Customer service has always been key to maintaining strong client relationships, but never more than now. With the pandemic lingering, customers are looking to businesses for a digital customer experience, extra support and assistance.
Fantastic customer service is expected
With their daily life in chaos, the least they expect is fantastic service from eCommerce digital customer service departments, the best of which will keep customers coming back.
No matter your business sector, this is extremely important, particularly when selling via an eCommerce store on a website.
Businesses that fail to make things personal or provide customers with a positive outcome will lose out as they move to competitor sites.
The economy is struggling so it is clearly important to outperform your competitors. Good customer service can make the difference between a sale and an empty shopping basket.
At the same time, by improving your eCommerce website you can make things far easier for the buyer. Smooth out the user experience (UX) and make shopping a pleasure rather than a chore, preventing them from purchasing elsewhere.
Smarten up your eCommerce store
If your eCommerce store is failing in terms of increased sales, it needs to be renewed, or at the very least, refreshed.
Speak to your website provider and ask them to give you a free assessment of your current site.
They will be able to tell you exactly where you are going wrong and why your digital customer service is failing. Customers need to enjoy their shopping experience; hence, your website needs to be aesthetically pleasing with memorable high-quality imagery and videos.
Content must be top quality, informative, and helpful.
Nowadays more people buy after making an informed choice, rather than a spur-of-the-moment purchase. A well-laid-out website with clear product information can make the customer journey a smooth and quick one.
Call to action buttons should be strategically placed and contact details prominent.
If you provide a digital customer service that is accessed via a web form, make this easy to find and complete. Even better, your web designer can incorporate a chat feature so that the customer can have one-to-one communication.
Find a good website developer
A good website developer will know precisely what is needed to improve your digital customer service, enabling your business to survive despite the pandemic. This might include any of the following:
- Improving the UX so that the customer journey on the website is a pleasurable one.
- Boosting the aesthetics of the site, making it appealing to the eye.
- Making sure that the page speed optimisation is fast enough – just one second more than 3.5 seconds can lose you as many as 7% of conversions.
- The checkout process must be streamlined – people need to pop things into their digital basket and be able to pay in one smooth transaction. Make this messy with delays and too much form filling and carts will be abandoned.
- Great page layouts providing a seamless digital experience.
- More calls to action with a live chat facility as well as a clear ‘Contact Us’ page.
- The overall functionality of the site increased.
How the shopping experience has changed
Since Covid hit, shopping experiences have changed dramatically. Stock may not be available or deliveries may take far longer.
Brexit is causing issues with stocks coming in from overseas. As a business, you can’t afford to add to the melee with the addition of poor customer service.
The Covid pandemic has forced more and more people to shop online. If you do not have a website then you are going to lose sales that would come in from online sources.
Your customers are out there and need you to care about them and provide them with a way of buying your goods online, easily and efficiently.
Even the largest of companies are struggling; they may have great websites but are finding their supply chains being disrupted. It is therefore essential that when you advertise products online, they are available. Customers will become frustrated and disillusioned if everything they want to put into their shopping basket is showing ‘out of stock’.
Adapting to remote working
Because of the Coronavirus, remote working has also become the norm, with teams that would have been office-based working at home.
If you have customer service teams working remotely, now is the time to upgrade ageing technology so that you can provide customers with a first-class service rather than one that frustrates and annoys them.
When calls come in, they need to be attended to by staff that know what they are doing and who have customer history details readily available.
If you have a CRM system (customer database) this needs to be accessible by everyone, no matter which part of the country staff are working in.
Great communication regularly can help boost customer service. Make good use of your social media pages, using posts to engage with customers and identify the products or services they need. Where they need advice or support, be sure to provide it.
Nothing annoys customers more than sending messages or posts and then being ignored. At a time when customer retention and loyalty is of extreme value, comprehending customer requirements and preferences might be challenging but it is something you cannot afford to ignore.
Change is necessary
The Covid pandemic has created a major change in business models so if your company does nothing to change, eventually, sales will suffer and the business will decline. A shift to remote practices is part of today’s new way of operating.
The knock-on effect is an impact upon the customer experience (CX).
If you are unsure as to how to proceed, talk to your web developer about how you can service customers to a high level. Depending upon your area of operation, you may be dealing with a glut of cancellations and refunds i.e. the travel industry.
Furthermore, the failure of online delivery services to deal with the increased demand is leaving customer service call centres struggling to cope as customers request tracking information.
Protect your reputation
Those businesses that fail to upgrade their level of customer service risk being hit with negative feedback and customer reviews. It doesn’t take many of these on social media to negatively affect your brand image. Costly to build, it can be even harder to restore it once tarnished. A sophisticated digital customer service system will include all of the following:
- Speedy responses – able to capture customer service requests from the phone, website, email and social media.
- Reduction in operating costs – for example, a chatbot on your website provides customers with a 24/7 service, meaning that agents can address customer requests immediately.
- Empowering your customers – enabling you to make your business a customer service-centric one, where everything revolves around them.
The current pandemic may be unpleasant but that doesn’t mean that your business is bound to suffer. By focusing on your digital customer care, your business cannot only survive but improve sales.
You need to be proactive and adapt your customer service offering to survive the pandemic.
This way, your business will continue to shape its strategy in such a way that it will remain successful long after the current Covid-19 crisis has passed.