How to Deliver Phenomenal Customer Service for Your Online Business
If you’ve ever shopped anywhere ever, you know the value of good customer service.
We all know that the experience customers have before and during the purchasing process affect whether or not they will purchase anything from you, right?
But you should also understand that the way you treat your customers afterward is equally as important!
A lasting, positive impression means that those customers will not only be more likely to become repeat customers, but they will more likely recommend your business to their friends and family, leading to even more sales in the future.
Customer service is by far one of the most important aspects of making money online.
If you can provide stellar and memorable customer service, maintain a 5-star review rating, and provide better experiences than your competitors, you’re going to have a better chance of increasing your sales and getting new customers.
Here are 11 ways you can provide phenomenal customer service in your online business.
Pre-Purchase Customer Service Online
The pre-purchase time frame is any time between the time your potential customers land on your page to the time they insert their payment information and hit “Order”.
There are many things you can do to help push them to purchase from you:
Responding to Questions
When someone emails you with a question, this should immediately tell you that they are interested in what you’re selling.
If you take too long to reply, many times they will go to your competitor who sells something similar to you and purchases from them instead.
And just like that, your sale is lost.
The quicker you respond to all questions, even if you’ve answered them a million times or the answer is clearly on your website, the more likely you’ll impress your customer.
Quick responses show that you care and is actually less common than you think.
I have all of my communication methods set up to where it tells me immediately when someone messages me. Since I always have my phone on me, I’m usually able to respond back within minutes.
I can’t tell you how many times my customers are shocked with my quick response rate and praise me for it.
This has led to more sales than not, so make quick response times a priority in your business model!
Informative Product Descriptions
Customers don’t like working harder than they have to – Point. Blank. Period.
You should aim to be as descriptive and as transparent in your product descriptions as possible.
The absolute worst thing you could do is get desperate to make a sale so you fluff up your descriptions to make it sound like you’re selling gold. Yes, you may get the sale, but when you’re customers receive coal in the mail, they’re going to have a big problem.
At the end of the day, your customers are putting their hard earned money into this transaction, so tell them exactly what they’re going to get in detail, tell them exactly how long it’s going to take for them to receive their purchases, tell them your process for making the item, what materials you use, absolutely everything!
If your customer knows what they’re getting themselves into without having to take time to investigate and contact you (which not many people are going to do), then you’ll be more likely to get a sale and have happy customers.
In-Purchase Customer Service Online
This is anywhere between the time your customer places their order until the moment they receive their purchases (whether it be digitally sent to their inbox or shipped to their home)
You’ve got the sale, which is great! But you still have some work to do to continue giving your customers a great experience.
This is a key moment in the customer’s journey.
It’s great that they’ve made that decision to purchase, but you don’t want them to regret that decision.
Here are some ideas to keep this part of the process smooth sailing:
Keep Them In The Loop
Let’s face it – ‘ish happens!
There’s seriously an infinite list of things that could go wrong with your customer’s order that can delay processing times, or affect the final product.
Instead of trying to keep these issues in the dark and fix it on the back in, let your customer know that there was a setback and that you’re doing everything that you can to resolve the issue.
Yes, it sucks.
But your customer will be a lot more understanding if they have to wait a day or two later to get their purchase, rather than them wondering why they still don’t have what they paid for.
Turnaround Times for Physical Items
Fun Fact: Waiting for packages in the mail is my absolute least favorite part of ordering online.
I hate it so much, I’m willing to drive hours to find a similar item in a store just so I don’t have to deal with shipping and waiting – you could say I’m a bit of an impatient person.
I mention this because there are others out there like me. And even if they aren’t as impatient, no one wants to wait forever to receive something that they ordered!
When it comes to processing times, do your best to make it as short as possible.
The quicker you get their package to them, the better chance that they’ll become a repeat customer and praise you in a good review!
Packaging & Branding
First impressions are everything!
Your packaging/branding plays a big part in how your customer will feel when they open up their box and see their product or download their digital purchase.
Of course, you don’t have to invest a ton of money into your branding, but don’t throw the item into a box and ship it off. Likewise, don’t quickly type up a PDF file or e-course without putting an extra piece of love into it.
Think of your buyer when you’re creating your product and the packaging to go along with it. What kind of experience do you want them to have as they open their purchases?
Really simple things like handwritten notes, instruction cards, cohesive colors & fonts, or a small freebie goes a long way for customers.
Go the extra mile and let your customers know you’ve been thinking about them. They will definitely appreciate it.
Post-Purchase Customer Service Online
Your customer has received their items!
This is a great opportunity to go above and beyond and make them a repeat customer.
If unfortunately, your customer didn’t enjoy their product, this is where you can provide them with the opportunity of winning them back and turning the situation around.
Respond to All Customer Inquiries
Similar to responding to questions quickly, if your customer has a complaint or concern, the faster you respond, the more likely you are to keep your customer happy.
Responding within 24 hours of the send message is the best time frame to stick with!
Deal with All Complaints
If a customer has a complaint, address it and attempt to resolve it as quickly as possible.
Do not argue with your customer or make them feel like they did something wrong.
You shouldn’t get many unhappy customers, but the few that you do get are going to be the ones who most likely leave a review.
Keep them happy, even if it means swallowing your pride or losing a little bit of money.
It’s important to step outside of your perspective for a moment and imagine how they are feeling. If it’s a rational complaint that you empathize with or if you simply messed something up, don’t hesitate on making it right.
Reward Your Customer
Don’t just focus on your unhappy customers. Spend as much time and energy on your other customers by giving them rewards for supporting you!
A great way to do this is by offering coupon codes solely for them for their next purchase.
I usually do this under certain circumstances:
- A customer leaves a review
- A customer shares their experience & item on social media
- Repeat customers
- During challenges, contests, or giveaways
Provide Support/Help After the Purchase
Running an online business positions you as an expert in your field.
Naturally, you’re going to get a lot of people who come to you with questions that aren’t related to your products or sought after advice and tips.
Instead of ignoring them because you don’t think they’re going to purchase anything after you answer their questions, stay professional and share your advice.
When you respond to your customers, you show that you care about them and not just their money.
They’ll appreciate it in the long-run and may come back to purchase from you because of their great experience!
Dealing With Unhappy Customers
No matter how hard you try to do what’s right and prepare for unfortunate situations, you’re going to eventually have an unhappy customer.
Sometimes they’ll have a legitimate reason as to why they’re upset, and other times they simply like being difficult.
Regardless, do everything you can to make each and every one of your customers happy.
I go over how to deal with negative reviews in the Guide to Getting All Positive Reviews, so here are some ways I recommend dealing with an unhappy customer based on my experience:
Fix the Problem
Whenever you get an unhappy message from your customers, respond to them in a kind, professional, and accommodating tone.
Tell them that you’re sorry that they’re having this issue and that you take responsibility for the problem.
One thing that was hard for me to master was the art of saying sorry even if I didn’t believe I did anything wrong. I’m a prideful person, so even though I was kind, I wouldn’t be apologetic. Of course, if your customer is being ugly and not trying to work with you, you can’t do anything to change their minds. However, in any other case, there’s nothing wrong with swallowing your pride and seeing the situation in the perspective of the customer – who doesn’t think they’re in the wrong either. Take charge of the situation and clearly express that you’re trying to work with your customer to solve the situation and that something like this won’t happen again.
Next, you’ll want to offer a realistic solution to their problem in a way that makes it very easy for them to accept. Some ways to help fix the customers problem might include:
- Offer a discount
- Offer a full refund
- Send a new item
- Offer them a 2nd item for free
Whatever solution you come up with, make sure it’s reasonable and realistic when it comes to cost and time.
Keep Moving Forward
It’s sad to say, but there are some people out in the world who are just mean, stubborn and refuse to accept any of your solutions to fix the problem.
During these times, it can be extremely frustrating, especially if you’ve done everything you can to please this customer. You may even find this as a personal attack to you and your character.
At this point, you need to let it go and move on.
Learn from the situation, put policies in place or adjust your business model accordingly so something like it won’t happen again.
If you’re moving forward and striving to make your business better, then you’re doing things right no matter what, and one bad review won’t make or break you.
Customer Service for Your Online Business
It may seem like a bit of a daunting process or maybe even a little scary, but customer service is one of the best parts of owning a business!
There’s nothing like a happy customer who appreciates the help you’ve given them.
If you work hard and make providing a good experience at the top of your business values, you’ll have a fun time running your business.
If you let the value of good customer service slip among everything else, you’ll definitely notice it in the number of customers you have to answer to at the end of the day.
Use common sense and approach your customers in the same manner you would want to be approached, and you’ll see results in no time!
- What’s the best review you’ve ever gotten?
- What’s your favorite part about customer service?
- What’s your least favorite part about customer service?
If you’re ready to create the online biz you’ve always dreamed of and complete it all in a way that you actually have time to manage, then you are in the right spot!
P.S. You can download each blog post too! Click a post, and you’ll find how to download a printer friendly version near the top.