You spend valuable resources not only to attract new customers but also to encourage them to add an item to the shopping cart and actually complete the checkout process. Take that a step further. You want them to buy now, and you want them to visit your e-commerce site to make additional future purchases.
You spend hours of time and countless dollars on marketing your website and goods. Don’t let customers make only one purchase and then walk away! You need that repeat business to pay off for years to come.
In an era of online shopping, make your site stand out from the crowd by offering the best customer service in your category. Even digital retailers can offer customers extra perks that are usually associated with friendly, face-to-face checkout experiences. Here are a few ideas to try.
#1. Welcome the Customer
When you walk into a high-end boutique, you expect a friendly clerk to greet you and offer to assist you. Greet your online customers with a warm greeting on your homepage. Let the customers know that you’re glad they are visiting your store.
A few sentences of appreciation build rapport and trust, making the customers like you. Just as customers of that boutique will spend more money if they like the clerk, online customers will spend more when they like you!
#2. Increase Customer Security
You wouldn’t walk into a store, hand your credit card to the cashier, and walk away. You want to stand there to make sure that the cashier is handling your sensitive information with care. Yet, you are asking customers to hand over their banking information when they make an online purchase.
Online customers are savvy. They look for several things to make sure that your website is safe before handing over their credit card data.
Customers who feel secure will gladly open their wallets. After all, they are on your site because they want to make a purchase! Give them the security measure they deserve, and they’ll spend their money.
#3. Create an FAQ Page
E-commerce customers want the hassle-free experience of ordering their goods in just a few clicks and without the fuss of going to a brick and mortar store. They expect the satisfaction of easily finding information about your store, your return policy, handling times, and shipping rates. In fact, if they can’t find that information, you might lose their business.
The simplest way for small retailers to deliver this information is by creating an FAQ page for their customers. These should answer any customer question that you can anticipate.
When writing your FAQ page, look at your website with the eyes of a first-time customer. Try to include any questions that a customer might have. Also, include any questions that actual past customers have asked. Add to your FAQ’s as often as needed, keeping the answers relevant to current policies.
It’s also helpful to include a web form at the bottom of the FAQ page to allow customers to contact you with any unanswered questions or suggestions.
#4. Offer A Freebie
Everyone loves to get something for free! 🙂
Freebie offers range from a gift with the purchase of a certain dollar amount to an inexpensive accessory item to free advice! A popular kitchen seller recently shipped customers who ordered $50 or more a free paring knife. A fashion scarf company included a printed card that demonstrated different ways to wear their scarf along with a small scarf pin.
One popular free item is a pdf download. Depending on your industry, a free e-book or printable might be appropriate. An online cookware seller, for example, might offer a small free cookbook. An e-commerce retailer of pet products might offer a free downloadable e-book on natural flea control.
Free is a powerful word. Use it smartly to yield results.
#5. Use Accurate Descriptions
There’s nothing more disappointing to a shopper to eagerly anticipate the arrival of an item they ordered only to be disappointed when it arrives. This happens often. Customers usually accept the item as-is and don’t return it or make a fuss. However, they also don’t return to shop with you! Or worse yet, they spread the word on social media without giving you the chance to resolve their concern.
Use accurate descriptions of the merchandise in your e-commerce environment. Use at least two to three photos and clearly describe the product. Use color charts and honest descriptions. Be consistent in the language across all products.
#6. Make the Check-out Process Easy
Nothing is more frustrating to a customer than the need to enter volumes of irrelevant information when they are checking out. In fact, a difficult or long check-out process is the number one cause of shoppers abandoning their carts.
Gather the relevant customer data but no more. Create one easy checkout form that doesn’t bog down the customer. Use clear and easy-to-understand language that’s friendly and inviting.
#7. Thank the Customer
When you’re shopping in person at a store, you expect the sales clerk to thank you for your business. Moreover, it makes you feel valued when they invite you to stop in and shop again soon.
You can offer the same gracious service to your customers by creating a beautiful payment confirmation page. Customize this page with a heartfelt thank you message, but you can take it a step further. Make them feel like they got a great deal by offering them a discount on a future purchase. Invite them to connect on social media, and they will feel like they had made a new friend.
E-commerce is a competitive market. With scores of new retailers entering the arena each year, it will only continue to get more competitive. Consistently providing the best customer service to your e-commerce customers makes you stand above the pack in this crowded space.
Conclusion: Delighting your customers will ensure repeat visits making your store a thriving enterprise. Use these hints to keep your customers shopping with you again and again. Continually work on honing your website to increase customer service and think of customer service as a top priority.