In the age of instant feedback, good customer service has become more important than ever. Because digital communications tend to lack the same urgency as face-to-face interactions, many online store proprietors treat courtesy and timeliness as afterthoughts while dealing with customers. Not only such behavior is highly unprofessional, it can also cause irreparable damage to your business. If a patron is unhappy with your customer service, he or she may be inclined to leave scathing reviews on consumer feedback sites or skewer your store on social media. Fortunately, keeping customers happy isn’t nearly as challenging as certain stores make it seem. The following pointers are sure to prove helpful to any store that values good customer relations.
- Be Thoughtful and Timely in Your Responses
While dealing with customers’ questions and concerns, it’s in your best interest to offer thoughtful responses in a timely manner. The longer you wait to respond to a customer, the more disgruntled that customer is likely to become. While responding to patrons, common courtesy is an absolute must. To wit, begin each reply by thanking the customer for taking the time to write, and end your correspondences by reiterating your thanks and encouraging customers to contact you again if they have any other issues. Furthermore, make a point of responding to all customer emails within 24 hours.
- Optimize Your Store for Mobile Devices
Any online store that wishes to remain competitive needs to make mobile optimization a priority. As of 2014, the majority of online traffic comes from smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices. This means that having a site that performs poorly on these devices can cost your store business. Research has found that the an average mobile user waits a maximum of three seconds for a site to load before giving up and going elsewhere. As such, it’s imperative that your store be able to perform well on mobile devices. Whether you need to revamp your store for mobile optimization or create a new online store from the ground-up, you’d be wise to tackle this project sooner rather than later.
- Be Lenient With Regard to Returns and Exchanges
No one enjoys shopping at stores that have stringently inflexible return policies. While it’s true that some people take unfair advantage lenient return policies, being flexible when it comes to returns and exchanges can do your store a world of good. In addition to making customers feel comfortable shopping with you, a consumer-friendly return policy will increase their likelihood of recommending your store to friends and family members.
Putting customer service on the backburner can prove highly damaging to your store. In this day and age, a single negative review can sink an entire business, so patron satisfaction should be foremost on your mind. On the flipside, a little bit of responsiveness and common courtesy can go a long way in attracting repeat business and keeping customers happy.With this in mind, be thoughtful and timely when responding to customers, prioritize mobile optimization in your store’s design and exercise flexibility regarding returned merchandise.