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8 Best Ecommerce Customer Service Tips for Ambitious Brands

Chatdesk Team
December 19, 2022
Learn what makes a great ecommerce customer service strategy and how it can help grow your ecommerce business.

All successful brands have one thing in common — at one point they start growing from word of mouth. And the way you improve your word of mouth is by providing customers with an amazing customer experience.

This is why customer service is the cornerstone of success for any ecommerce brand. 

In this article, we’ll go through eight essential tips on how to create a successful customer service strategy for your ecommerce business. These include making it easy for customers to contact you, having a human touch, having a quick response time, and having a good refund and exchange policy.

We'll also look at the importance of self-service options, how social media plays an integral part in your CX strategy, and how you can outsource your customer service when necessary.

But before we dive in, let’s talk about why customer service is important for ecommerce brands.

Why Customer Service Is Essential for Ecommerce Brands

A successful ecommerce customer support strategy can make all the difference when it comes to the growth of an ecommerce brand. This is because great customer service helps improve customer retention.

Good customer service makes customers happy and in turn, they might also leave an amazing customer review or recommend your products to their friends and family. It’s much easier to have an existing customer purchase something from you again, as compared to having to acquire a brand-new customer for the first time.

So it’s important to not just look at ecommerce customer service as an “operation” that solves customer problems. But rather an operation that improves your overall CX (customer experience). 

The moral of the story is that by having good customer service in place, businesses can ensure that their customers have positive experiences which will lead to increased repeat purchases and higher brand recognition.

8 Ecommerce Customer Service Best Practices

A great customer experience means meeting your customers where they are. Here are eight tips for creating a successful ecommerce customer service experience (feel free to click on each section):

  1. Make it easy for customers to contact you
  2. Have a human touch (be careful with AI)
  3. Have a quick response time
  4. Have a good refund policy
  5. Have a good exchange policy
  6. Consider having a self-service option
  7. Don’t forget about social media
  8. Get help through outsourcing

Okay, let’s dive a bit deeper into each one.

1. Make It Easy for Customers to Contact You

Making it easy for customers to contact you is key when creating a successful customer service strategy.

Today, there are many different ways customers learn about brands. Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, your website, and the list goes on.

It’s essential that you allow customers to message you in whatever way is easiest for them, whether that’s via email, phone call, or live chat. This ensures they can get their issues resolved quickly and without any unnecessary delays.

Additionally, having an omnichannel approach to communication will also help reduce the amount of time spent by staff on individual inquiries as customers will find answers more quickly themselves. Offering self-service options such as FAQs and guides can also help reduce the amount of customer support requests overall, making it easier for businesses to focus on providing quality service to those who need it most.

2. Have a Human Touch (Be Careful With AI)

Many ecommerce businesses try to automate their customer service with technology, and that’s totally okay! But you want to be smart with how you try to automate things.

When people purchase something online, often their first impression might be “is this legit?” Having a human touch in your responses can seriously win the hearts of your customers.

Some people just want to know if there’s a real person behind their computer screen wiling to help them if an issue comes up. Just knowing that there is a real human behind a brand can be the deciding factor in a potential customer wanting to buy something from your online business.

Customers need to know that their concerns are being heard and taken seriously, and having someone from the company interact with them directly will go a long way towards showing that you care. This could be through friendly advice on how to use the product or simply being available via different customer service channels so they can reach out whenever they need help.

It’s important to remember that while AI chatbots can be a great automation tool for responding quickly, customers often prefer speaking to an actual person as it helps build brand loyalty. So when it comes to customer service, don’t forget about the importance of having a human touch.

Real time, real human customer support from Chatdesk

This is why many ecommerce companies that are looking to scale their customer service efforts look to Chatdesk — an outsourced customer service team of real US-based agents that work hard to provide your customers with a great experience.

3. Have a Quick Response Time

Having a quick response time can drastically improve the experience a customer has with your brand.

This could be through responding to inquiries within minutes instead of hours or offering live chat support so customers can get the help they need right away. Additionally, having multiple channels of communication available (email, chat, SMS, social media) will also help ensure that customers don’t have to wait too long for assistance when trying to resolve issues or find answers.

By having a quick response time, businesses can make sure that their customers feel heard and valued which leads to increased customer loyalty and repeat purchases in the future.

Customers also appreciate it when companies provide updates on their progress when resolving an issue; this gives them peace of mind knowing there’s someone actively working on getting them what they need as soon as possible.

Businesses should strive for excellence in customer service by providing timely responses regardless of how complex the inquiry may be — this shows respect for the customer’s time and helps build trust between both parties which ultimately leads to better relationships down the line!

4. Have a Good Refund Policy

Having a good refund policy is essential for any ecommerce business. Customers need to feel secure and confident when making purchases on your online store, so having a clear and easy-to-understand return policy can help build trust with your customers.

A good refund policy should include details such as:

Ideally, you want to create a hassle-free situation where it requires minimal effort and money for a customer to refund an item. This could mean eating shipping costs and sending a return box to your customers with instructions on how to ship their item(s) back. Automating certain parts of the process like tracking shipments or sending reminders about pending returns can make life easier for both yourself and your customers as well!

Providing clear instructions on how to complete a successful return helps eliminate confusion which leads to fewer miscommunications down the line — something every business should strive for.

Additionally, it’s important to have an open dialogue with customers about their experiences; this can help you identify potential issues before they become bigger problems that could negatively impact customer satisfaction.

By following these steps you’ll be able to create an effective refund policy that will keep your customers happy!

5. Have a Good Exchange Policy

On the same token, sometimes customers just want an exchange. If you sell clothing or apparel, it could be that a customer selected the wrong size. Or maybe they had a change of heart and want a different color of whatever it is that you’re selling.

Bottom-line, people can change their minds and your ecommerce brand should be prepared for that.

This is why many brands have an exchange policy. Offering exchanges can be an invaluable tool when it comes to customer satisfaction, as it gives customers the opportunity to get something that better fits their needs or preferences.

Having a clear and easy-to-understand exchange policy is key — make sure you include details such as:

Additionally, having multiple forms of communication available so customers can reach out quickly if they need help is also essential; this could be through email support, live chat, SMS, or social media so issues can be resolved right away!

By following these steps, businesses will be able to provide great ecommerce customer service while still maintaining their overall profitability.

6. Consider Having a Self-Service Option

Self-service options are becoming increasingly popular for ecommerce businesses as they provide an easy and convenient way for customers to get the help they need.

You can save a lot of time, money, and resources by deflecting customer support calls and tickets to self-service options. Not only that, some customers actually prefer to handle everything on their own, without actually having to talk to anyone.

Chatdesk call deflection

This is why ecommerce brands like MiniLuxe and BarkBox use Chatdesk to deflect incoming support calls and shift them over to self-serve options.

"Chatdesk helps us reduce our call volume and increase the usage of our mobile app by shifting calls over to the app. We were able to get up and running very quickly." — Krista Smith Concierge Center Manager, MiniLuxe

By having a self-service option, customers can quickly find answers to their questions or resolve issues without needing assistance from customer service representatives. 

Additionally, by offering a self-service portal with step-by-step instructions, product tutorials, a knowledge base, FAQs, etc., you can make sure that your customers have all the information they need right at their fingertips. This allows them to take control of their own experience while still providing you with customer feedback on how things went so you can continue to improve your services in the future!

7. Don’t Forget About Social Media

Social media is an essential tool for any ecommerce business. It not only provides a platform to market, share promotions, and update customers, but it can also be used as a way to engage with your audience and build relationships.

The customer journey can look different for everyone, so it’s important to have a multichannel CX strategy that leverages multiple support channels.

There are tons of customer service software and integration out there like Gorgias, Zendesk, and Help Scout that allows ecommerce platforms, especially Shopify websites, to create a help desk on their website and manage an email inbox of support tickets.

But what many ecommerce businesses often neglect is the conversations happening on their social media accounts.

You may have potential and existing customers direct messaging you on Instagram or commenting on your TikTok video ads with questions or concerns.

Chatdesk for social media support

These inquiries often go unanswered as many ecommerce brands’ social media accounts might be managed by a marketing team and not a customer support team.

And these unanswered comments can result in the loss of potential customers or worse, the loss of an existing customer. This is why the fast-growing activewear and underwear brand, Thinx, decided to invest more in their TikTok customer support — helping them reach over $100M in revenue a year.

So don’t forget about social media! It’s not just a tool to market and attract customers. It’s also a tool for retaining customers as well.

8. Get Help Through Outsourcing

Sometimes, ecommerce businesses can underestimate how many customer support reps they actually need.

You may hire a bunch of reps just in time for the holidays, but then as soon as the new year starts, and things begin to slow down, you’re left with more reps than there are support tickets.

This is why many ecommerce brands use Chatdesk to outsource their customer service. With Chatdesk, brands can scale up or down their customer service needs on-demand. It’s a pay-per-ticket pricing model that allows brands to outsource repetitive inquiries that take up your in-house resources.

By outsourcing your customer service with Chatdesk, you can ensure that each task is handled with the utmost care and attention without having to hire full-time employees. The majority of Chatdesk customer service agents are based in the US and many of them are already “Superfans” of your brand. This means that each agent you work with will most likely know your brand already and the space you’re in.

With thousands of US-based agents on Chatdesk, we’ll match you with the right agents that love your brand as much as you do.

But before you outsource, budget carefully — look out for competitive rates that fit within your financial means while still providing quality results. You can do this by booking a free demo with Chatdesk to see how we can help you at an affordable rate.

Conclusion: Advantages of Having Great Ecommerce Support

Customer service is an essential part of any ecommerce business, and these eight tips can help you create the best online customer experience possible. Making it easy to contact a customer service representative, having a human touch, having quick response times, and having good refund/exchange policies are all essential for excellent customer service.

Implementing a self-service option and utilizing social media as a communication channel also helps keep customers happy. Put these tips into action today to exceed customer expectations and give your customers the best experience possible — your brand deserves it.

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