Think for just a moment. If your customers needed to reach you right this minute regarding a problem with a product or service they purchased, would they be able to? It may seem unreasonable to provide 24/7 access to your company for customer support, but as consumers experience more and more instant gratification, they come to expect it.
So, now that you’re sure your customers need better access to your ecommerce company, how can you make that happen? Here is a pretty exhaustive list of customer care options you can offer.
This might not grant unlimited access to your ears or eyes, but it does give customers immediate access to answers. Start with the questions you think people will ask. Then add the questions people actually do ask. Don’t ever let a question go unanswered on your FAQ page. Whatever your customers ask when they reach a customer service agent with your company, those questions should be included for future customers to find.
It’s true that a large FAQ page can become unwieldy, so be prepared to group questions in categories to make them easier to find. Also, a search function can help customers drill down to the exact topic they’re searching. Just be sure to include related keywords for the search function so that queries answered with in the FAQ page don’t turn up zero results due to phrasing issues.
In addition to an FAQ page, you can also provide links to pages within your site that answer some of the more popular questions. These might include tutorials, return and exchange policies, shipping calculators, information about gift certificates, and any other information that might help a buyer make a decision.
Removing any friction from the process is one way to make buyers happy even when they’re aggravated. By providing a contact form that gives them instant access to your company, you remove the step that involves picking up the phone or opening their email client. Just be sure that contact form isn’t too long, or they may get a little frustrated before they even get to the part where they describe the problem.
You don’t want to use a contact form as an excuse to withhold your contact information. Your buyers should know how to reach out by email at any time, even if it’s just an info@ or customerservice@ email address.
For bonus points, you can include this email address on more than just the customer service page. Headers or footers on each page of your website are the perfect places for contact information. Buyers will never have to search.
It doesn’t matter if you never pick up the phone to reach out to companies for customer care. There are plenty of consumers out there that still rely on hearing a human and feeling that connection when they’re searching for assistance. As with the email address, you could include that phone number on every page of your website and gather some goodwill.
If you’re hoping to capitalize on social proof for your company, you must also be ready for the questions and concerns to come rolling in via Twitter and Facebook. Some companies create accounts solely for customer service and leave their branded accounts in place for marketing and interaction. Whether you take customer care requests through your main accounts or through a specially created account, the important thing is simply that you’re there. Be present on social media, ready to search out any comments, mentions, hashtags, etc.
You can change the way the wind is blowing almost immediately when you respond to a tweet or Facebook post. Customers realize you’re there, you’re listening, and you want to make everything right.
Honestly, the only real rule for customer service is to be present. Hear what they’re saying, no matter where they’re saying it. And then make it right.