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Five pro tips from ReplyCo on how to improve customer service now.

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Customer Experience
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If you’re an ecommerce seller, you probably already know that great customer service is the key to growth and success. In fact, several studies have shown that 90% or more of consumers report using customer service as a deciding factor in whether or not to do business with a company. The same research also reveals that buyers are willing to spend more money when guaranteed a satisfactory experience.

However, knowing that excellent support is important and being able to deliver it are two different things, especially during busy times. Thankfully, there are a few simple steps you can take to transform the way you assist shoppers throughout the upcoming holiday season and beyond. Keep reading to learn more about Replyco’s five pro tips any online seller can use to start improving their customer service right now.

1. Focus on response times.

Today’s customers want answers to their questions as quickly as possible. If you fail to respond expediently to an online shopper’s inquiry, it is highly likely that they will leave your site and find what they’re looking for elsewhere.

But by focusing on keeping response times short, you can ensure that visitors get the answers they need without having to wait. This will encourage them to follow through with purchases, and may also result in other benefits such as up-sell opportunities and positive reviews.

One of the most effective ways to shorten response times is to set expectations and goals for your support team. Depending on the customer service medium (email, live chat, etc.), messages should receive a first response within seconds or minutes — not hours or days.

Once you’ve established the timeframes in which employees should answer customer queries, you also need to implement the methods team members can use to achieve acceptable response times. We’ll cover more on this later, but there are a myriad of tools on today’s marketplace aimed at helping eCommerce sellers respond more quickly. For instance, helpdesk software can centralize your customer messaging as well as enable you to see which inquiries need an immediate response.

Finally, you’ll want to regularly assess your team’s performance. This will allow you to make adjustments to your approach in order to keep response times short. A few factors you need to pay attention to include overall team response times, individual user performance and which days you receive the most messages.

2. Utilize available tools.

As we’ve mentioned, if you want to improve the speed and overall quality of your customer service, you need to utilize tools that are designed to help.

From Linnworks’ order management systems to live chat widgets, there are a plethora of software tools available that can overhaul your approach to customer service.

Helpdesk software is a major player in this space, as it provides a centralized hub for customer messaging. When using a helpdesk solution such as Replyco, you are able to view and respond to inquiries from all selling channels and platforms (Amazon, eBay, Linnworks, etc.) in one place.

This software also lets you automatically prioritize, label and sort incoming messages for improved accuracy and efficiency. Other useful features include reporting functions that help you keep up with team performance and customer service strategy effectiveness, as well as time-saving message templates and smart auto-responders for holidays or after-hours times.

3. Provide live chat support.

It bears repeating that customers want immediate answers to their questions. What better way to instantaneously assist shoppers than by offering live chat support?

When you install a live chat widget on your website, visitors can submit an inquiry with just a few short clicks. Their query is then answered as soon as a live chat agent joins the conversation, typically within seconds.

Given the convenience and speedy support offered by live chat, it comes as no surprise that several studies show it to be the preferred service medium of most customers.

And the great news is, you don’t have to be a tech whiz to implement this function on your website. Many of the customer service software tools on today’s marketplace include live chat capabilities in their features set. For instance, Replyco offers a live chat widget that can be installed on any website by following a few easy setup instructions.

4. Offer self-serve options.

Another great way to keep customers happy is to offer self-serve options on your website. By providing accessible help documents and answers to FAQs, you give shoppers the power to find what they’re looking for without any hassle.

This type of content is an extremely convenient way for your website visitors to get the answers they need, and it also frees up some time for your customer service team. The key to creating great self-serve options is to assess what questions shoppers are asking most often and put together simple, easy-to-understand answers to them.

You also need to craft step-by-step instructions for any potentially confusing processes on your website, such as the checkout process or site navigation. Be sure to post links to this documentation throughout your site, or include popups or page footers directing customers to helpful content.

5. Implement customer service team protocols.

Once you have all the right strategies and tools in place to offer great support, the final (but perhaps most important) step is to make sure your entire customer service team is on the same page. This will go a long way toward getting the best ROI possible from your customer service initiatives.

For instance, a great way to organize your message allocation protocols is to make different individuals responsible for specific query types. That means one of your team members may be routed all messages about returns / refunds, while another person will handle shipping and delivery questions.

You should also have plans in place for special circumstances, such as being closed for holidays, sending after-hours auto-responders and employees being out sick or on vacation. By putting together messaging and query re-allocation processes before unforeseen events occur, you can keep your customer service running smoothly amid busy times or when you’re out of the office or short-staffed.

Lastly, it is important to hold regular meetings with your staff in order to address any shortcomings or necessary changes to your approach. This gives you a chance to continually improve performance, while also allowing your employees to voice any concerns or difficulties they may encounter so they can be addressed and corrected.

Happy Customers = Improved Sales & Growth.

By making a few simple adjustments as listed above, you can set your company up for long-term growth and sustained success. From increased sales to a significant boost in ROI, effective customer service can lead to a number of marked improvements.

That’s because of a very simple principle: if you keep customers happy and offer helpful answers to their questions, they will be more likely to purchase your items and return to your shop.

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