Saturday, February 28, 2015

The best customer service is indispensable in your web shop! | Entrepreneur

Read the Danish version here: Den bedste kundeservice er uundværlig i din webshop!

Customer service
It has been important for X2Nails to have the best customer service, almost from the start. In the beginning we made a lot of mistakes regarding customer service, but gradually we have improved it a lot. In the last time, when a customer has been in contact with X2Nails costumer service, the customer always praises us.

Know your customers needs
I do a lot of online shopping, which I have done in many years. It has given me a good understanding for what good customer service is.
When I shop online, there have been times where I have though “How can I implement this at X2Nails?” other times I have thought “I am never coming back here again.”
Very often you have to “be” the customer. Ask questions as “How would I react if the company said that to me?”, “How would I want this problem solved?”, “Would I like it if someone said that to me?” and so on.

If you are not good at thinking like the customer, you should know someone who is.

Availability
The best customer service at X2Nails
Make it as easy for the customer to reach customer service. Place contact information, contact box, chats and the like, where the customer looks. I really hate the web shops where you have to click a number of times just to find their mail. If it is not on the site I am on, I always get so annoyed that I leave the website. The contact information should at least be in the bottom frame and as a link in the header.

Q&A site
A question and answer site is as gold. Many customers have the same questions and they almost always looks for a Q&A site, before they choose to contact the company. It should always be easy to find and remember to update it regularly. 

Be fast
If a customer contacts you, you have to get to work immediately. The customer is first priority! You probably think that your time is worth more, but if you want the customer to make a purchase in your web shop, you must help her immediately. Your customer is busy so you have to be ready, otherwise she can easily find other alternatives.  

I have a really good example from X2Nails. I woke up a little late in the weekend because I was feeling a little sick. I was eating breakfast when I got a mail from a customer. The evening before, she had ordered some products including a nail polish, which she wanted to exchange for another nail polish. In approximately 25 minutes I had done all the work and answered her back. She was so happy that she wrote a fantastic review and began to follow X2Nails on Instagram and Facebook. You can read the review here.

Send guides
If there are products that the customers have many questions about, then make easy guides for them. Put them on the product sites and send them with the customer’s order.

When the glow in the dark nail polish and crackle nail polish was completely new, there were numerous customers who asked about how the products worked. First I made product guides and put them on the product sites but there were still a lot of customer who just could not figure out how to use them. So I improved the guides and began to send them with the orders. The customers are really happy about that.

Write a message
The customers love to get a short personal message from the web shop with her order. It might save a bad day and she will feel appreciated.

Write blog posts, make videos, know your product
For example if your products durability depends on how the customer uses the products, it would be a good idea to write a guided to-do list. As an example you can see my blog post about how you get nail polish to last longer or how to care for your nails, there is also a video tutorial for the last one. To make these it is incredibly important that you know your product. Your business image depends on it.

Customer convenience
How does the customer prefer to contact your company and what is possible? If your company is small it might be hard to be on a lot of platforms. X2Nails uses telephone, text, mail and chat support.
If one customer have it easier by contacting you on facebook or Instagram, then do it.  

Returns
Is it easy for your customer to return her purchased products? Although X2Nails rarely gets any returns, there are a lot of customers who checks out their return rights before they place an order. Make it as easy as possible. It is especially important if it is a gift. There has to be a minimum of two links on each site and it should be completely clear how many days the customer has to make a return. The return site is easy to understand and the return form is clear and easy to understand.

In stock / sold out
Is the product in stock? The customer hates, when she needs the product and have to wait for the web shop to get the product back in stock. It is one of those things that makes the customer very annoyed. She will most likely cancel the order and she will defiantly never come back.
Is it a product that is very popular and you have not been fast enough to order a new batch, it is a good idea to let the product be active and write “Out of stock, available again in 14 days.”
It is incredibly important that your stock system is up-to-date with your inventory. If it says on the product site that the product is in stock, your customer expects to receive it within a few days.

Flexible shipping
Make sure that the shipping price is as clear as possible. This includes price, shipping time and shipping method. At X2Nails we have eight different shipping methods. The customer can choose whatever method she thinks is best for her. The customers are very different and they want as much customizing as possible.

No hidden charges
Alright, so your customer is on the payment site and is filling out her information, where she sees that she has to pay extra credit card charges. It is small a charge, typically between 0.5 DKK and 10 DKK. Do you know what most of you customers chooses to do? They leave the site and finds another web shop.
Many customers also experience that they are putting products in their baskets, but there are no shipping costs showing. The thing is that your customer automatically will think that the shipping is free. She will get to the payment site and there she will see that she has to pay 50 DKK extra for shipping. Guess what she does.

Delivery time
Make sure that the delivery time is as clear as possible. That way your customer will know when she will receive her order. If your web shop has flexible shipping, it is extra important that your customer exactly knows what her choice means for the delivery time.

Vacation
If you have a small web shop and you choose to ”close” it for a week for vacation, it is very important that you write it clearly on all sites, that the web shop is closed and all orders will be sent on date xx of xx. It is also a very good idea to be reachable, even if you are on vacation.

Admit mistakes
Have your web shop made a mistake then it is a great idea to admit the mistake and apologize as soon as possible. Right after the apology, you should give the customer two or three reasonable proposals. Always remember that is was your web shops fault. The customer will out of pity typically choose the best solution for both parties.

Constant improvement
The improvement of customer service must be constant. It can always be better, especially in a time when everything is getting more advanced so fast. The time changes and your customers change.

It does not matter if the company is big or small the customer service needs to be at its best.

I hope you can use if not all then some of it to improve your customer service. :)

You can contact me on LinkedIn.


PS. To the web shops I have shopped in before and I have not come back, I really hope that you will read this.

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