Call Center in Mexico and Philippines
Even though the internet has become the chosen place for people to shop, there is a lack of personal interaction between consumers and companies. Consumer frustration grows when they run into issues and can’t easily find a representative to talk to. Adding insult to injury, there are many online businesses that do not respond to customer concerns or their responses are very slow. However, response time is crucial because three out of five customers never complete their purchases due to poor customer service.
It costs seven times more to attract new customers than to retain existing customers. Providing excellent customer service not only increases sales and profits, but helps companies stand out in the marketplace. Even without face-to-face interaction, there are so many ways to offer exceptional service online.
Offer Simple Return Policies
One of the leading concerns customers have is encountering difficulties when trying to return a product. Approximately 15 to 30 percent of online purchases are returned and therefore it is critical to have a simple, easy to understand return policy in place. The return policy and the steps required should appear on numerous pages of your site and in purchase confirmation emails. With a clear process in place, customers can make purchases with confidence.
The more beneficial the policy is for the consumer, the more likely they are to purchase and the more comfortable they will feel shopping from new companies. Offering a full refund rather than store credit, allowing ample timeframes for customers to return an item, and offering guarantees are all positive ways to encourage sales. Approximately 68 percent of consumers claim that they are more likely to purchase from a store with a great return policy. The bottom line, according to Dr. Thomas Lembo, owner of Samurai Insoles, “if you provide an easy return policy, more customers will buy from you.”
Create A Personal Experience For Your Customers
Personalization can set your brand apart from the competition. In fact, statistics show that over 70 percent of American consumersexpect personalization from online businesses. This can include having their own account that records their past purchases, checkout information such as their shipping address, and offering a selection of items similar to their previous purchases. Personalized emails are another great way to connect on a more personal level.
Many brands are offering personalized services such as designing unique pieces per the customer’s specifications or creating custom fit clothing, these are all ways to stand above the crowd and make the customer feel special. Not only does this provide great service, but leaves the consumer talking about your product to friends and family. And you can’t get better marketing than word of mouth from someone who has had firsthand experience with your company.
Even large-scale retailers like Sephora are making changes to offer a more personal experience, their new concept store on Newbury street in Boston gives customers a more intimate experience in a boutique setting.
Request Customer Feedback
Let’s face it, most customers will not leave feedback or comments unless you ask them to. Send a follow-up email asking them to rate their experience or to write a short review that you can place on your site or on social media. More than likely they will jump on it, especially if you offer a small discount on a future purchase for doing so.
Feedback and reviews are also critical for the company because they provide invaluable information and allow companies to see what’s working and what’s not. Negative reviews aren’t all bad either, they are an opportunity to find out what went wrong and correct it. Whether the review was positive or negative, it’s always best to respond and thank the customer. Starting a dialogue is always a win-win. And being social on social media is the name of the game.
Live Chat With Customers
In today’s digital world customers expect instant gratification. This means if they have a question, they want an answer asap. If you can’t assist them right away, you risk losing them to another company that’s only one click away. Considering that 83 percent of online shoppers need assistance to complete an order, live chat (with real people and not bots) is a must have. Shopping cart abandonment rate online is 69 percent, so it’s clear that customers often need assistance in selecting the right product. Live chat can address their concerns, provide a great experience, and result in a sale.
Provide Service Through Social Media
Social media is where people come together to chat and share, so why not be where your customers are and chat with them to address any questions or concerns they may have. Not only will your customers love the immediate attention, but it’ll allow potential customers to see how responsive your company is.
Social media alerts let you know when your business is being discussed and allow you to join in on the conversation. A study by Bain & Company reports that companies who engage with consumers and respond to customer service requests on social media, end up gaining 20 to 40 percent more in sales from those customers.
Service Equals Sales
Focusing on customer service and providing the very best experience for your customers gives your business an impressive, competitive edge that will go well beyond your competition. Concentrate on the entire buying experience through the eyes of consumers to make sure it is easy, friendly, and personal throughout your entire site.
As many seasoned online marketers know, when you put your customers first and address their needs, instead of putting your products or service first, you will be on the path to success.