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How eCommerce Stores Can Ace Customer Service in 2021

6 min read

What does it take to run a successful eCommerce store? 

Ask someone who’s never worked in the industry and they’ll likely tell you a simple equation: fair prices + in-demand products = sales!

That formula is a good start, but more experienced merchants know it’s not enough. Success in eCommerce actually depends on exceptional customer service.

Think about all the online shopping you’ve done in the last year. Which sites have you gone back to time and time again? 

If you are like me, the draw to return is a mix of strong value and excellent customer service (or at least a lack of bad customer service🤦‍♀️).

If you’re ready to audit your own customer service approach, we’re going to look at some tips for getting eCommerce customer service right in the coming year below!

Tip #1: Get Proactive with Issuing Brand Updates

Though it’s easy to forget, customer service isn’t just about responding to customer prompts. 

In other words, if you’re passive until buyers get so frustrated that they reach out to you, you’re going to end up with far too many issues to address.

Plus, a level of dissatisfaction that’s sure to negatively impact your all-important brand reputation.

Instead, you need to be actively reaching out to your customers (usually via social media) with lots of brand updates.

Shopify did this with an Instagram post for their Cyber Monday sales.

You might have a new product to promote, a discount worth noting, or a problem with your service.

In any situation, taking the time to tell people about it will reassure them that you’re invested in their satisfaction.

Shopify black friday instagram post

And it’s also important to time your messages well because messages that get missed won’t help you much!

While you’re communicating. your promotions and discounts to existing customers, you should also take the chance to promote your company to prospective customers.

Tailwind’s Hashtag Finder is ideal for finding and increasing your audience on Instagram by interest!

Tip #2: Offer Automated and Manual Live Support

Having a robust live chat system is hugely beneficial for a modern eCommerce store.

People just don’t want to call phone support!

It’s frustrating to wait on hold, irritating to give the call your full attention, and downright annoying to lack a straightforward record of what’s been covered.

People are also well past conventional ticket systems, which tend to be clunky and unbearably slow. 

Customers want CONVENIENT support — and that’s what live chat offers. With live chat, a customer can open and complete a conversation with a support assistant in one sitting!

However, it’s true: live chat systems can get demanding as traffic increases. That’s why you should strategize early by looking for ways to balance manual effort with automation. 

These days it’s possible to implement intuitive chatbot software to automatically field common queries. With Crisp’s chatbot feature, for instance, you can easily define the typical scenarios. 

Bangs Shoes frames the chatbox as a very user-friendly opportunity to text. 

Of course, when there’s a tough customer service scenario, an issue can be passed to a support assistant for manual resolution.

BANGS Shoes automated text feature

Tip #3: Monitor Mentions and React Accordingly

The bigger your brand becomes, the more people will talk about it. A lot of that chatter won’t make it to your inbox. 

Word of mouth has always been immensely powerful for driving referrals, and a glowing endorsement from a friend can lead someone to give you a chance.

On the other side of the coin, a negative review can push them to avoid you entirely!

To keep tabs on what’s being said about your brand, monitor mentions on social, in blog content, and in social media analytics. Tools like BuzzSumo or Brand 24 make this task much easier. 

When you happen upon positive comments, highlight them for everyone. (First make sure to get permission to use the quotes in your marketing!)

Tailwind member quotes on website

When you do find a mention, send a thank-you note, or a gift, or both!

And when you find negative feedback, don’t try to sweep it under the rug. Instead, figure out what the problem is and do your best to resolve it (GoDaddy has some good tips for this.) 

A best practice is to respond to the initial public mention in the same public venue AND invite the disgruntled person to keep the conversation going in a more private way. 

For example, respond to a public tweet with a public tweet AND suggest you move the conversation to a DM. 

Always try to turn the situation. around if you can. If you can take someone negative about your brand and turn them into a supporter, it’ll send a strong message for your brand!

Conclusion: Focus on Customer Service

Often times, you have to wear a lot of hats as an eCommerce store owner. It can be hard to devote your attention to operations, marketing, and customer service.

However, investing a little extra time in customer service can have big returns. So in 2021, keep your eye on making your customers happy!

You’ll ace this critical aspect of eCommerce business, and be rewarded with loyal customers and referrals!


Which brand do you love for their customer service? Share in the comments below!

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