The 9 Customer Service Techniques (Which Increase eCommerce Sales!)
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This is a guestpost from LiveAgent.
There are tons of tried and true strategies that you can use to improve your eCommerce sales and revenue. However, if you feel like you’ve tried them all, and are at your wit’s end, it might be time to re-shift your focus on your customers.
Customer service is closely tied to customer satisfaction, retention, and revenue. Many businesses that have adopted customer-centric cultures inside their organizations have noticed revenue growth year after year. Thus, it’s safe to say that improving your customer service won’t harm your business, and can only do you good.
Let’s dive in!
Ask for feedback
Asking your existing customers for feedback is one of the best ways to improve the value of your products and to rake in more revenue at the same time. How? When you find out what your customers want, it’s easier to give it to them (and it’s obviously more effective than guessing.)
For example, if your customers tell you that your customer service isn’t personalized enough, or that your email marketing campaigns aren’t enticing enough, you know what you should work on. Once you do that, you’ll be able to capture your customer’s interests more, and in turn, improve sales and revenue.
Go the extra mile
Going above and beyond for your customers is a great way to engage customers, delight them, and keep them loyal to your brand.
Happy customers love to share their experiences online or with their peers through word-of-mouth recommendations. If you do something truly memorable for your customers, they’ll likely share it with the world, luring in more potential customers with them. Moreover, loyal customers, on average, tend to spend about 67% more than “normal” customers.
If you’re looking for an example of how you can delight your customers, consider gifts. Sending out physical gifts with personalized messages to your most valued customers during the holiday season or on their birthdays is a great way to stand out. Not only will you be fostering the relationship with them and reinforcing their loyalty to your brand, but also securing more eCommerce sales in the long term.
Show off customer testimonials
Customer testimonials are a powerful tool for increasing your sales and revenue because they build trust, and make your business seem more legitimate.
Imagine you just started an eCommerce clothing company. If your brand doesn’t have an established name or customer base, it will be hard for potential customers to trust your business. However, with testimonials and recommendations from others, they’re more likely to trust your brand and purchase from you.
Create a sense of urgency
Creating a sense of urgency is the oldest trick in the book when it comes to increasing eCommerce sales. Your customers don’t want to miss out on the next big thing. Thus, by creating advertisements with copy and CTAs that contain words such as limited edition, limited supplies, 24-hour flash sale, etc, will urge your customers to make up their minds and purchase your products quickly.
A great example of this strategy is showcased by Gymshark, an athletic wear company, each year. Every year, Gymshark hosts a giant “Blackout” sale that lasts for 24 hours and offers all products for a discounted price ranging from 20-70%. Every year, without fail, almost every product is sold out in every size and color.
This strategy has created a lot of social media buzz, allowing Gymshark to become UK’s fastest-growing company as well as a leader in their niche.
Upsell and cross-sell
According to a 2006 report from Amazon, cross-selling and upselling contributed to more than 35% of their revenue. Even though I can’t find a more recent figure, I think it’s safe to say that the percentage is growing annually.
So what is upselling? Upselling is basically offering your customers a better, more advanced version of what they’re intending on purchasing. For example, if a customer is wanting to buy a Tesla Model S (the oldest Tesla in production), an upsell would be to offer the customer Model Y (newest).
Cross-selling, on the other hand, would be offering the customer advanced Tesla features (such as autopilot or more range) in addition to the car itself.
Respond to customer queries quickly
Imagine you’re shopping for a pair of jeans online. You have a quick question about the size guide, so you reach out to customer support through live chat. You’ve sent your message, you’re anxious to proceed to checkout, however, you still didn’t receive a reply. After about 10 minutes of waiting, you decide to abandon your cart and look for a pair of jeans elsewhere.
To avoid this familiar scenario, it’s important to respond to customer queries quickly. If you don’t, your customers won’t hesitate to turn to your competitors. However, if you do provide speedy responses to your website visitors, you’re more likely to convert them into paying customers. According to Goinflow companies that provide speedy responses to customer queries saw a 3.84% increase in conversion rates and a 6% lift in revenue.
Create referral programs
Creating referral programs is a great way to spread brand awareness, attract new customers, and increase sales. In fact, companies that have referral programs have a 70% higher conversion rate and report a 69% faster close time on sales.
Referral programs work because consumers are heavily influenced by their peers, friends, and family. In fact, 28% of millennials say they won't try a product if their friends don't approve of it. Moreover, 83% of customers are willing to refer a product or service after a positive shopping experience.
So how can you ensure your products get referred by your existing customers? By making referrals effortless, fun, and worthwhile for the consumer. This could mean creating a simple referral link and rewarding the referring customers with discounts or credits for their future purchases.
Train your staff
Training your support staff well is the key to customer satisfaction, which impacts revenue and sales. In fact, according to the ICSC, 65% of consumers consider the quality of customer service a major factor in their shopping decisions, and 67% of them also said that good customer service encourages them to shop longer and/or spend more money.
If your support reps know the ins and outs of your product and know the best practices when it comes to assisting your customers, you’re golden.
Reduce customer effort
Improving sales is all about reducing customer effort. Customers want to purchase products with ease. If they see a product for sale on Instagram, they want to be able to purchase it easily through mobile. They don’t want to waste time with unnecessary steps such as being redirected to different websites or having to register for an account.
In fact, according to Forrester Research, more than 23% of customers abandon their shopping carts if they’re required to register with a business in order to make a purchase. Thus, eliminating unnecessary steps, being present on multiple sales and communication channels, and asking only the most vital questions can improve conversion and revenue.
The best way to reduce customer effort is to map out the buyer’s journey. Simply pretend you’re the customer, and try to purchase your own products through all the different channels that you advertise your products on. If you see that one channel directs you to another, and erases the contents of your shopping cart in the process, you know you’ve got some work to do.
Improving your sales is all about caring for your customers. Make sure that they feel listened to, appreciated, and valuable. The better relationships you build with them, the less likely they are to churn. The more loyal they become, the more likely they are to become brand ambassadors, bring in new customers, and have a higher lifetime value.
Sona Pisova graduated from Hawaii Pacific University’s AD/PR department, and currently resided in Bratislava, Slovakia, writing for LiveAgent. LiveAgent is the most reviewed and #1 rated help desk software for small to medium-sized businesses.