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Expert Advice
For Success in e-Commerce
Our team of e-Commerce experts outline an effective strategy for increasing and optimising your sales!
 
87% of online customers rank the quality of service as an important element for pursuing their online shopping (mezzo). When it comes to e-Commerce confidence is king: this is what reassures and convinces customers before they click on that final “confirm” button. If your customers have confidence in your online store your conversion rate will increase significantly.

In this Oxatis expert advice we’re going to give you the keys to successful customer service. Find out what Oxatis' top e-tailers have done to make their service effective!
THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND:
1. Quality customer service is a great way to reassure visitors and customers.
2. Reassuring elements are essential for your conversion rate.
3. 87% of online customers rank the quality of service as an important element for pursuing their online shopping.
4. Customer service is a legal obligation enforced by the law with the European Directive on Consumer Rights.
5. Respond quickly, be transparent and provide detailed FAQ to reassure your customers and increase your conversion rate.
6. To build customer loyalty over the long term it’s essential to satisfy your customers, monitor the quality of your service and use the right tools to make certain tasks automatic.
7. Find your website’s tone, commit to a certain level of service and provide a clear return policy to reassure customers and build long term customer loyalty.

7 keys to effective customer service

01 Customer service: you’re already doing it!
As an e-tailer your business relies on sales. To grow your business you’ll need to take care of your customers and provide them with impeccable service that will reassure them and help you stand out amongst the competition.

Determining criteria
In 2013 80% of online customers contacted an online retailer’s customer service (mezzo) and online retail accounted for 21% of the UK’s total retail market (techweekeurope). More and more people are shopping online, and they are becoming increasingly demanding when it comes to e-Commerce websites’ customer service. Try offering something extra with your customer service that will help you stand out.

Build your existing customers’ loyalty
Offering quality customer service is a great opportunity to build your current customers’ loyalty. You should make customer satisfaction a priority of your strategy as satisfied customers come back regularly. When customers feel they can trust a website they will have the reflex to come back when they need to make online purchases. When it comes to customer service issues 65% of consumers have cut ties with a brand after one bad experience and two thirds left the site or visited a competitor (business2community). This figure is a wake-up call: if your customer service doesn’t meet customers’ expectations they’ll take their business elsewhere. It’s up to you to give them what they need.

Improve your conversion rate by reassuring visitors
In e-Commerce reassurance is a key factor for a good conversion rate. Nothing reassures customers and visitors more effectively than quality customer service. Transparency and quick response time are the name of the game. Transparency reassures visitors of your professionalism and quick response time is key to remove any doubts they might have. Customer service is one of the most effective ways to lower your shopping cart abandonment.
Avoid bad buzz
Bad buzz is bad news for e-tailers. Today large numbers of customers express their discontent loudly and clearly on social networks, which is a shame, as this situation could be turned around to your advantage. Admit when you’ve made a mistake and make it up to customers, with a voucher, free shipping etc. This way, even if the mistake was yours, you’ll win your customers’ loyalty and turn your bad buzz into positive hype.



Customer Service: a legal obligation
Above and beyond the financial advantages to offering quality customer service, you also have a legal obligation to your customers. The European Directive on Consumer Rights has strengthened consumers’ rights. And that’s good news for you: the more confidence customers have in online shopping the more likely they’ll be to confirm their purchases. This means that customers have a 14-day withdrawal period, a 30-day max delivery delay and protection against sales made under duress.
02 7 keys to quality customer service
If you take just one thing away from this expert advice it should be this: customer service means reassuring visitors. Reassuring customers during the checkout process will help increase your conversion rate considerably and boost your general turnover.

Respond quickly
73% of online shoppers think they would buy online more often if they could contact a sales rep directly. 22% of online shoppers prefer to make their orders over the phone. These stats lead to the conclusion that customers want to be able to contact you and get a response quickly. They want to be sure of their choice before making a purchase. Just as a sales rep would answer their questions in a bricks and mortar shop, you should be available to help guide them through the checkout. Social networks, emails, SMS or live chat…the ways you can be available for your customers online today are multiplying. And you should be present on all of them. If you respect these new norms your conversion rate will also reach a new performance level!
Transparency
Give your customers transparency and good will: this is the first step in making them feel safe. While shopping online is growing steadily, your customers still need to be reassured that they can trust you with their banking information. Your customer service needs to be completely accessible. Phone numbers, information about how to contact you, customers shouldn’t have to go looking for this information, it should be immediately visible. Promote your security guarantees and show your customers how safe your site is.

Provide detailed product pages
Detailed product pages are essential for an e-Commerce website. Customers shouldn’t need to call customer service for basic product information. And chances are they won’t! Make sure your product pages give them all of the information they need to decide if they want to make a purchase or not. The more customer reviews you have for products the more confidence visitors will have. Encourage your customers to review products and leave comments on their shopping experience, delivery etc.
Have a system
Do you find that online shoppers contact your customer service when they have a problem? Here’s the good news! The more standard customers’ requests are, the better you can anticipate and minimise them. For each type of request set up a system that will help you react quickly and effectively on a regular basis. Prepare standard letters or goodwill offers. This will help you pre-emptively take care of your customers’ needs and requests, which will help you build loyalty.

Satisfy them
Having a system is important but sometimes customers’ requests are so specific they need special handling. This is a good way to spend the time you saved with your system. Prepare to be flexible and recognise when you can and cannot give a customer what they want. Your customers need to feel listened to, heard, taken care of and - in some cases - like they’re benefiting from special treatment: you’ll create a life-long friend.

Follow the level of service
To keep up, choose a few indicators to evaluate your customer service every day. The number of requests you receive, number of requests you respond to, your customers’ evaluation of the quality of your service etc. try to obtain the maximum amount of information possible and adapt to your customers’ needs and provide them with more effective service.
Spend time on your FAQ
The FAQ section of your e-Commerce website is where your customer service starts. Visitors to your site hope to find answers to their questions without contacting you directly. The more detailed and clear your FAQ are the more your visitors will feel reassured. If online shoppers don’t find answers to their questions they won’t necessarily contact you and you might lose sales! With effective FAQ you will save money as you won’t need to hire an online help agent and you’ll increase your conversion rate. With the Oxatis solution you have a feature that helps you create FAQ so there’s no excuse not to have them!
03 Become a customer service pro
Once you’ve mastered the basics of quality customer service it’s time to take it to the next level. To stand out amongst the competition you’ll need to respond to your customers quickly and effectively which means making certain tasks automatic and guaranteeing customised service for each order. Here are a couple tips to achieve this goal.
Use the right tools
There are several tools that can help you improve both the quality of your customer service and your productivity. It’s essential that your online shop have a social media presence. You can use Mention to monitor this presence. To simplify orders and improve your conversion rate with Oxatis you have access to a MOTO feature that allows you to take an order directly by phone or email. You can also opt for a live chat solution such as Zopim. There is also software that helps e-tailers manage their online support automatically such as Zendesk.

Invest in automation
These tools are a great way to make certain tasks automatic and increase your productivity. Prepare automation for regularly recurring tasks: create standard responses and reactions to calls, emails, incoming messages…Today with quality automation you can even handle individual cases. Oxatis lets you customise emails when you are going to send them, for an order confirmation for example. This allows you to have the best of both worlds: automatic and customised!
Ask customers for their opinion after purchases
Don’t wait for customers to contact you (when something’s gone wrong for example) to get an idea of the quality of your customer service. Try instead to make feedback as systematic as possible. This will give you access to stats and real-time information. Customer review forms after purchases are a good way to better understand your customers. Amazon sends them out systematically and now with Oxatis you can too! With Shopping-Satisfaction get customer reviews on shipping, products and the quality of your customer reviews. Don’t hesitate to get into the habit of asking customers for their opinion in order to offer them better service next time.

Return Policy
Communicate your return policy and make it particularly beneficial for your customers. This will reassure buyers and build your reputation for the quality and flexibility of your service. This means a price to pay, but the rewards will be worth it!

Find the right tone
Find your website’s tone, your way of speaking and interacting with customers. Add a human touch to your customer service. Use this to help you stand out!

Make a goodwill gesture
When it comes to customer service the ball is often in your court in terms of finding out the malfunctions your customers might have encountered. If you’ve made a mistake don’t hesitate to apologise and make a goodwill gesture. However, take the time in advance to determine what conditions lead to what kind of compensation. This will help you be prepared and consistent in your sales policy.


Now it’s your turn!