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7 Big eCommerce Customer Service Mistakes (& How to Avoid Them)

Customer Service, E-commerce 7 min read

customer service

Running a successful eCommerce business is far from easy. There’s a ton of competition in every imaginable niche. And the bigger players seem to be stocked with unlimited inventory and offer products at prices that are near impossible to compete with. But there’s one area that can help your store stand out from the pack. eCommerce customer service. 

93% of customers saying they’re more likely to make repeat purchases from a company offering excellent customer service. 

This means you could make it a central tool in boosting brand loyalty, improving conversion rates, and creating higher customer LTVs

But if you’re going to do that, you’re going to need to avoid the biggest eCommerce customer support mistakes. And we’re going to tell you about them so you can do just that. 

Let’s get into it! 

Not monitoring the customer journey and fixing roadblocks

customer service

To deliver a smooth customer experience, you’ll first need to understand what exactly your customers are going through. 

Do this by creating a customer journey map to understand where your users are coming from, their goals at each stage, and how long their journey takes. 

You could use tools like Google Analytics and Hotjar to look at how customers are interacting with your website. This will help you identify areas where your customers are getting stuck and the problems they’re facing. 

For example, if you notice a lot of users are exiting from your checkout page, you’ll want to identify if it’s a lack of payment options, unanswered questions related to shipping and returns, or some other issue stopping them from completing their purchase.  

Going through the typical paths your users take and identifying the potential problems they could face is arguably the most important step in providing high-quality ecommerce support.

Failing to be present where your customers are active

Good service is about meeting customers on their terms. 

You need to identify the different channels you’re customers are active on. And then be there to provide support as and when they require it. 

Your audience is compromised of individuals with a variety of preferences. Offering multiple ways for them to reach you (whether it’s email, live chat, SMS, phone, or social media) will help satisfy your larger customer base. 

But this doesn’t necessarily mean being active on every single channel possible, but more on this later. 

Another way to quickly frustrate your customers is by making them dig long and hard to find your contact information. So to avoid this, make sure it can be easily found and the steps to get in touch with you and how you’ll handle queries are clearly outlined. 

Hiring the wrong personnel 

customer service

Ultimately, customer service is an opportunity to build long-lasting relationships with your customers. 

And to do this effectively, you’ll need personnel that can consistently be the voice of your brand. 

Trying to manage things manually when you don’t have the bandwidth, not having a robust hiring and training process for agents, or outsourcing to the cheapest provider (without a track record) are all recipes for disaster. 

You’ll need your customer support agents to match your brand’s values and can communicate with the tone and style you desire. They’ll also need to understand your business, products, and audience thoroughly to respond and resolve queries quickly and efficiently.

However, you may be in a position where you’re unable to hire, train and manage a team of agents to provide exceptional customer service. In such a case, working with a tried and tested eCommerce customer service outsourcing partner like LTVplus is a great option.

Choosing the wrong support software

customer service

To respond to and resolve customer conversations from multiple channels effectively you’ll need to choose the right eCommerce customer support software

A common mistake many stores make is blindly opting for the most popular names in the market. Why? 

Because many of them are not built for eCommerce. And they’ll quickly discover that the tool doesn’t take into account the specific needs of an eCommerce store. 

When you’re selecting a support tool for your eCommerce business, here are some features you’ll want to make sure it has:

  • Deep integration with your eCommerce platform to view and edit orders directly from the app.
  • An omnichannel shared inbox to manage conversations from multiple channels. 
  • Internal communication features like tagging, assigning, private notes, etc. so that your team can collaborate seamlessly.
  • Automation features like a self-serve widget, fast replies, etc. to reduce the need for manual intervention, especially for commonly occurring queries. 

There are several great eCommerce support tools at every price range like DelightChat, Gorgias, and Reamaze, etc. You’ll need to pick the one that best suits your current needs and budget. 

Trying to be present everywhere 

We spoke earlier about how it’s important to be present where your customers are. 

But a big mistake that many eCommerce stores make is trying to be present on any and every channel possible. What’s wrong with this? 

In itself, absolutely nothing. 

But we see numerous stores ‘present’ on channels where you can’t get a response for love or money. 

So unless you can make sure that you can promptly respond and resolve queries effectively, don’t be on a channel just for the sake of it.  

Pick the most common channels used by your customers (and based on your team size) and look to deliver great service there. 

Once you’ve ensured metrics like CSAT, First response times and resolution rates are consistently high, you could consider diversifying into more supported channels. 

Not empowering your customers to help themselves 

Given the choice, customers would like to solve their problems on their own. In fact, 67% of customers prefer to use self-service options instead of speaking with a company representative. 

It’s important to be there for your customers. But you need to be there WHEN they need you. 

Being overly in your face with excessive phone calls, emails, etc. can be a bit putting off. The exact opposite of what you’re trying to achieve. 

The best way to tackle this is by enabling your customers to help themselves. How?

Well, the most straightforward way to go about this is by creating a knowledge base addressing your customer’s most frequently asked questions. 

Make sure it’s well organized and easy to search for queries. Clear titles, screenshots/images, and links to other helpful content also go a long way in making sure your knowledge base is useful to your audience. 

And if implemented correctly, this not only provides more convenience to your customers but saves your agents from having to constantly answer repetitive questions. 

Waiting for customers to take action on their own 

99% of first-time visitors to your website will not convert. And global shopping cart abandonment rates are above 70%

What’s the takeaway from these statistics? 

You need to go above and beyond to give your customers a reason to continue engaging with your business. You cannot just wait on it to happen on its own.

Delivering personalized and useful content, sent at periodic intervals, is a tried and tested way to nurture your relationship with your customers.

And this isn’t limited to just incentivizing sales. Following up should be part of your customer service workflow whether it’s abandoned cart recovery, reaching out for reviews, or getting feedback from disgruntled customers. 

And while a lot of the above can be automated you’ll still need to make sure all your communication is personalized. Nobody likes communication that looks like it’s from a robot.  

Conclusion 

So there you have it! 

Those are the 7 biggest eCommerce customer service mistakes. 

And recognizing these errors is a step in the right direction.  

But you’ll now need to take the necessary action, that we’ve outlined, to avoid these common pitfalls. 

You’ll need to be flexible and tailor these suggestions to best suit your store and audience. 

But if you keep your customers’ needs central to the process and constantly look to optimize their experience, you’re setting up your store for success. 

Now go dole out amazing customer service! 


Need a dedicated customer experience team ready to support your brand?

Book a consultation with us and we’ll get you set up.

Jayanth Padmakumar is the Content Marketing Manager for DelightChat, the omnichannel customer support tool for small ecommerce brands. He’s spent the last half-decade living across Egypt, Peru, Colombia, Vietnam, and India. When he’s not geeking out on all things copywriting and content marketing, you can find him watching sports at the nearest watering hole or hiking in obscure spots. You can connect with him on LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jayanthpadmakumar/

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