8 Customer Services That Online Product Stores Can Offer

Building a Shopify e-commerce store would take you less time than coming up with a business idea. Shopify's ability to enable businesses set up an online store in a jiffy has helped create a global community of retailers benefiting from the platform. If you're a part of this community, you know it takes a lot more than just a website to succeed. Global retailers and large players in the market with deep pockets spend a fortune to build custom experiences and services that ensure customer loyalty. Let's take a leaf out of their playbook, here are 10 customer services that online product stores can offer to their customers:

  1. Chat assistance through human interaction

Every website that we visit today has a floating "Chat with us!" section at the bottom right corner of the page. A while ago, this was a feature that surprised and amazed the website visitors, but today it is a must-have feature. Every time customers find something amiss on the website or are looking for something specific that they're unable to find, they rely on a chat service to help them navigate through the website. Many ecommerce sites have invested in an AI-based chat system but this is helpful for large corporations who field chat requests in tens of thousands every few minutes. Although, as a smaller organization, ensuring human interaction at this point is highly appreciated. It allows the customers to feel as if they're in a retail store talking to an employee for directions and help. Moreover, customers also tend to converse with the employees and share their valuable feedback and suggestions through this channel.

  1. Personalized pre and post-sales engagement

When a customer enters a store to browse or buy goods, they love to visit their preferred aisle and chat up to their favorite employee. The customer experience is wholesome and memorable, not because you sold the right product, but because the customer encountered personalized experiences. You cannot replicate the exact instances but replicating the feeling is possible - personalization. From customer accounts that save customer preferences and previously bought items to suggestions and communications, every touchpoint is customizable. Shopify's app store allows you to equip and upgrade your ecommerce website with all of the above-mentioned tools and more. Even post-sales, customer communication, support, and after-sales services can be customized to the customer's personal preferences for complete customer satisfaction.  

  1. Multi-channel support system

Nowadays you see customers taking to multiple social media platforms to raise their complaints against organizations in a bid to get their queries resolved. This means companies need to have support linked to these platforms apart from the usual channels of chat, email, and calls in order to receive and resolve queries. While receiving complaints on social media is common and many organizations face the same, even Elon Musk's Tesla corp. faces the same problems, it's how these are resolved that matters most. Like Elon, who made headlines by answering a Tesla owner's complaint within 3 minutes of it being posted on Twitter, quick response and resolution go a long way in gaining customer trust - no matter where the issue has been raised.

  1. Personalized notes with delivery

While this is not technically a service, we put this here as a means to extend customer services. It is a raging trend among small business owners to place handwritten personalized cards thanking the customer for the purchase and winning them over for good. This is a wonderful channel to share your ecommerce platforms customer service efforts with the customer. These acknowledgment and gratitude cards can include support contact details, after-sale services information, and other services, if any listed for the customer's information. Most customers tend to browse through the products listing and payments page when making a purchase and the orders section when tracking the order. While these pages focus on the products your business sells, they fail to highlight the services that you offer along with the purchase. This is a better way to communicate your wide variety of services and ensure that the customer feels valued and important.

  1. Proactive updates on issues

While selling online, you are bound to face issues in completing the order - it may be related to inventory, damaged goods, logistics, delivery, and whatnot. The customer is blind to the entire process and builds expectations as per the communicated delivery dates. Although any issue arising throughout the process delays the delivery process leading to customer dissatisfaction. While businesses try their hardest to avoid such mishaps, it is never completely in their control. Sharing these updates with the customer as and when they occur helps them understand the process and also sets the right expectations, leading to lower dissatisfaction.

  1. Workshops and tutorials

For businesses that deal in complex machinery or DIY products, customer training gains importance. Although, for other businesses that sell products such as food products and plants, workshops and training are customer services that add value over and above the sold goods. Workshops where chefs train customers to cook using the products they buy or gardeners learning after-care for their plants and seedlings bought from your online shop are highly effective in building customer social circles as well as creating relationships. These workshops can be set up physically or online depending upon your preferences and the nature of the workshop. While it is possible to showcase the use of household items online, it is not possible to teach customers the intricacies of perfumery on a webinar. Enable the registration for these workshops on the payments page so that customers can enroll themselves for the same as they checkout.

  1. Reward customer loyalty with exclusive services

Customer loyalty rewards are nothing new in the market. As a customer service, these loyalists can further be treated by your company by offering exclusive services. Prioritizing support, enabling longer return and exchange duration, try and buy options, cash-on-delivery options, or special pick-up time preferences, these services make the customer feel their importance and ensure their loyalty remains with the firm. Such services when offered complimentary also face lower dissatisfaction among customers.

  1. After-sales services

This is a must-have service offering for all ecommerce websites selling machinery, furniture, or electronics. Considering the products are difficult to assemble, carry, or operate, they require professionals to do so - meaning the professional help is a necessity for the customer to utilize the product bought. After sale service charges, are thus, usually included for such goods - whether sold online or in-store. Your business can leverage this service offering by enabling automated service appointment scheduling, service delivery tracking, and service support. 

Tarang Agarwal

Designer by degree and developer by profession, a front end wizard who likes to keep things neat and clean for the clients