7 must-know tips for successful online customer service

More and more people are shopping online these days. The reasons for increasing ecommerce sales are obvious: It is convenient, fast and the options are nearly endless. This does by far not only apply to the B2C sector, in the contrary. Why you ask? Well, most decision-makers in companies today are millennials. They are used to comparing offers online on their own and have the same high expectations in private- and business-related matters when it comes to customer service. You or your company are running an ecommerce shop and are ready to conquer the online market? Perfect! We have put together a list of 7 must-know tips for successful online customer service for you. Some of them might really surprise you but implementing them will change the way you operate your business for good.

Michael Suitner
updated on
24 Nov

Why is online customer service so important?

Working on-site in a store gives you many opportunities to connect with your customers and see them off with a great buying experience. Your long-time goal should be to achieve the same kind of connection in your online shop. Engaging your potential buyers creates real value for them, builds trust and the best part is, loyal customers will help you get new customers for free. A positive testimonial goes a long way and might even cost you less than your marketing efforts.

Further, several issues can come up when a user visits your web-shop.There might come up questions, especially when you are selling products or services which need more explaining than other items. Catching a user in need of assistance right that moment is obviously a big challenge. Tools like “Let’s Connect” can be a solution for this worth looking into. It introduces personal customer service on demand to your shop and can ridden you of the frustrating issue of abandoned carts. Imagine you could prevent this from happening by up to 50%. Sounds great, doesn’t it?

But there are more important things you need to look into if you want to reach your goals regarding to sales. So here we go, our 7 pro tips for successful online customer service.

Tip 1 – Prioritize website functionality

This is a non-negotiable one. People are used to smooth and fast shopping experiences online. Waiting for a page to load, buttons which are not linked, or lack of mobile functionality are high on the list of people who are leaving an online store without making a purchase. Therefore, make sure to optimize your website performance to a maximum and get friends and family to test-buy in your shop. Every feedback you can get is of high value.

Tip 2 – Make your online customer service an experience

Bad experiences and customer service are the two most stated reasons to stop buying from a brand or purchase from another supplier instead. Furthermore, people are way more likely to write a public review about a bad experience than a good. So, what can you do, to make your shop experience a positive one? Well, first impressions count, so a clear intuitive shop surface in inevitable. Secondly, make navigation as easy as positive. If your customers must spend too much time on looking for a product in mind, chances are, they are getting frustrated and leave. This takes some time to plan out, but it really goes a long way. Sometimes, we don’t get it right on the first take, so the motto is: testing! There is absolutely no harm in trying what works best for your customers, it just takes some time.

Tip 3 – Speak the language of your customers

Not everybody is your customer. A clear USP (Unique Selling Proposition) in combination with target group specific content is key to get ahead in online business. Putting your customers need first should be the main goal of your efforts. Driving traffic to your site as well as making a sale are the inherent result of serving value to your target group. It might be more work to figure out what language to use when addressing your customers, but it will be appreciated and worth it in the long run.

Tip 4 – Use tools to improve your online customer service  

Automation can help your customers with little things along their shopping experience. This can be a trigger bot which simply pops up at a certain time and offers assistance or recommendations of products other customers bought, just like Amazon does it. You can even take your online service a step further and offer an integrated communication tool so the shop visitors can contact you via chat, phone or video. This helps to resolve issues or questions quickly and increases customer satisfaction. Finally, you can start introducing survey tools to get direct feedback from people who have bought your products. Gaining and maintaining trust of your potential customers should be on top of your list regarding online customer service.

Tip 5 – Make the buying process super easy for your customers  

Have a look at your shop and your shop design. Is it easy to navigate through different pages? Is the surface clear and well structured? How about the payment process: how many steps does it take to complete a purchase, and do you offer all common payment options? All these questions are critical to the success of your online business. Think about it with the mind of your customers. They want to easily find the product they are looking for, understanding the advantages of your products will help them make a quicker buying decision as well as being able to use their preferred payment method. Another great way to push your shop visitor to close the deal is by offering free shipping when reaching a minimum amount.

Tip 6 – A fair return policy creates loyal customers

For many online shoppers, checking the return policy is a must before ordering anything for the first time. When buying something from an online store, the fear of being disappointed by a product is significantly high. Providing a fair and easy return policy takes away the customer's fear of losing money and they feel encouraged to make a purchase. A survey by Pitney Bowes states, that 54% of people would not buy a product online if the return policy was unclear or poor. Since many people don’t own a printer, make it even easier for them and include the return label in the shipping box.

Tip 7 – Track, measure and optimize your shop regularly  

We are living in sucha fast-paced life with new trends coming and going faster than ever before. To stay on top of things, tracking visitors behavior during their stay in your online shop and continuously analyzing it can help you make data-driven decisions. As a result, you get happier customers who are likely to return to your store and tell others about their satisfying experience with your products or services. When you decide to implement tracking tools to your online shop though, make sure to abide by all data protection rules. There are many cookie banner plugins like Borlabs which make it really easy to make your shop GDPR compliant.

Make successful online customer service your personal signature    

Leave average to your competitors. There are so many opportunities to give your customers an amazing experience with just a few simple steps. You don’t have to change everything at once, but slowly and steady. Start with the low-hanging fruit: What doesn’t take too much time or effort to get started? And then observe how visitors react to these changes and keep optimizing. Just remember that loyal customers are way cheaper than having to invest lots of money in marketing activities to win news ones. Make successful online customer service your priority.