How to successfully engage with online store customers?
Even the top-notch online store in terms of product coverage, offering the cheapest products on the market, is prone to alienating its customers through negligence in the field of communication. Online trade might be wrongly considered to be a no-contact enterprise. However, we are dealing here with a constant exchange of information, visible at every single stage of the contract. To a large extent, it is the communication with customers that becomes the crucial factor deciding whether they are willing to come back to us and recommend us to their family, friends, or business partners. So there is a lot at stake here.
Customer service in an online store – the most relevant channels of communication
It is worth noting that when it comes to an e-commerce facility, no message at all is much worse than sending even the worst one. If a customer inquires about the availability of a product, it is on the seller’s shoulders to provide them with honest information – even if the goods are currently out of stock. Lack of any answer raises doubts and undermines the trustworthy image of the store as a reliable partner. The rule applies to a myriad of situations that may come up during the contract, such as purchase order confirmation, delayed product delivery, stock shortages, defective product complaint letters, lack of payment for the product, etc. Professional retail customer service requires reliable and comprehensive information to be delivered as soon as possible. With this goal in mind, it is worth using the most relevant channels of communication, such as e-mail, telephone, social media, or online chat with a consultant.
E-mail is by far the most frequently utilized tool for keeping in touch with online store customers. It is a mutually convenient solution, able to provide comprehensive answers to most clients’ questions and concerns. Missing the 1-day deadline of responding to a message is bound to upset most customers, so it is very important to answer their questions quickly and efficiently. It is best to set aside some time during the day for the sole purpose of replying to customers’ emails.
Contact by telephone
The telephone became another common solution for the seller-buyer line of contact. In this case, communication with the store’s customers takes place on the fly- without them having to spend a long time waiting for the reply. The interview also allows the store to clarify all questions and answers, without the need for sending several messages concerning the same topic. It is of paramount importance to not let the customers spend too much time waiting for the connection. Most of them are not quite fond of it. Their patience often runs out after a dozen or so seconds or several unsuccessful attempts to contact the store. It is no coincidence that the lack of a fast telephone service appears to be one of the main causes for the store to get negative opinions and comments. It is the main reason why the daily schedule of the employees should be arranged in a way to make sure that the telephone assistance functions quickly and efficiently.
Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, or LinkedIn- those constitute other effective channels that can (and are supposed to) be used to communicate with the customers. Although social media are more focused on creating a long-lasting relationship with followers, they can also support sales by the exchange of information. They are also an important source of information about potential customers for the store. This, in turn, enables the targeting of messages to be more precise and tailored to fit consumer’s expectations.
When considering how to talk to customers of an online store, it is impossible to ignore yet another channel of communication – online chat. The solution recently experiences a vast growth in popularity, mainly due to its potential for responding to its users almost immediately. Messages from clients are not to be ignored, as they expect a prompt response. For the sake of speeding up and simplifying channels of communication, more and more companies tend to rely on chatbots that automatically spit out answers to most common questions.
Automated customer service as a way to increase the quality of assistance
Bots are solely one of the various ways to automate the exchange of information between the online store and its users. There are numerous tools available on the market, serving as a medium to integrate various channels of communication in social media. When running a large-scale e-commerce business that serves numerous recipients, it is certainly worth testing different solutions to come up with one that makes the service and communication with the store’s customers more effective.