The 10 Commandments of Online Customer Service
An online business has all kinds of benefits, but one area that becomes more difficult is customer service. It’s more difficult to provide the best service when a representative can’t interact with those customers in person. Fortunately, these 10 commandments of customer service will ensure any e-commerce business is keeping customers happy.
- Respond to Customer Inquiries Promptly
It’s frustrating for customers to wait around for a response, especially when they have a serious issue that requires immediate attention. Every online business should aim for a response time of 24 hours, at most, for all customer inquiries.
- Don’t Ignore Any Customers
The only thing customers dislike more than a slow response is no response at all. This makes a business look unprofessional, and if the customer sends in a complaint that receives no response, they’re more likely to make it public.
- Match the Tone of the Customer
If a customer is upset about a problem, then it’s best for the representative to be understanding and explain how sorry they are. If a customer is writing in with positive feedback, then the representative can break out the exclamation points and use a happier tone.
- Avoid Being Generic
Far too often in customer service, businesses use generic phrases that make their customers feel like numbers. It’s best to avoid these phrases as much as possible. For example, “we apologize for your inconvenience” is used so often that it means nothing and can make customers even more frustrated than they originally were.
- Take Responsibility for Any Problems
Representatives should always take full responsibility and present a solution for whatever problems the customer has. Trying to pass the buck will only prolong the issue. An apology won’t immediately solve anything, but it at least allows the interaction to move on from the problem to what the business is going to do to rectify it.
- Don’t Confuse the Customer
The most effective communication is clear and concise, and that’s even more important over email. Customers may not understand all a business’s terms or procedures, which means it’s important for the representative to explain those when necessary. Of course, the representative also must take care to avoid long, babbling responses.
- Answer All the Customer’s Questions
Ignoring a customer’s question is just as bad as ignoring a customer. It communicates to the customer that the business didn’t care enough to read their message thoroughly, and it means that the customer will need to contact the business again, which costs time and money.
- Keep the Message Consistent
Even if a customer contacts a business multiple times and speaks with several different representatives, the answers should be the same. When representatives provide different responses, it makes the business look unprofessional. A consistent message starts at the top with establishing that message and then training employees properly.
- Proofread Every Email
This is another one of those areas that can make or break a business’s image. If a business sends out an email with typos, grammatical errors or placeholder text that was left in the message by mistake, such as “Dear [INSERT CUSTOMER NAME HERE],” it shows a lack of attention to detail. These issues are easily avoided by proofreading an email in full before it goes out. The business just needs to prioritize quality over speed.
- Don’t Send Anything that Would Look Bad if It Went Public
Social media has made it easier than ever for customers to share their horror stories. When it comes to messages that get sent out to customers, it’s wise to avoid sending anything that would make the business look bad if the customer took a screenshot and uploaded it to Twitter, Facebook or any other social network. The last thing a business wants is to go viral for negative customer experience.