During this season, people have nothing but time on their hands. They can’t go out due to the safety restrictions put in place. And as a result, a number of chain reactions have taken place– one being the increase in online shopping. E-commerce businesses are really booming right now. There has just never been a time that people need convenient shopping more than now. So how do you navigate your customer service during Covid 19?
With this happening, one of the major troubles that E-commerce entrepreneurs have experienced is increased shipping times. Luckily, we are all going through something that is completely out of our control. What can you as an e-commerce business do to ensure you don’t lose the trust of your customers during this period.
1. Be transparent
Contrary to popular belief by many business owners, customers aren’t always unreasonable. After dealing with all manner of customers in my career. I thought that bank customers were the most easily irritable customers. But that was nothing compared to an online customer who wants their order fast. Luckily, the same honesty, transparency, genuine concern, humility, and extreme kindness used on the bank customers seemed to work just as well to calm the angriest of online shoppers. Indeed a soft answer turns away wrath.
I know for a fact, there are details that businesses don’t share with their customers. But this is the time you need to let your customer know about your processes from receiving the order to processing and fulfilling it. This will help them understand what is happening on the ground.
If you can document how long it takes for your product to move from the factory to the shipping company and later to local distributors. It can go a long way in giving customers a more realistic time frame. This then helps them manage their expectations better.
Don’t be too helpless, even if the situation is out of your hand, show that you are actively looking for solutions to the problem. After all, you are an entrepreneur, and finding solutions is your thing.
You might need to bulk ship the most popular goods and have them saved at a warehouse that is nearer to your most active customers or might need to invest in a faster shipping method, whatever the case, do something. You can even raise the price just a bit higher and explain that it will help with faster shipping.
Communicate, update them on every action you are taking to resolve the long shipment times. Some customers will be more accommodating than some. Put the latter in a watch list, actively follow up and push for their packages to be delivered as soon as possible. Go out of your way if you have to. Incur an extra expense on their behalf but ensure they get their product in time. Because this bunch is the most damaging bunch. They will stop at nothing to complain to anyone who cares to listen.
4.Manage your customer’s expectation
Are you scared that if you communicate the real shipment times it will discourage potential customers from buying? It might but it will have saved you and the customer a lot of headaches. So, go ahead, communicate, this will manage customer’s expectations better. You will save yourself a headache, because if the customer can’t wait that long, then you won’t have the stress of constantly trying to calm the customer down. You will save man-hours on customer service and it’s likely that if they really like the product they will just buy it anyway.
Communicate the right shipment time, but try and over-deliver by beating that time.
Follow up with the people on the ground to ensure your customer’s packages are moving as fast as the situation allows. If you are using a less than satisfactory shipping method, consider changing it. Yes, this might be costly, but it’s during this season that you can create your most loyal customers.
Keep in mind that the actions you take today will create a lasting impression long after the pandemic. This can and will greatly impact the loyalty people have to your brand and your products. Don’t shy from spending an extra coin to ensure you are at par or above your competitors. Because nothing will stop your customer from shopping with a similar brand if their shipment times are faster. So, be better.
6. Give your team full support
Most business owners have trouble fully entrusting sensitive issues to their customer support. But for you to really win in customer service, your support team needs to know everything that can assist them to handle customer queries effectively. Giving them partial information or taking hours and days to provide important information that is needed by customers, is like blindfolding a soldier and telling them to successfully aim and hit the enemy.
While there are badass customer service professionals who can come up with even the most brilliant ways of managing customers. You will be slowing them down and exhausting them. They will have to research and come up with innovative ways to handle your customer. A time they could have spent been dealing with other customers.
Customer service during Covid 19 is something to take extra precaution on. With all the restrictions put in place, processing, shipping, and delivery times have been greatly impacted. The main point of online shopping is convenience, but that goes out the window, the minute you have to wait for something for an abnormally long time. Something that Covid 19 has caused greatly.
So what can your e-commerce business keep providing great customer service during Covid 19. In the guide above, we have provided 6 tips. Remember to communicate, be transparent, offer solutions, and keep your support team in the loop. These are sure ways to help you maintain great customer service during this pandemic.
Finally, do good, just keep adding value, just keep giving quality, being honest, doing your best to resolve every arising situation, give your best and you will get the best back.