3 Customer Service Skills to
Bolster Brand Loyalty in Ecommerce
Brand loyalty has become a highly sought-after commodity for businesses and is the bread and butter of retail. However in the ecommerce world, where direct, personal contact with consumers doesn't happen in the same way, building rapport and generating customer loyalty can be even more of a challenge.
With 86% of buyers willing to pay more for a great customer experience, providing top-notch customer support has never been more important.
This is why today, we’re delving deeper into some strategic customer service skills that will enhance brand loyalty amongst your ecommerce consumer base, ensuring customers keep coming back to your website and keep clicking that ‘check out’ button time and time again.
From making the customer feel appreciated at every opportunity, to spinning any negative situation into a positive one, we’ve got actionable ideas that will ensure your customer service is optimised for customer satisfaction and, in turn, a distinct brand loyalty.
Photo by rupixen.com on Unsplash
Deliver a first-class service from warehouse to door
The best form of customer service is, undoubtedly, to keep the customer happy from the off. How do you achieve this? By guaranteeing a seamless customer experience from the point of purchase right up to the moment the product arrives on the doorstep.
To do this effectively, think carefully about what the customer wants during every stage of the process and meet these desires accordingly. For example, with 63% of consumers saying delivery speed is an important consideration when shopping online, look to offer first-class and next-day delivery options wherever possible.
Pair this with consistent delivery updates at each stage of the delivery, giving the customer an option of SMS or email as their preferred means of contact. If the customer has an account on your website, be sure to make these delivery updates accessible though their account page (this is often more convenient than having to go through the website of your chosen carrier) ensuring a more user-friendly delivery process that will keep customers returning as a result.
For the product itself, ensure it arrives looking as good as it does on your website. To achieve this, first put sufficient measures in place to protect the product during transit - wrapping it in protective bubble wrap will do the job here.
Additionally, be sure to consider aesthetics as well as practicality in how you package your product for delivery. High-quality, branded product packaging is sure to make a great impression with the customer the moment their product arrives and will go a long way in presenting your brand as a premium ecommerce retailer - helping you retain your customer base as a result.
Let customers know that they are appreciated
It goes without saying that showing customers that they’re appreciated is an effective way of strengthening the consumer-brand relationship. However, while this can be achieved through friendly and attentive customer service in a physical retail environment, projecting this same sense of appreciation through depersonalised ecommerce retail can be easier said than done - but is not impossible!
To reinforce the fact that the customer’s business is greatly appreciated through your ecommerce process, look to focus on personalisation. This can be as simple as including a handwritten note thanking the customer for their order or having a ‘your item was packaged by’ card including a signature from the packager. Adding this element of human interaction will make the customer feel less like, well, a customer by heightening their importance and value, strengthening the relationship between the customer and brand as a result.
Likewise, ensure regular customers are recognised by showing them a little extra love. Keep track of orders associated with each email address and offer surprise discounts and small complimentary gifts such as chocolates with their order: this will emphasise the value of brand loyalty and retain these customers for a long time to come. For added incentive, offer them exclusive referral codes that, when used by friends or family, offer discounts on both orders - not only is this a great way of keeping the orders coming, but it also begins to build a community around your brand that the customer feels very much a part of.
Go above and beyond whenever there’s a problem
Like it or not, problems are unavoidable in the ecommerce sector. Whether it is orders made on now out-of-stock items or delivery delays, there’s a lot that can (and will) go wrong. When these instances aren’t dealt with in the correct manner, the stark reality is that this can easily lead to you losing valuable customers.
As such, ensure you go above and beyond when offering solutions to these problems to spin a negative customer experience into one that reflects positively on your business. Of course, apologising in the face of issues should always be your top priority, but look to turn words into actions by offering future discounts and free deliveries - not only will this immediately, in many cases, rectify any customer dissatisfaction, but it also offers customers an incentive to order with you again!
Chatbots are becoming an increasingly common feature of ecommerce retail sites, helping brands offer automated solutions to common customer problems in a quick and direct way. The danger here, however, is that AI generated software can be quite impersonal - meaning they can quickly cause the customer further frustration if they’re not getting the answer they come looking for. As such, be sure to use the best chatbots on the market if you’re going down the route of automated customer service, ensuring a human operator is always still reachable between reasonable hours when needed. Furthermore, in instances where the chatbot can’t offer the required solution, be sure to apologise for the inconvenience and wasted customer time by offering the discounts and delivery options mentioned above! Once more, this will help turn a negative situation into a positive one, in turn ensuring you retain the customer’s valuable business.
With a smart customer service strategy, your ecommerce business will see your customers come back time and time again, building a distinct brand loyalty within your consumer base that benefits both customer and business alike.
About the Author
Alex Jones is a content creator for Kendon Packaging. Now one of Britain's leading packaging companies, Kendon Packaging has been supporting businesses nationwide since the 1930s.