5 Amazing eCommerce Customer Service Ideas

ecommerce customer service ideas

Looking for eCommerce customer service ideas? Since shopping online implies there is no personal interaction with a salesperson, many customers grow frustrated if they encounter issues with the website or an order.

To make matters worse, lots of online businesses fail when it comes to customer service by offering slow, delayed responses — or not offering them at all. Poor customer service can drive customers away faster than anything else.

In fact, 3 out of 5 customers have not completed a purchase due to poor service.

To prevent such issues from negatively affecting your small business, this guide first outlines valuable eCommerce customer service ideas. It then covers the crucial role of Google eCommerce customer service, focusing on boosting visibility, enhancing trust, and improving customer retention

eCommerce Customer Service Ideas

Providing stellar customer service with your e-commerce business can do wonders to make your company stand out amongst the competition.

This process is not always simple, but it can mean a world of difference when it comes to sales. Here are 5 ecommerce customer service ideas to consider.

1. Have an Easy-to-Understand Return Policy

ecommerce customer service ideas

One major concern many online customers have is the hassle of returning a product.

Since anywhere from 15-30% of online purchases are returned, having a clear return policy for your online business is extremely important.

Writing out detailed instructions, of which are listed multiple times on your site or in emails, assures customers they can purchase with confidence.

Be sure to clearly state if you provide a full refund, partial refund, or offer store credit.

You may also want to consider extending your return window, or even offering a lifetime guarantee. Offering easy and free returns influences 68% of online purchases, so you want to make the entire process as simple as possible for your customers.

Purple, an online mattress company, offers an excellent example of a well-defined return system.

Their site lists out details for each product, from bed sheets to mattresses, and clearly states which returns will be refunded and which will not. If customers have further questions or concerns, Purple also includes their return department’s email address and phone number so customers can contact a customer service representative directly.

2. Personalize Each Experience

Online customers crave a more personalized buying experience. In fact, over 70% of American consumers expect personalization from online businesses.

Personalization can include offering customers personal shopping account logins that record past purchases, shipping addresses, and suggest related items for their next order. One easy way to offer some personalization is by using marketing automation to send out triggered emails with special offers tailored the past shopping behavior of each customer.

Personalized shopping can take many forms. Don’t be afraid to get creative with it. More importantly, use personalization to address customer concerns in shopping online vs. at a physical store near them.

For example, Bluestone, an online jewelry company, found a unique way to bring their brand experience to the next level. Customers can set up an appointment online and a consultant will come directly to their homes, allowing them to try on the jewelry in the comfort of their own home.

This “try before you buy” service gives customers some peace of mind (especially before making an expensive purchase) as well as provides a personalized shopping experience by allowing the customer to choose which pieces to view.

The company even offers a “design your own” feature for rings, earrings, and necklaces – providing a truly personal experience for each customer.

3. Ask for Feedback

ecommerce customer service ideas

As the great musician Stevie Wonder once said, “If you don’t ask, you don’t get.” Customers are not very likely to leave a review, especially a positive one if you do not ask.

Sending out a follow-up email asking customers to rate their experience or to write a short review increases the likelihood they will leave feedback. Make sure you include their comments on your site or social media; as customer reviews play a major role in purchase decisions.

Take the instance of an online purchase for an air vent cover for a HVAC. Unless the item or purchase experience was exceptionally wonderful (or terrible), it’s highly unlikely for such a product to receive a review.

However, one company sent out a follow up email to its Amazon customers with links that made it easy for the purchaser to leave a quick comment and rate their experience:

4. Provide Live Chat

ecommerce customer service ideas

Having a live-chat option can increase customer satisfaction by leaps and bounds.

Plus, it’s an easy way to answer questions and concerns instantly. Rather than waiting for an email response, customers can receive assistance right away, which means they are less likely to leave your website without purchasing.

Outsourcing an online chat service is a great strategy, especially for smaller online businesses who can’t afford to hire round-the-clock customer service reps.

Sites like Influx will handle online chats 24/7 for your e-commerce business and provide peace of mind for you and your customers.

5. Provide Service via Social Media

ecommerce customer service ideas

Customer service via social media is expected by e-commerce customers today, and they want responses instantly. Many customers use social media because it’s easy for them to find a business and contact them directly.

There are, however, some downsides to using social media for this purpose. The big one being lack of privacy. Many companies reply to concerns with a link to their customer service page or respond with a private message.

Determine which of your social media platforms has the largest number of followers or activity, then promote your support services there. You can use social media monitoring tools to alert you when your brand is talked about online so you can respond to inquiries quickly.

eCommerce Customer Service Ideas Summary

StrategyKey Point
Easy-to-Understand Return PolicyAssure customers with a straightforward return policy, enhancing their purchasing confidence.
Personalize Each ExperienceEnhance shopping engagement by offering individualized customer experiences and products.
Ask for FeedbackIncrease trust and business transparency by encouraging and simplifying the process for customers to provide feedback.
Provide Live ChatBoost customer satisfaction and reduce website abandonment by resolving queries instantly through live chat.
Service via Social MediaImprove customer interaction and issue resolution by utilizing social media platforms for direct and prompt customer service, ensuring a balance with user privacy.

The Importance of Google eCommerce Customer Service

ecommerce customer service ideas

  • Boosts Visibility and Ranking: Superior customer service, reflected in reviews and ratings, enhances your store’s visibility by favorably influencing its ranking within Google search results, thereby attracting more potential customers.
  • Enhances Trust and Credibility: Positive customer service experiences often lead to favorable reviews. On a platform like Google, these reviews build a brand’s credibility and encourage new customers to make confident purchases.
  • Improves Customer Retention: Efficient and responsive customer service practices within your Google eCommerce platform mean customers are more likely to return. Satisfied customers often translate to loyal ones, and their continued engagement and repeat purchases can be invaluable.
  • Facilitates Better Communication: Utilizing Google’s various tools, like Google My Business and direct messaging, helps maintain open lines of communication with your customers. This accessibility for inquiries or concerns makes the shopping experience more convenient and enjoyable.
  • Provides Valuable Customer Insights: Interactions with customers, whether they are questions, complaints, or compliments, provide direct feedback on your products and services. This information is essential for any business looking to understand its customers better and adapt or improve based on their needs and preferences.

Final Thoughts

Providing a remarkable customer service experience in your e-commerce business isn’t just an option; it’s essential for standing out in a competitive market. An outstanding customer service strategy transforms one-time buyers into loyal customers and turns casual browsing into repeat purchases. By focusing on making the entire buying experience easy and personal, you ensure that customers feel valued and understood.

Ensure your website clearly lists return and exchange instructions, empowering customers to shop with confidence. Encourage them to review their experience. Feedback not only helps your business improve but also attracts new customers by showcasing real, positive experiences. Remember, in the digital world, your customer service is as visible as your products. Engage with your customers thoughtfully and promptly, whether it’s through personalized emails, live chat, or social media.

Innovate and think outside the box to meet customer needs in unique ways. From offering at-home trials to leveraging technology for a more personalized shopping experience, the possibilities are endless. Your efforts in providing exceptional customer service will not only help mitigate issues before they escalate but also build a strong, positive reputation for your brand.

By prioritizing customer service, you’re investing in the long-term success of your e-commerce business. Make every interaction count, and watch as your business grows, supported by a foundation of satisfied customers and positive word-of-mouth.

Ecommerce Business Photo via Shutterstock

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Pratik Dholakiya Pratik Dholakiya is the founder of Growfusely, a content marketing agency specializing in content and data-driven SEO. As a passionate SEO and content marketer, he shares his thoughts and knowledge in publications like Search Engine Land, Search Engine Journal, Entrepreneur Magazine, Fast Company, The Next Web, YourStory, and Inc42, to name a few.