Online shopping isn’t something that is new. It’s been around for quite some time now and people are noticing the benefits of online shopping more and more. This can be viewed through the fact that most shops these days have an online version along with the brick and mortar one. Why? Well, having an E-Shop actually broadens the number of customers you can reach at any given time. On top of that, marketing for E-Shops is a whole lot cheaper and shows results much faster than the marketing done for traditional shops. There are benefits for both new shop owners, who can expand their revenue through small investments into the online market and for experienced shop owners who want to take things to a national, or even global level.
Unfortunately, things are not as peachy as we would like them to be. Most E-Shops are half-baked projects which most users wouldn’t trust with a comment, let alone with their credit card information. The main problem with E-Shops is that it takes greater effort to develop trust with your customers and convince them that you are a genuine vendor. After all, the web is filled with phishing and credit card frauds and the scammers are good at what they do.
In order to reassure your potential customers that you are a professional company and, more importantly, a real company, is disclosing some general company information. These are the basics, but you would be amazed how many companies forget to do this and therefore lose customers due to sheer distrust. The information that should be disclosed includes:
- A valid company headquarters address
- A contact phone number
- The company’s email address
- Company bio
Some would say that this has nothing to do with customer support but this is the basic form of customer support. The difference between having this info and not having it is the difference between a man offering to sell watches from a shadowy corner in a back ally and a shop on main street.
There are some questions that might popup reputedly and your support team might get tired of answering them. Make sure you have a Frequently Asked Questions section so as to minimize the strain on your support team and provide a quick answer for your customers. By doing this, you are saving time for everybody.
Sometimes, your customers will need somebody who has in-depth knowledge about your products in order to inquire about some features, pricing or something else entirely. Having a quick chat option can provide an easy resolution to this problem. Also, customers sometimes merely need some reassurance that somebody is really on the other end and that the shop is legit. Just make sure that if you have this option somebody is always there for a timely response, otherwise you might get a completely opposite reaction than the one you were aiming for.
Most E-Shops don’t offer a live support call to their customers because creating a call center infrastructure and office space is pricey. There is an alternative to this and it’s outsourcing the entire operation and paying a monthly fee for this service. There is no alternative to live human contact and in some cases, especially with pricey goods, people will want to ask a lot of questions about the time of delivery, the safety of your payment methods, reliability of the product and so on. You can resolve these issues through chatting and e-mails, but in some cases this is just not enough. Just make sure you find an experienced and well established call center company, so as to avoid awkward moments of non-professionalism and through that, loss of revenue.
You need to make sure that you establish a trusting relationship with your customers and this is achieved through active communication. No inquiry, no matter how silly it is, should remain unanswered. There are more than a few online shoppers who don’t have highly developed IT skills and you need to help them find their way through the entire process so as to avoid losing them somewhere along the way. After a while, the need for customer support will decrease but it will still be there. Avoid being a faceless website and try to build a base of regular shoppers through high class customer support. Why? Because it pays off!
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