer service is one of the most important departments in any e-commerce business.

1. Customer Service Increases Revenue

So why should e-commerce stores invest in customer service? Well, the most obvious reason is that it increases revenue. While the relationship between customer service and your bottom line might not be noticeable from one interaction alone, it is unignorable when considering the bigger picture.

Customer service has been found to increase revenue for e-commerce stores because its impact extends beyond the initial interaction. Customer service influences everything from customer retention to satisfaction rates.

2. Good Customer Service Motivates Purchases

Customer service has a big impact on purchasing behaviors of customers. One study found that 70% of American shoppers reported spending more with a company that offered them great customer service.

3. Customer Service Impacts Brand Awareness

Great customer service creates happy customers who are more likely to spend more at your e-commerce store. However, customer service benefits are not just limited to the customer who experienced the direct interaction. Research has found that customers tell, on average, nine people about a positive experience with a brand and tell 16 people about a negative experience. This means that customer service is a powerful tool for organically growing your customer base.

4. Customer Service Effects Retention Rates

It is a widely accepted fact in business that keeping a customer is much more cost-efficient than finding new customers. This is because it costs, on average, five times more to find a new customer than retain an old one. Not only is it more expensive to find a new customer, but returning customers are also more likely to spend more per purchase than first-time customers.

A study found that 75% of people would return to a company that offered them excellent customer service. The impact that customer service can have on retention rates is not exclusively positive. 60% of global shoppers would not return to a brand that offered poor customer service. This demonstrates that customer service has the power to negatively impact your sales and send your customers off to shop with your competitors.

How to Improve Customer Service for Your E-Commerce Store

The points above illustrate just how important customer service is. It has the power to make or break your e-commerce store. Luckily, there are many ways to remedy poor customer service to ensure that you are receiving all the benefits good customer service can offer.

Offer Live Chat

What sets e-commerce apart from brick-and-mortar stores? Its ability to provide instant gratification and convenience to shoppers. We have moved past the point where internet users appreciate the speed at which they can receive gratification; it is now a basic expectation; in line with the fact that the average attention span has fallen from 12 seconds in the year 2000 to 8.25 seconds in 2015 (that's half a second less than a goldfish). To ensure you are giving their customers what they want, your e-commerce store needs to provide a live chat feature when they want it. According to the live chat guide, 50% of mobile users and 41% of customers coming to your store via a computer or tablet expect a live chat feature.

Improve Company Culture

How happy your employees feel at work has a direct impact on customer satisfaction rates. Improving your working culture can have a big impact on the happiness of your staff and your customers. In particular, employee engagement has been found to have a big impact on customer satisfaction.

An engaged employee is fully immersed and enthusiastic about their work and has an emotional connection with their organization. Also, an engaged employee will typically go above and beyond to future the company's interests. Understanding employee engagement makes it unsurprising to hear that companies with 50% employee engagement retains more than 80% of customers.

Personalize Customer Service

E-commerce shoppers of today have become accustomed to an almost hyper-personalized online experience. E-commerce stores can utilize personalization in customer service to improve the customer experience. Offering a more personalized customer service experience creates a stronger connection between the shopper and brand, allowing the customer to feel increasingly valued and recognized.

Offer Multi-Platform Customer Service

As an e-commerce brand in 2021, your store's presence can be found not just on your online page but on social media platforms. Many e-commerce stores understand the importance of social media for brand awareness, brand identity, and customer relationships, but still, too few e-commerce stores leverage social media for customer service. Superior customer service means meeting your customers on the channels on which they feel most comfortable. 74% follow brands on social media, and 96% of those people interact with them via social media. To ensure you are offering high-quality customer service, you need to expand your horizons beyond your store to support your customers wherever is most convenient.

Follow Up with Customers

Customer service does not end once a sale has been completed. Follow up with customers to improve customer satisfaction rates and to motivate customer loyalty. You can easily automate an email that offers a customer a discount or promotional code to reward them for contacting your customer service team. It is also a good idea to personalize these emails to make the customer feel more valued.

Be Transparent

Transparency in customer service is vital for a customer to remain loyal and trusting of your brand. If a customer reaches out asking to access their billing history, order status, or any other query, your customer service team should be as transparent as possible. Transparency in e-commerce is becoming increasingly valued by consumers, and this trend looks like it is here to stay. Ensure that you are not inadvertently losing customers by a lack of transparency in customer service.