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How to create a proactive customer service culture.

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Customer Experience
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Put simply, fostering a proactive customer service culture is integral to your success as an ecommerce seller. Why? Because doing so can help you avoid costly problems and time-consuming situations by anticipating and addressing them before they arise. 

Just a few of the issues your customer service department may face on a regular basis include:

  • Shipping delays caused by widespread events (such as inclement weather or a pandemic).
  • Customer confusion over item features or how a new product works.
  • The same question(s) being asked over and over again. 
  • In-demand items being out of stock.

These and many other issues can cause everything from unhappy shoppers to a surge in return / refund requests. Not to mention the time and effort your team will have to expend in order to take care of each individual customer query as it is received. 

However, by creating a proactive customer service culture, you can prevent many of these problems from even occurring, while anticipating and tending to others before they happen. This will enable you to keep shoppers happier, reduce the number of queries you receive and save your customer service team loads of time. Here’s how.

Anticipate potential customer service issues.

As stated, being more proactive when it comes to your customer service starts with anticipating potential issues before they arise. This involves understanding the factors that affect your business and taking whatever steps you can to mitigate or address them ahead of time. 

For example, during the pandemic, shipping times were delayed for virtually all online orders. But in order to keep shoppers informed and satisfied, many sellers sent out emails following any transaction that let customers know deliveries were taking longer than usual. This provided buyers with the information they needed to know about when to expect their items. 

This approach not only keeps customers more informed and lets them know you appreciate their business, it also reduces the number of messages you’re likely to receive on the subject (in this example, shipping and delivery). 

But shipping delays aren’t the only types of problems you can anticipate ahead of time. Running low on a certain in-demand item? Or is a specific product getting ready to be discontinued? Keep your ears to the ground, so to speak, and remain aware of anything that might occur that could impact your company’s offerings or your customers. That way, you’ll always be ready to mitigate upcoming situations before they cause your customers any problems (and result in lots of messages, complaints and issues for you). 

Check in with customers at specific intervals.

Another way to be more proactive in your customer service is to check in with customers at specific intervals. 

For example, if a shopper purchases a new tech-related product you’re selling, send them an email once they’ve had time to receive it and ask if they have any questions. This tactic accomplishes a few things. 

First of all, it lets the shopper know that you value their satisfaction. Second, it enables you to offer assistance early, hopefully before the customer encounters much difficulty and becomes frustrated. And lastly, this approach opens the door for receiving useful feedback that might help you improve the quality of your product offerings, services or item listings. 

You can also send out emails immediately after purchase to inform customers that their orders have been received, as well as shipping confirmation notices.

Plus, by using helpdesk software for ecommerce, it’s easy to create email templates and auto-responders for these and any other messages you regularly send to customers. And by automating the process, you can save tons of time while making sure customers always receive the information they need. 

Create informative product listings.

A great way to maintain a proactive customer culture and avoid being inundated by messages is to provide shoppers with comprehensive info up front. And one of the best ways to achieve this is by creating informative product listings.

Within your item descriptions, tell customers everything they need to know. This may include features, benefits, item specifications, return policies and color options. The point is, by offering these details on your website, you increase the odds that buyers will simply purchase your product(s) without having to message you. 

Offer self-serve options.

On that same note, be sure to offer self-serve options on any sales websites. Self-service options may encompass anything from detailed user instructions for technical products to FAQ pages to any other form of help documentation that enables your customers to find the answers they’re looking for. 

Not only does this approach lessen the number of queries you receive, it also delights shoppers who value convenience.

Provide info about new products. 

A big part of anticipating potential customer questions and mitigating issues before they arise is to educate your shoppers about any new offerings you sell. This is especially true if you’re offering an item that is a new invention or that operates differently from similar products on the market. 

For instance, if you are releasing a new laptop with upgraded capabilities, let your customers know how it works and what it offers. Or, if you’re an apparel retailer who is selling a new brand of clothing that is sized differently from other makers (for example, maybe it runs small), provide an updated sizing chart in your new listings. 

Use email templates & auto-responders.

Finally, although we’ve already mentioned email templates and auto-responders, they certainly require their own full section. After all, these two tools lie at the center of any effective proactive customer service strategy. 

You can create email templates for any type of message you send regularly to customers. From answering FAQs to providing “order received” or “order shipped” notifications, there are a ton of emails that online sellers send over and over again on a daily basis. However, email templates allow you to create these messages one time and then save them for future use. 

And when you use a helpdesk software such as Replyco, you can even use features such as custom tags to easily drop info into these messages such as customer first names and clickable order / tracking numbers. All of this is done with the simple click of a button, saving you time, delighting shoppers and letting you get back to what you do best: selling. 

Plus, with auto-responders, you can automatically acknowledge receipt of customer messages even when you’re not in the office. This means your shoppers know you appreciate their time and are made aware that a member of your team will personally respond to them as soon as possible. 

How to create a proactive customer service culture: final thoughts.

If you want to set your business up for maximum growth and profitability, then it’s important to create a proactive customer service culture. By following the techniques outlined above, you can avoid time-consuming and costly problems while keeping shoppers happy and encouraging brand loyalty. 

Ready to learn how Replyco can help you save even more time while taking your customer service to the next level? Book a live demo or start your free trial today (there’s no credit card required). 

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