Let me just start by saying that too many customer interactions is a nice problem to have. The equation is simple – a lot of customer questions = a lot of customer interest = a lot of sales. But there are things every business has to do for customer interest to truly translate to sales. To make every interaction count, and every shopper a permanent one, retailers need great, helpful customer service. Here are things to consider when planning or reviewing your customer service strategy:
1. Minimize customers’ effort
Customers want to put in as little work as possible to get their questions answered. That’s why it’s so important to consider all the ways customers interact with your brand. Make sure you have customer service options in place to meet your customers where they desire to meet you. For example, use the thank you page and order updates to allow your customers to interact with you, instead of having them search for a customer support page. You can also put a messaging bar on your home page so customers will know how to contact you through all stages of the sale. You should make it simple for them to contact you on their favorite platform. According to metrics, FB Messenger has the highest average customer retention of any messaging platform, but you know your customer base better that the general metrics. If your customers prefer SMS or email, then you should message them accordingly.
2. Set up clear expectations
There’s nothing worse than being ignored. We have all had customers who go crazy if they have been ignored. They multiply their ASAP emails and write reviews all over the internet about how careless you are. The results in many lost customers and potential prospects. If you let people know when they should expect the answer from you, this will make the waiting easier for them. Set thoughtful but not arrogant timetable, and just think of yourself as a customer – any piece of information you would like to know (we are not talking about state secrets here), can be provided to your customers. Never leave the customers in the dark!
3. Simplify FAQs
Customers want to help themselves. 91% of online Shoppers say they would look for an answer in the FAQs page if it met their needs, according to Zendesk research. Let your customers look for answers to their questions themselves. Create an informative and searchable FAQs page. Invest in it. This kind of page provides instant answers and drastically improves your inbox health. Leading your customers to your FAQs through automatic Emails & Bots can be more compelling for your customers as well.
4. Use Answer Templates
Even if you have enough time you’re a genius, you can’t write a perfect email response each time. Trying would be a waste of time. The perfect response should include a nice intro, a detailed answer, probably a screenshot, further reading links to FAQs page, and a closing section. You already answered most of the questions before, so edit your answers and save them for later. If it doesn’t look as personal as you want, then use them as templates. Don’t automatically send an answer template, read the question carefully, and edit the script to answer the question correctly.
Customer service is a two-way street. In addition to getting their questions answered, customers want to share their feelings about your company and your customer service. To that end, consider sending out customer surveys, asking for feedback after purchases and/or customer service interactions and so on. Doing so both makes your customers feel valued and gives you a perspective on your product/service. Just as important: really listen to what customers have to say. If customers repeatedly share similar sentiments, then there has to be some kind of issue. Sometimes the issue is what the customers say it is, sometimes it’s not and you have to find out. If ego gets in the way of your customer service, nothing can be gained from it. But responding proactively and positively to customers’ experiences? That can make customers for life.
Customer service is never set in stone. Instead, it’s an evolving process that functions best when it’s tailored to each individual customer. Putting these pieces in place will provide you with the foundation you need to continue enhancing and refining a customer service program that nets you happy customers and boosts conversions in the process.