It doesn’t matter whether you sell on eBay, Volusion, BigCommerce or Shopify—your customers must be happy or they will go somewhere else. With so many ecommerce sites and stores competing against one another, beyond a custom store design, here are five things you need to keep online buyers loyal to you—and refer your ecommerce store.
1. How Good Is Your Customer Service?
Do you respond to buyer questions as quickly as possible—meaning pretty much on the spot, or must they wait and wait for you to get back to them? You will surely lose buyers and potential buyers if your reputation on bad customer service is the only thing consumers spread about your store.
CIO offers four inexpensive CRM software solutions for small business owners. If you aren’t taking advantage of your ecommerce platform’s customer service tools, you may want to look into using one of these.
2. Answer Questions on Twitter
A while back, an employee of a major cable company provider had an idea. Why not answer consumer questions on Twitter? After all, if service was out or poor, consumers sure had no problems tweeting about their horrid experiences so why not aid those people with info packed tweets?
If you have an online store, you’re already online—a lot. Why not advertise your Twitter handle and page link and then advertise some more on how buyers can get quick answers to questions on your Twitter page?
If someone has a question that contains any personal information like credit card number or email addresses, use the “direct message” tool to help those folks. Twitter is also a great tool to find a following and it’s so easy to add images of your products.
3. Get a Custom Store Design
When we say on 5 percent of online stores dominate the ecommerce market, we really mean it. And, it’s not because those stores have a hidden secret you don’t know about. What they do have are custom eBay store designs and landing pages. Or, a custom Volusion, Shopify or BigCommerce store design.
When shoppers browse these stores, they are instantly hit with custom branding logos, promotional badges, types of payments these stores accept and more.
When you add custom listing templates to your store design, as your buyers shop, they get the feeling they have never left your store.
4. Empower Your Customer Service People
Every store owner can’t be online 24/7. Many enlist the help of customer service reps to answer questions and solve problems. Because buyers can be in so many different time zones, if you do take advantage of customer service reps, you need to empower them to solve problems on their own. That means yes—they can offer a discount and yes—they can offer a refund.
Find people with experience in this arena and above all, give them the authority to act on your behalf if you can’t be reached.
5. Throw the Answering Machine Away
Okay, so answering machines may be a dated term but many ecommerce retailers allow consumer calls to go to voice mail and answer them later. This is a no-no! Even worse, if your store sells many types of items and you have various departments, don’t make your customers have to listen to your voice menu and then choose the right department by pressing a number.
The cost of a live person answering the telephone is worth it, especially if you think about how happy customers will be if they don’t have to leave a message or listen to your boring menu of choices.
If you add these five things to keep your online buyers loyal to you, they’ll not only always purchase from you—they’ll recommend you. And, we all know referrals are part of what keeps ecommerce retailers afloat.
What are you doing to ensure customer loyalty? Leave a comment and let us know!