For eCommerce sellers, customer service is always a crucial part of your business, especially in Q4. So how to handle customer service during Q4? The content in this article is going to be divided into 3 parts, before, during, and after, to walk you through every part of how to win your happier customers back.
Peak shipping season begins earlier than many people think — both eCommerce sales and the shipping industry is gonna be fully ramp up as early as October, and the demand continues until the new year.
1. How can you prepare your online store for the peak shipping season?
To prepare your online store for the peak shipping season, focus on creating a remarkable customer experience. For instance, your checkout process should be simple and user-friendly, and any roadblocks that can get in the way should be removed.
2. 5 ways you can get your store ready for peak shipping season
#1 Plan ahead
Utilize data as much as possible, and think through planned promotions, if you still haven’t made up your mind about promotion plans, click here to watch our previous video.
By forecasting demand, you can optimize stock levels and make better decisions around how much of each SKU to reorder and when.
#2 Give your customers a heads up
Since Q4 is the busiest time for shipping, in case of delays, be proactive and communicate with customers about any potential delays as soon as possible.
Also, take close note of the carrier holiday shipping deadline, so you can let your customers know when holiday orders must be placed to have orders fulfilled and shipped on time.
#3 Communicate with your suppliers
Work closely with your manufacturer or supplier by sharing predicted Q4 order volume ahead of time to avoid potential stock-out during the holiday season. You can even look for multiple supply partners to reduce the risk of your primary supplier being unable to provide according to your plan.
#4 Establish a return management process
Technically speaking, you should be sure to have a well-defined return and exchange policy all the time. But considering the increasing influx, you will have during the holiday season, in order to avoid unnecessary misunderstanding, ensure that your return & refund policy is in a place that is easy to be spotted on your website.
Revisit your returns policy and make sure you’re not losing money. Check which products are getting returned most, determine why, and consider making changes to products or product descriptions to set better expectations.
#5 Double-check your website
Consumers always want their online shopping experience to be smooth and easy. So let us clear all possible obstacles for consumers in advance.
Indicate the function and use of each part of the website clearly. Browse the entire site, and then ask yourself: “Can every customer who visits my store understands how it works?”, “Can they easily find the products they need in the store?”
Also, since many customers are used to doing online shopping on their mobile devices, you must build a website that is suitable for viewing on mobile devices.
Invite your friends to visit your website and give you feedback. Let them click on each link to ensure that the link can jump to the corresponding page correctly. Ask them if they see typos and if there are any suggestions.
|Find more about How to Use US/EU Warehouses to Boost Your Sales in Q4 here!|
Shopping cart abandonment can also lead to a huge number of lost sales. Nearly 88% of online shopping carts are abandoned before the customer completes the payment.
So it’s definitely worth it to put in the effort to resolve as many lingering hesitations as you can.
Sending out abandoned cart emails is a remarkably effective customer retention tactic. These emails will remind shoppers of what they left behind and encourage them to return and complete the purchase.
How to design an Abandoned cart email:
You can customize abandoned cart emails with coupon codes, product images, call-to-action buttons, and more, to get people back to the checkout page.
And remember, this is just a simple example, what you can do is gonna be much more interesting and much more attractive than that. So, go ahead, and be creative!
Excellent customer service should always be a priority, but in the unfortunate event that you receive a customer complaint, what to do?
4 Common reasons
#1 Product is out of stock or on back order
It’s frustrating when customers patiently wait for a product to arrive, only to be disappointed over and over again when it never shows up in stock. Even though you may not know when you will have the product available again, you can help satisfy your customer by telling them that you will let them know when you get it. Make sure you actually follow through with your promise, though.
#2 Fulfillment issues
Fulfillment issues are some of the most common reasons that drive your customers mad, and the frustrating thing is that fulfillment issues are often out of the hands of your front-line customer service team.
#3 Lack of follow-through
Sometimes all it takes is one ignored message or email and you suddenly have an angry customer. You can avoid this by staying on top of your emails and messages regularly. If this still, unfortunately, happens to you, own up to your mistake and don’t lie about it. Apologize, then handle the issue right then. Try to avoid putting the problem off any longer.
#4 Defective product
In dropshipping, you don’t produce the product, so when a customer receives a defective item, it’s not your fault, but the customer will blame you for it anyway. You can handle this by re-sending or refunding the product. Find out what the customer needs, then help them accomplish it. Or educate the customer if there’s a lack of understanding of how the product works. Thus if you can get some explainer videos ready beforehand, it would be great!
9 steps you can take with complaints
#1 Stay calm
Approach the problem with a peaceful state of mind can help you build the foundation of effective complaint handling.
Paying attention to what customers are saying will help you understand the issue.
#3 Be kind
Be kind and understanding, it will help you diffuse anger and frustration.
#4 Acknowledge the issue
Reiterate the complaint to demonstrate that you understood the customer’s pain point and respect them for connecting with you.
#5 Apologize and thank them
Apologizing for the poor experience can help you gain a competitive edge.
#6 Ask questions
Start a conversation by calmly asking questions for gathering facts and taking the initiative.
#7 Make it speedy
Come up with a quick resolution and only promise something that you can follow up on to make customers happy.
#8 Document the response
Document every complaint so that you and your team can review them later to identify issues, opportunities, and trends.
#9 Follow up
After coming up with a resolution, reach out to customers to let them know that their satisfaction is your top priority and apologize again for the bad experience.