It’s often said that, in business, you have two options when it comes to beating out your competition. You can either offer higher quality products than they dooryou can provide higher quality customer service.
In ecommerce, offering higher quality products involves choosing to do business withonly the best, most reputable merchants for whatever items you sell. Providing higher quality customer service, on the other hand,means looking after your customers to the point where you become the one ecommerce site they look to for all of their product needs.
How do you create this level of loyalty-inspiring customer service? Here are a few options to consider.
Underpromise and Overdeliver
Imagine that your home needs a new roof, so you get a quote from a roofing contractor who says that he can complete the project in 1-2 weeks. However, after hiring him and giving him approval to get started, he actually gets in done in three days…and he did an even better job than you anticipated. Would you be happy with his services? Would you use him again in the future? Would you refer your friends and family to him? Yes, yes, and yes!
This is the same tactic that Rick Barrera, author of Overpromise and Underdeliver: The Secrets of Unshakable Customer Loyalty, says that well-known companies like American Girl and Washington Mutual have used to grow their businesses to the levels where they are today, cornering their respective markets. Do this with your ecommerce business then and you can potentially do the same.
Offer More Delivery Options
In this day and age, customers are used to getting what they want, often at the snap of a finger. From fast food restaurants that give you your meal in five minutes or less to one-hour photos, the faster you can get products to customers, the happier they are. That being said, some people prefer to wait a little longer if it means that it will save them some cash. That’s why it helps to offer delivery options for both demographics.
For instance, if the merchant or supplier is located in China or Hong Kong yet your customer is in another country, there are three basic options. One, you can ship via China Post, which is the cheapest and slowest. A second delivery method is Express delivery, an option that will get the item there faster, but is generally really expensive. The third delivery method is ePacket deliveries and this one lies in between China Post and Express in both time and cost, making it a great option for your customers who prefer the middle ground.
Handle Customer Issues and Concerns Effectively
You can have the best ecommerce business in the world and still have customers who are unhappy with your products and/or services. While you can’t please everyone, you can still provide a positive customer experience as long as you handle their issues and concerns effectively.
This begins with responding quickly, showing them that you value their business and wish to resolve their issues as swiftly as possible. It also involves being respectful of their opinions, even if you don’t agree with them, and admitting when you did something wrong.
And if the customer chooses to place his or her less-than-stellar thoughts of your business on a review site, Yelp suggests that you handle the negative review by first taking a deep breath. Next, contact the reviewer and establish “a genuine human relationship.” This way, even if you can’t change anything, they’ll at least appreciate the fact that you reached out and were polite and respectful.
The greater your customers’ experiences with your ecommerce company, the more likely it is they’ll shop with you again and again. That makes doing these three thingssuper important because they can all turn one-time buyers into lifelong customers, giving you a bigger and stronger business along the way.
Shezagary has been a Project Strategist since 2009 and also involved in the launching of startups and tech companies in New York for over 5 years. She has keen interest in writing her own experiences about business plans and upcoming business supporting technologies. You can also follow her on Twitter @shezagary