Customer satisfaction is one of the basic ways to measure the success and failure of a business and in recent times it has become of prime importance in an online environment. Social media has made it possible for people to review and rant against online merchants they are not happy with and those reviews reach far and wide at an unprecedented scale. Due to the impersonal nature of online business, even little details can matter in the overall customer experience. Efficient and effective customer service is the most important tool to ensure customer satisfaction at all levels. The concept of online business is still a relatively new one, and many new online businesses are still unsure on how to approach online customer service.  We dug into the topic to help you achieve improved customer satisfaction in your online business.

The importance of a user friendly website for an online business cannot be stressed enough. The website should be created around the user needs and it is vital the customers find what they are looking for in the first few seconds, otherwise they will move on to another website. All critical information related to the product including its specs, price, payment procedure, shipping and return policies should be easy to find. No one is interested in exploring your whole website for product details. Once you do have a user friendly website, make sure you follow the subsequent policies and tools to provide excellent customer satisfaction.

A Flexible Return Policy

We understand that returns are costly, and no business wants its costs to spur out of control. However, an easy and flexible return policy is now a global norm. All large retailers provide simple and easy return policies for most of their merchandise.  A flexible return policy will not only show that you have complete trust in your product’s quality, it will ensure the customers that they can make purchases without having to worry about a hassle in case they are not satisfied with the product.

More important is to guarantee that the return policy is comprehensive and ensures that the customer who does return the goods, can do so easily.  Do not waste time in authorizing returns and streamline your return authorization process. Add a return label with shipping and pay for the shipping costs for the goods returned. Do remember that if you accept credit cards, your return policy must be clear or it can result in the merchant stopping payments if the customer lodges a claim.

Incidents of fraudulent returns are on the rise, but you have to understand that trust is a two way thing. In order for your customers to trust you, you need to trust them. After all, you know what they say: frequent returners are frequent buyers.  The cost of refunds is much less than losing good customers and bad publicity.

Technological Solutions

Technology now enables us to talk to our customers and solve any issues while they browse our web page. Live chat software are one of the more effective tools available in the market for connecting with and attracting potential customers. Live chat software adds human element to your website.  An effective live chat system with trained customer service staff can enable improved return on investment in marketing, a better conversion rate and increased customer loyalty.  Look into how a live chat service can improve the overall customer experience on your website.

Post Sales Support

An effective customer service experience does not end with sales but continues for much longer. Engage with customers to get feedback on how they found the buying process, what were the problems they faced, are they satisfied with the products and recommend future products to them. Customer retention is one of the most important parts of a successful long term business. Help clients with problem solving for new products (especially if products require installation). Identify how you can engage with your customer post sales, for example ask them to review the product or service. Even a thank you note after purchase is an important tool to make the customer feel appreciated.

Stay In Touch With Your Customers

Online businesses can stay in touch with their clients cost free. For example send an email on your clients’ birthday.  Such simple yet highly effective acts of appreciation and kindness will invoke loyalty in your customers and help fix your rapport in your clients’ books. You can setup a newsletter and register clients for free to keep them updated on what it happening on your website. Make them feel valued.

Get online and on to social media. Be creative and engage people. Social media is one of the most effective tools to create a lasting brand value and increased customer loyalty.

Online business is the future! It is a fast developing trend that is expected to replace a vast percentage of brick and mortar businesses in the coming time. You must prepare yourself for giving the best online customer service and gain an advantage over your competitors in the market.