Originally published November 2020. Updated February 2023.
Getting sales through your website is the first and most important obstacle for any e-commerce business. You need products that appeal to customers and you need to present them to customers in an appealing way. To succeed online, your site should be SEO-friendly and mobile responsive, but another challenge you need to consider is your after-sale service for customers.
One of the biggest challenges for e-commerce businesses is to provide excellent after-sales service to their customers. Unlike physical stores, customers cannot touch and feel the product before buying it, and hence may need assistance or support after purchase. You can turn also this service into a way to retain and win more customers. It can even be your unique selling point.
There are many e-commerce marketing tools that can help you promote your business online. Offering a quality after-sales service is yet another marketing tool that can win you repeat purchases.
The conclusion of the online sale is not the end of your relationship with the customer. Quite the opposite, in fact, as it marks the beginning of a relationship that is measured by how you respond and satisfy any complaints made by the customer. After-sales service exists with the aim of guaranteeing positive contact between the buyer and the seller.
After-sales service is an additional cost for e-commerce companies, whether it be in the delivery of returns or product refunds. It impacts the brand perception of a retailer too, as unhappy customers may leave negative reviews following a poor experience.
So, how can you improve your after-sales service? What are the benefits you can get from it?
In this blog, we will discuss some effective ways in which e-commerce businesses can optimize their after-sales service to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty.
1. Provide clear and concise information
One of the most important things that e-commerce businesses can do to optimize their after-sales service is to provide clear and concise information about their products, shipping, and return policies. This information should be easy to find and understand. Customers should be able to quickly find the answers to their questions without having to contact customer support.
Your on-site return policy should also be available in all the languages of the countries where your website is delivered.
You should also have clear information on your product pages. When they visit your e-commerce site, customers have some specific expectations about the type of products they are looking for.
With this in mind, it’s crucial to write your product descriptions as realistic as possible – you need to be objective and relevant. These descriptions are very helpful for customers making a purchase decision and help to minimize potential returns.
2. Offer multiple support channels
Offering multiple support channels such as email, phone, chat, and social media can be extremely helpful for customers who may have questions or issues with their purchase. By offering multiple channels, e-commerce businesses can ensure that their customers can contact them through their preferred method and receive a timely response.
3. Use chatbots for quick and easy support
Chatbots can be a great addition to an e-commerce business’ after-sales service. They can provide quick and easy support to customers 24/7, without the need for human intervention. A recent survey found that 67% of customers had used a chatbot for customer support in the past year.
Chatbots can answer frequently asked questions, provide shipping information, and even help customers with returns and exchanges.
4. Have a clear and easy-to-use return policy
Returns and exchanges are a common occurrence in e-commerce businesses. Having a clear and easy-to-use return policy can improve customer satisfaction and increase loyalty. The return policy should clearly state the process for returns and exchanges, the time frame for returns, and any associated fees or restrictions.
5. Follow up with customers after their purchase
Following up with customers after their purchase can help e-commerce businesses gather feedback and identify any issues with their after-sales service. This can be done through email, surveys, or even a phone call. This feedback can then be used to improve the after-sales service and overall customer experience.
Customers are doing more and more research before making a purchase now. Consequently, they expect businesses to meet their needs and respond to their problems effectively. This is even more true when it comes to large purchases.
Customers don’t just buy your product, they are also buying the customer service that you will provide after the sale.
A fully-optimized and effective after-sales service can bring you:
- increased sales,
- improved customer loyalty,
- differentiation from the competition,
- a strong brand identity.
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