Let’s be honest. Anyone can sell something on the internet these days. You don’t need a permission slip to start your own webshop. The result is that a lot of people started an online business in the past few years. And whether you sell shoes, couches, or electronics, there is probably some other brand out there that does exactly the same thing. Maybe even twice as cheap. It’s harder than ever to stand out with your brand. Here’s why your customers are not as loyal as you want them to be.
1. Your customer service is bad
Thanks to the pandemic, the pressure on customer service teams became enormous. People suddenly had to buy everything online. If you’re an e-commerce manager, this meant your team has had more incoming questions than ever. The messages kept coming in and the phone was constantly ringing. The result of this increase in questions for your customers could be:
- Slow response time. It took hours for your customer service team to reply to a question. By the time the customer got an answer, they already found another brand with a similar product and better customer service. So they (re)ordered it there.
- No way to communicate. There were so many questions coming in that your chat or phone became unavailable for customers. This means that if I had a question about my order, I didn’t even get the chance to ask it. I could come back later, but does anyone ever do that?
- Unclear expectations. The customer was browsing your webshop and only found one single way to contact you. Let’s say email. This left the customer wondering two things: Did you get the email? And how long would it take for you to get back to me? The result: the customer got impatient when he heard nothing within two hours and left to buy the product somewhere else.
Luckily, there is a way to turn this around. You can empower your customer service team to give the best possible service out there.
Give your customers the possibility to contact you on a variety of channels. Think about WhatsApp, live chat, social media, and even a chatbot. This way customers can reach you on any channel they like. A chatbot especially comes in handy, it’s the one and only colleague that works 24 hours a day.
2. Your follow-up sucked
After Tim bought a ski coat and gloves for his ski holiday, your brand sends him a follow-up email about bikinis. Chances are that he’s most likely not really in the mood to buy summer bikinis. Of course, you want Tim to know you have a lot more to offer than just the ski coat, but you have to do it the right way. Find out what interests Tim has by sending him an email with options and analyze his behavior. The right marketing automation can help you. Cluster groups of customers together and let automated emails show them products they would actually like to buy.
Make groups of customers that have similar interests. If you sell sporting gear, think about skiing, biking, and running. Send ski lovers a perfect ski offer when the holiday season starts and reach out to your running community when you have new running gear.
3. You never asked them to
What’s even worse than a bad follow-up? No follow-up. You unintentionally help your customers forget you. It’s like a first date. What if you never send a text saying you had fun and you would love to meet up again? Maybe your date reaches out, maybe not. Without any communication from both sides, the relationship already failed before it began. What could happen on the customer’s side after they received their first order? Possibilities are:
- They absolutely love your product. It’s the comfortable chair they sit on every single day. But they have no idea what other products you sell, so that complementary desk isn’t something they think about. They simply just never searched for anything else on your website. At that time, they only needed a chair.
- They have a complaint. Here’s the thing about customer service: if a customer has a complaint, there is a pretty good chance that they will reach out to you. But what if you made it impossible to contact your brand or you never respond? That way your review could be going around in the old-fashioned word-of-mouth way.
- They use your product every now and then. Let’s pick a curling iron. Sophie uses it every once in a while, but not that often. Only for parties. She likes straight hair for casual days. You have a collection of straighteners too? Too bad, Sophie has absolutely no idea because you never told her.
Appreciate your customers. Say how thankful you are that they bought their first purchase. Give them a discount on the next order. Show them complimentary products or the new collection. Maybe even ask for their rating to help fellow-consumers out. You could be surprised.
Good customer service, loyal customers
If you want to beat the competition, excellent customer service is the way to go. Give your customers the possibility to reach out to you on every channel they like, automate simple questions to speed up your communication process, and appreciate customers by simply saying thank you. So here is mine: thank you for reading this article, I would love it if you come back.
More about customer service? Download our whitepaper e-commerce customer service in 2021.