These days, your company needs to adapt to online customers even if you mainly sell products through a store. Advertising is important, but paying attention to the client experience is even more important. How can you offer better customer service online?
Identify Online Customer Service Challenges and Overcome Them
Making new visitors and loyal customers happy online doesn’t need to be complicated. The first step is to figure out which areas of your company’s customer experience need improvement. Here are some common user experience obstacles for e-commerce businesses:
- Not knowing the circumstances of your clients: Many small business owners are excellent salespeople, with a talent for discovering the needs and circumstances of their clients on the fly. Unfortunately, this ability is hard to implement with online customers.
- Not being able to interact personally: When you deal with clients in person, a friendly smile goes a long way to breaking the ice. It’s easier to connect with people when you can project a positive attitude as a business owner.
- Not being able to guide customers directly: Much of the user experience for online customers falls into the self-service category. In a physical store, you could instruct employees to answer questions and guide clients to the right products.
Once you have identified the biggest challenges for your business, you can find solutions that target those areas specifically. It is possible to provide customized service and make online customers happy. You just need to know where to begin.
Keep Track of Your Biggest Clients or Target Customers
Even though you can’t physically see individual clients or learn the names of their pets, you can find out what they’re looking for. Point-of-sale terminals and customer relationship management software can help you keep track of important data and behaviors.
For example, if you own an online jewelry store, a Jewelry POS system can help you answer key questions about your clients, including who (they are), what (they browse), where (they spend time on your website), when (they shop) and how (they pay). Over time, these trends paint you a picture of your main client base, letting you customize the buyer experience, follow-up messaging, advertising, and the timing of promotions.
These state-of-the-art tools show you trends and buying habits. You gain insight into the types of products that are likely to interest your audience, the items they want, and the solutions they need.
Build a Better Website and Make Shopping Enjoyable
A big part of customer satisfaction is making the shopping experience as pleasant and intuitive as possible. When people feel like they’ve found the solution to a problem or a great deal, clicking on the buy button is rewarding.
The design of your website can go a long way to enhancing the user experience for your products. Keep text simple and focus on benefits. Make ample use of images and colors to create the right mood and sell a lifestyle.
Done right, buying a diamond ring, ordering a laptop, or shopping for a new car becomes exciting and enjoyable. Instead of giving the impression that you’re guiding customers to make a purchase, the right website design makes it feel like the client is the one making all of the decisions.
Guide Online Customers Effectively
Even when there are no customer service agents physically present to help clients online — though many businesses are adding live chat features to their websites — you can still answer the questions visitors have and guide them to the right products. Here are several ways to improve:
- Add a FAQ section to each web page
- Organize product pages and service pages in categories
- Use bullet points for key product benefits and features
- Provide pictures of products
- Create buying guides or blog articles for your products
Design Around Mobile
You shouldn’t underestimate the importance of mobile devices. Increasing numbers of clients are shopping or browsing online from smartphones and tablets.
Few things are more frustrating for a mobile customer than a website that is difficult to navigate from their phone. Make sure your pages and products look just as good, and load just as quickly, on mobile.
Providing excellent customer service can benefit e-commerce businesses and local stores alike. Focusing on online visitors can open up tons of possibilities for sales. Imagine the shopping experience through the eyes of your clients and reap the rewards.