In some respects, owning and operating an online store is less cumbersome than overseeing a traditional brick-and-mortar establishment. For starters, you don’t have to worry about paying rent or focusing exclusively on local clientele. However, this isn’t to say that online store ownership isn’t without its tribulations. When running an online establishment, many proprietors have no qualms about putting customer service on the backburner. Not having to deal with patrons face-to-face causes many store owners to forget just how integral good customer service is to the success of a business. To ensure that your online store doesn’t become known for lackluster service, put the following tips to good use.
Be Thoughtful in Your Responses
Despite not meaning to, customer service representatives often come across as rude online. In the absence of face-to-face interaction, it’s easy to come off as curt and condescending even when you think you’re being courteous. With this in mind, make a point of putting genuine thought and effort into all your customer correspondences. Whether you’re live-chatting with a customer or responding to a patron via email, take care to exercise the utmost courtesy and make the other person feel as if their concerns are truly being heard.
Be Timely in Your Responses
People who own and operate e-commerce websites are always well-served by timely responses. This comes back to treating your patrons as you would wish to be treated in their position. When you submit a concern or query to an online store, it’s only natural that you’d want it addressed in as timely a manner as possible. The longer a customer has to wait for a response, the less valued they’re going to feel. For best results, respond to all customer queries within 24 hours. The more customer communications you let pile up, the harder it will be to answer them all in a timely manner. If your store receives a substantial number of patron correspondences each day, hiring a full-time customer service representative may ultimately be in your best interest. This will allow you to focus on other aspects of running your business without having to trouble yourself with customer grievances.
The Customer is Always Right
As the age-old adage goes, “The customer is always right.” Of course, as anyone who’s worked in retail can confirm, this isn’t always the case. Still, when dealing with angry or irate customers, it’s important to choose one’s battles. In some cases, placating a furious patron by accepting an outside-the-time-limit return is the wisest course of action. Even if it means taking a small financial hit, it increases your chances of making this person a repeat customer and decreases their likelihood of badmouthing your store online.
Whether you’re running a digital store or a brick-and-mortar establishment, good customer service is an absolute must. As your business’s most valuable asset, your patrons deserve to be respected and to have their concerns addressed in a timely and professional manner. In the interest of developing a reputation for stellar customer service, remember to put the previously discussed pointers into practice.