Providing great customer service is an essential part of building a good reputation for your business. Find out why it matters and how to improve your customer service to build retention and create great experiences for your customers.
Why is customer service important?
People remember how you treat them. Customer service is just as much a part of your brand as your products, logo, and website. The service you offer your customers can make or break their experience shopping with you. In fact, in the USA, 86% of buyers will pay more for a great customer experience.1 And on the flipside, 32% will walk away from a brand they love after a single bad experience.2 The numbers speak for themselves!
Investing time and energy into providing great customer service is investing in your business and its reputation. Great service will result in better retention and keep your customers returning to you time and time again.
What’s in it for me?
When you provide great customer service to your print-on-demand customers, everybody wins. Happy customers can only help your business. Here are a few of the benefits you can look forward to when you offer great customer service:
1. Return customers: happy customers are more likely to remain loyal to your brand.
2. Good reviews: as any e-commerce business owner knows, good reviews are worth their weight in gold.
3. Higher profit margins: the more popular your brand becomes, the more you can charge for your products and service. That means more money in your pocket, and who doesn’t like that?
4. Referrals: make it your goal to get your customers to recommend you to their friends. Referrals are more likely when your customer has not only a great product, but a pleasant experience shopping with you from start to finish.
5. Stand out from the competition: if you’re in a competitive niche, great and personal customer service could be what tips the scales in your favor and sets you apart from your competition.
How can I improve my customer service?
Communication is key! Customers want to know when their purchases will arrive. Let your customers know up-front what to expect, especially regarding shipping and delivery times. To avoid disappointment, be cautious and give them a later estimated delivery date than anticipated.
It’s not only about the delivery date: be sure to manage expectations by providing detailed, accurate descriptions of the product quality and size, too. And if a customer reaches out for support, be sure to be transparent, human and accessible in your response.
Taking a long time to respond to a question or request could mean a lost customer—especially around the holidays when people will be shopping around. If you don’t have time to answer all your customers, consider hiring support. Sites such as Upwork and Fiverr are perfect to find short-term help that has already been verified by business owners.
Attitude is everything, and a positive attitude goes a long way to providing excellent customer service. So be sure to always respond in a helpful, friendly, and optimistic way, no matter how upset the person on the other end of the line is. Don’t engage in conflict escalation. Keep yourself or your customer service support team in a problem-solving mindset. The goal is always to find a solution and offer help to your customer, so that they leave happy.
Since most customer interactions are not face-to-face, your attitude should be reflected in your written language and tone. It’s easy to misinterpret the tone of written communication, so don’t be afraid to use emojis to convey warmth and good humor, or pick up the phone if you find an email or chat conversation getting tense.
There will always be problems to solve. Customer complaints are a part of running a business: so accept it and make problem-solving for your customer your bread and butter.
Be honest and transparent: customers understand that more complex queries take time to resolve. Tell them when that’s the case and reassure them that you are doing what you can to help. If you promise something, make sure you deliver on it. Don’t let your customers down. Keeping your word is essential to building respect and trust.
Nip bad reviews in the bud by following up with your customers after they purchase with you. Ask them how their experience was and if they’re happy with their product. That way, you’ll get the feedback directly and be able to troubleshoot and fix problems before they’re made public.
Use tools to automate
Time is money, so save yourself some valuable hours by automating part of your customer service. An auto-response will never be as good as talking to a real human, but it’s a great starting point and can help your customers feel looked after. Chat bots, virtual assistants, automated email or instant message responses, and abandoned cart emails are ideal places to start automating. Shopify, Squarespace, Magento and WooCommerce all offer apps that can help you automate parts of your customer service. Check out:
Offer loyalty schemes
Build brand loyalty and keep your customers coming back with a little incentive. Offer a discount off their next order or reward them for subscribing to your newsletter. Loyalty schemes will help your customers remember your brand and make them more likely to purchase from you in the future.
Ready to step up your customer service practices? Get started today!
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