If you run an e-commerce store on Shopify, then you need to place a lot of emphasis on your customer service. You can’t have a successful business without some form of support for customers. If you neglect your customer service, your business will suffer significantly.
For example, in 2019, Microsoft released a global customer service report.
In it, 95% of consumers said customer service is integral for building brand loyalty.
60% of respondents also reported deserting a brand due to poor customer service.
It’s clear that reliable customer service is necessary for retaining customers. The last thing you want is to lose a customer over a simple mix-up or mistake. That can happen if your customer has nowhere to turn in case of a problem. If you have customer support, you can resolve the issue and keep their business.
So if you want to learn how to provide customer service on Shopify, you’re in the right place. Read on to learn more about how to provide exemplary customer service to build your brand.
Selecting the Right Customer Service Channels for You
There are several support channels you can use for customer service. For example, live chat is a customer service channel. Phone support is another form of a customer service channel.
The trick is deciding which channel is right for your business. That will come down to a few factors, such as:
- Your budget
- The customer service staff you have available
- The number of hours you can provide support during the day
- Whether you have phones, bots, or computers available for support
For smaller stores, providing 24/7 live chat support with bots isn’t feasible. As a result, you’ll have to go with another customer service channel. That doesn’t mean that you have to provide subpar customer service by any means.
As long as you select a feasible channel for you to pull off, you can still provide robust support. Here are some of the most popular customer service channels in use today.
Customer Service Via Email
Do you not have the staff to spare for live support channels? Then emails are the way to go. Emails are far easier to manage than phone support or live chat support. That’s because you don’t need a staff member present to take calls or reply to chats.
Instead, customers email you with their issues. When you have time, you can go through them and respond to them.
Of course, the quicker you can respond to customers, the better. You don’t want to keep a customer waiting on a response for more than 24-hours.
Email support is excellent because it allows you to set reasonable expectations for responses. Make sure to let your customers know if support won’t be available on weekends. As long as you’re clear with your response times, your customers shouldn’t have any issues with it.
Another benefit is that support emails are a goldmine for customer feedback.
An email is an instant record of your discussion with a customer and how satisfied they were. As a result, you can file these emails and refer to them when coming up with ways to improve your business. Customer feedback is invaluable, so don’t delete those emails!
Customer Service Via Social Media Support
If you have a strong marketing presence on Facebook, you can also provide support there. The catch is that all the replies will be public and visible.
That can do positive things for your image if you do it right.
Potential customers will be able to see first-hand how you resolve customer issues. As stated before, customer service is a significant deciding factor for consumers. If they can see that you care about your customers and resolve their problems quickly, they’ll want to use your products.
Bear in mind; you should only go this route if you’re highly confident in your customer service. Since the replies will become public, you don’t want bad conversations out there. That will give a lousy first impression on anyone viewing your chat feed. As long as you’re diligent with your customer service, it shouldn’t be an issue.
Remember; don’t try to be everywhere online. It’s best to stick with the social media platforms where you have the most substantial followings. Also, it doesn’t hurt to do a bit of research on your target audience in this regard. Finding their preferred social media platform can help you find out which fits your business—as such, providing support on a more popular platform with customers will put you in front of more eyes.
Customer Service Via Live Chat
If you have the capability for it, live chat is one of the most effective forms of customer support. It allows you to resolve customer issues on the fly, which is a huge plus. That way, at the end of the day, you will solve all your customer support issues. That certainly beats having to scroll through a mountain of emails.
When implementing live chat, think about where you want to place it. For example, do you want the live chat bubble to pop up on the homepage? Or would it make more sense to put it on the products page? Typically, you place live chat messages on high-priority and high-traffic pages.
Also, what do you hope to accomplish with your live chat? Do you want to resolve shipping issues primarily, or do you want to provide general support?
Another technique is to use a live chat message to customers that are browsing. If they’ve been inactive for a while, you can add a pop-up message asking if they’re finding everything okay. From there, you can point them in the right direction of what they need. It’s a simple technique, but it can have powerful results.
You may end up salvaging a sale from a customer that was about to look elsewhere for what they needed. Since you had diligent support in place, you predicted their issue and helped them find the perfect product.
While 24/7 chat support is very nice, it’s not necessary. Lots of companies offer live chat support only during certain hours of the day. Take a look at your data to see when customers ask the most questions. Also, pay attention to the times of the day where you receive the highest amounts of traffic. These are the essential times where you should have a live chat enabled.
Customer Service Via Phone Support
Lots of customers still prefer having phone support as an option. That’s because nothing can replace being able to speak with a live human being about a pressing issue.
In general, customers look to email support and live chat for minor issues. These include general questions, inquiries about price, shipping questions, and more.
For significant problems with expensive products, phone support reigns supreme.
Customers appreciate talking to someone instead of having to type out their issues.
The most common way to provide phone support is to set up a phone line. With it, you can either provide live phone support or set up a voicemail system. If you run a smaller business, you won’t be able to provide support 24/7. Make sure to post your customer service hours on your storefront for all your patrons to see. Also, it’s a good idea to provide how long customers can expect to wait before getting a return call.
Customer Service Via FAQ
A passive way to provide customer support is through frequently asked questions. While we don’t recommend this as your only form of support, it’s a very effective one. Even if you have live chat 24/7, it’s still a good idea to include a FAQ section. That way, you can answer customers’ questions before they even have to ask. Here are some crucial topics to cover when writing your FAQ section:
- Questions about billing
- Order processing and shipping
- Returns and exchanges
- Unique store policies
- Acceptable forms of payment
- Customer account information
As long as you cover these essential areas, you should be golden. The chances are high that you’ll answer lots of questions customers have without having to raise a finger.
Critical Customer Service Skills to Learn
Now, let’s take a look at some of the most effective customer support techniques and skills. After all, if you want to learn how to provide customer service on Shopify, you’ll need some skills of your own first. There are some tried and true customer service best practices that every business owner should know. If you’re new to the world of customer service, don’t worry. Here are some of the most effective skills for providing five-star customer service.
Become an Expert on Your Products
Do you really know about what you sell? If someone quizzed you on your products, would you know them inside and out? If the answer is no, then you need to change that immediately.
If you’re going to sell something, then you need to be an authority on the matter.
That means hitting the books and studying about your products if you don’t know them well enough. That way, your customers won’t be able to stump you with any of their questions.
If you can’t confidently answer customer questions, they won’t have any faith in your brand.
To avoid embarrassing yourself and losing customers, make sure you know everything about your products. The same goes for your employees. Do you have a training program in place for recruits about your products? If not, then you need to put one together. Everyone needs to be on the same page when it comes to knowledge about your products.
If you sell niche hobby-related products, then being an expert is even more critical. Niche hobbyists study their interests deeply, and they expect that you do the same.
Crystal Clear Writing That’s to the Point
When responding to customer support inquiries, you aren’t writing a novel or promoting your product. Instead, you’re trying to explain (in as clear terms as possible) how to resolve a customer issue. As such, there’s no room to be clever or convoluted. It would be best if you wrote your replies using crystal clear language.
Also, don’t assume that your customers know everything that you know. If you followed our first point, then you’re a total expert on your product.
That’s why you need to KISS with your customers. That stands for keeping it simple stupid, and it’s the best way to write your answers.
Whenever you’re explaining something via live chat or email, use step-by-step instructions. It’s best not to say things like, “Check your inbox” or, “It’s in your dashboard.” Instead, provide detailed instructions on how to get to the inbox or dashboard first.
Also, break up your paragraphs and make liberal use of bullet points and line breaks. The goal is to make your writing as easy to read as possible for the customer.
Advocate For Your Customers
A customer won’t feel satisfied with your customer service if you have no interest. If you’re simply going through the motions to make them go away, it will be entirely obvious. The first rule of dealing with an unhappy customer is to listen with an empathetic ear.
To start, don’t offer a solution straight away. Instead, ask them about what happened, and take time actually to listen. That will show that you care about their issue. Beyond that, it’s imperative to advocate for your customer.
That means that you’re championing your customers’ concerns, and you want to find the perfect solution. You aren’t dismissing them or just giving them what they want. Advocating for your customers is the best way to show them that you genuinely care. They will realize that the issue was a mistake and that you care enough to resolve it. Advocacy is the most significant part of providing fantastic customer service.
By now, you should know how to provide customer service on Shopify. Moreover, you should know what it takes to deliver truly outstanding customer service. It’s about being there for your customers in any way that you can. It’s about listening to their problems and taking an active interest in solving them. If you can master that, you’re sure to build your brand and enjoy strong customer loyalty.
For more great content to help you develop your Shopify strategies, check out the rest of the merchant posts on the site. If you want to see a list of our top recommended Shopify apps visit this link here.