There are lots of things to consider when you plan to take the leap into eCommerce. One of the most neglected, but most important, is customer service. A lot of businesses assume they can set-up a website and payment solution and it will take care of itself.
Due to the fact that customers cannot physically see/feel the products you sell online prior to purchase you WILL get customers asking you questions. The amount and type of product queries you get will depend on the type of products you sell on your website and the prices they sell for.
The other type of customer query you will need to deal with concerns fulfilment.
“When will my purchase be dispatched?”
“My purchase hasn’t arrived”
“I was sent the wrong colour product”
“My order was missing XYZ product”
“What is your delivery charge?”
Create a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Page
If you spend some time creating an FAQ page on your website you can avoid a lot of emails and phone calls about the most common customer queries, but you still need to be responsive to customers and give them customer service when required.
This is more important online than in a physical shop because they have bought a product from you without ever meeting you or your business. They have put a certain amount of trust in you and your business.
Customer Service Touch Points
Set up various customer touch points such as a dedicated customer service email inbox, a free-phone or local rate customer service phone line and make sure you answer customer queries promptly.
Proactive Customer Service
If there is a problem with a customers order, then let them know as soon as possible and how you plan to resolve the issue. Most customers will be happy to wait a bit longer or choose a similar product as an alternative.
Remember if you screw up you could lose any repeat business from those customers! On the flipside if you provide a great service, you are more likely to get recommended to others and generate more sales.
Picture used under Creative Commons from Alan Cleaver