Have you ever gotten a customer service question in your shop? Of course you have! It’s a by-products of being in business. Do you ever wonder how you can improve customer service for your guests?
In any customer service situation what you do can directly impact how long you’ll survive and thrive in your online business. In a changing business environment it’s important to relate to your customers in a way that is friendly and inviting. Sometimes it’s hard to know how to improve customer service when you can’t see your client and they can’t see you? They can’t see your smile or your sincerity. The only thing they get of you is through their computer, tablet or phone.
So, let’s put ourselves in their shoes and figure out how to improve customer service that can directly impact sales. If you were to go to your online shop what would you expect from yourself? Here are 7 tips to improve customer service in your shop.
Welcome your customers
Seems easy right? Wrong. There are so many shops that jump right into what they sell and/or deliver, never stopping to say “hey, thanks for coming by, it’s nice that you found us.” It’s as simple as saying “Welcome to My Store”. Why is a welcome important? Because we all want to feel valued from the very beginning of any relationship. Saying welcome gives the feeling that you’ve thought about and appreciate anyone that comes to your shop. It’s a great first step to improve customer service and it’s easy!
Create an easy experience
You’re not there physically to show them to what they want so use any tools you can to help gear and direct them through your shop.
Make shop policies clear
If you have a shop, please have shop policies. Your shop policies relate to custom orders, returns, payments etc. Spell everything out clearly in your “policies” section, and stick to them. It’s ok to change your policies, but make sure you honor the policies you’ve posted. No one likes to be “blindsided” by an “unwritten” policy. If you forget to change your policy before a customer ordered from you, honor the old policy, make the change and move forward. It’s better to make that customer happy than to lose them because of your policy “mistake”.
Life is fast-paced and sometimes you can’t get to a question quickly. The key is to answer as many questions as you can as soon as you can. If you receive an question from a customer and don’t answer it at all, that’s not good customer service at all. It’s like ignoring a customer who’s come to your brick and mortar shop and is tapping you on the shoulder. All cyber-buyers understand that shop owners are not at their computers 24/7 to answer questions so they expect delays. But, if you’re waiting more than 24-hours to reply, you’re not giving your customer the proper service. If you want to improve customer service, start answering questions at least once a day and you’ll see a change.
Communicate with your customers
Always be professional
In your policies, sections, communications and descriptions, always be professional. Being cordial, accommodating (as much as possible), and kind will go a long way to making a sale, and keeping a customer. Read, and re-read your communications to make sure you’re saying what you want to say in the way you’d like your customer to receive it. Being professional means being respectful. Your shop may be flirty, serious, stuffy etc. and your communications may fall into those areas, but your communications can be all those things while still being respectful and professional.
Sometimes things happen that you didn’t anticipate. Be open and flexible to the customer’s point of view. You never know, it may open a whole new avenue for your business.
There are many aspects to great customer service, but if you start with the above and work from there, you can’t go wrong. It’s the simple idea that if you treat someone the way you’d want to be treated,they’re going to have a great experience and welcome doing business with you over and over again.
I’d love to hear your cyber-customer service experience, what are some things you expect when doing business online? Do you have any new ideas to add? Share them in the comments below.