Customer support

7 steps to improve your customer support strategy

Customer support is an integral part of selling online. Small issues left unresolved can escalate and have serious consequences for your reputation and seller rating. But customer support doesn’t have to be a labor-intensive process. Having a well defined strategy in place and excellent customer support software is the best way to manage it successfully. Here are seven ways to improve your customer support strategy.

1. Smarter message management

Reduce average and first-response times by categorizing, assigning and prioritizing messages quickly. Organization and smooth processes enable you to answer customer questions quicker, so make sure you have a defined process for handling each query type. If you use an eCommerce helpdesk that centralizes every channel you sell on into a single inbox, you’ll have a head-start when it comes to message management.

Identifying potential escalations at an early stage is important in order to minimize the potential for negative reviews. eCommerce help desk software makes this considerably easier by enabling you to tag in your teammates. It can also prevent escalations altogether by automatically routing tickets to the most well-suited agent.

If you can’t resolve the issue immediately, let the customer know how you plan to resolve their query and give them a resolution time frame. Nobody likes to be left in the dark when it comes to customer support!

Try using labels to group your message history by topic, such as returns, shipping queries and product queries. It might also be advisable to use a color code to prioritize them.

2. Customer-first communication

Some customers would like to learn more about you and your brand values. When it comes to customer support, they expect interaction with real people who show empathy and understanding. The language your company uses should be consistent with the brand image you’d like to portray and you should personalize interactions whenever possible. Take every opportunity to demonstrate the human side to your business – customers gravitate towards authentic voices.

If you’re selling internationally, make sure you’re able to communicate with customers in their native language. Using eDesk to automatically translate your incoming messages – and your responses to them – enables this without the need to hire multi-lingual support agents.

Customer first communication
Put yourself in your customers shoes and try to be as personable as possible when communicating with your customers.

3. Get better feedback

The pressure is always on sellers to achieve a high feedback score as it contributes significantly to your products’ Amazon Buy Box and eBay Best Match performance. Every online marketplace and search engine wants to provide a good customer experience and to achieve this, they favor sellers who have lots of great feedback over those who don’t.

Most buyers don’t leave feedback, so why not send a post-purchase email to increase your chances of receiving some? The top online sellers automate this process using feedback software. This enables you to send out personalized feedback requests on multiple channels, with minimal effort.

4. Track activity across multiple channels

Managing multichannel customer support is a time-consuming task if you don’t use software that centralizes your incoming tickets from every channel. If you’re forced to use multiple dashboards and log in to multiple programs to provide customer support, you risk taking too long and even missing messages.

Make sure you understand which channels take up the most time or cause the most issues, and prioritize accordingly. You should also make sure you’re using an eCommerce customer support tool to centralize your messages and streamline your customer service.

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5. Align your resources

Your strategy must reflect expected periods of high and low activity. Make sure you understand the events that will impact your support capabilities, workflow management and staffing levels. This involves learning how to manage customer support efficiently during busy periods and over holidays.

It’s imperative to organize your business effectively and respond to customer queries on time to avoid breaching SLAs. Amazon and eBay will penalize you heavily if you fail to do so!

6. Turn queries into sales

One of the most basic best practices of customer support is replying to customers quickly, and this can even lead to increased revenue. Pre-sales queries (when you have a potential customer browsing your site and they have a question about a particular product) are a great example of this. If you answer their question straight away when your visitors in the buying mindset, you can convert them into a customer.

Likewise, if they’re asking about a product on Instagram, a quick and informative response can not only make this sale, but encourage a handful more to follow.

Pre-sales qeruries on Instagram
Answering customers’ questions quickly and clearly is a great way to turn queries into sales.

7. Review internal procedures

Identify the queries that account for the highest percentage of your support activities and classify the most time-consuming activities. You can then distill these processes into simpler steps which will free up time for you to direct your resources in other activities, like eCommerce marketing.

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