The success of an online store depends on how effectively you can serve your customers. Online customers are more detail-oriented and they prefer to be treated more attentively. The reason is simple – the customer cannot ‘see' you and your products in reality and to give them the ‘feeling' that he gets when he visits your store physically, you need to be more specific in both pre and post sale scenarios. Naturally, an extravagant design, use of cutting-edge technologies, and a range of hotcake products – nothing can ensure your success for a longtime if your customer care facility is inadequate.
Gone are the days when customer care meant that your customer would call up to complain about a defect in the product and the lady sitting on the customer care desk would pick up the phone lazily, note down the complaint, give a complain number to the customer, hang up the phone and start polishing her nails or continue reading the trash novel. For today's business, customer care plays the most pivotal role. Good customer care means you are emphasizing on customer's delight and thereby winning loyalty, which is the most significant thing for an online shopping cart owner who often faces fierce competition to remain in the market.
The customer care process for your website powered by shopping cart software should consist of the following services:
• Email support – The turnaround time for an email should be ideally 12 hrs although the normal practice amongst online shopping cart owners is of 24 hrs.
• Chat support – Should cover at least the business hours of your country/locality (12 to 16 hrs a day at least)
• Phone support – Business hours normally; should employ additional manpower during shopping seasons
Please note that your customer care reps should be adequately trained to handle the queries and they should have proper product-knowledge and operational details of the shopping cart software. Besides, the customer care reps should also have the skill to build rapport with the customers and take the finer points of your products and services to them. Like your sales team, your customer care team should know about your customers' demography, orientation, likings and so on. Most importantly, your customer care team members should have the linguistic abilities and communication skill to carry out their responsibilities successfully.
Besides these traditional customer support mechanisms, online retailers should also focus on social networking platforms which getting popular day by day. Social media platforms offer excellent ways to build communities loyal to your brand or product. At the same time, it offers a platform to advertise your product. Moreover, you can easily bring out new changes, offers or anything that connects with your customers on social media platforms and your customers will know this instantly. An account in Twitter or FaceBook has an enormous reach when it comes to sales through your online shopping cart. A small and targeted tweet or a short message send to your customers or a FAN page that describes the latest additions in your product-line is far more impacting than a roadside billboard in your locality.
Summary: Be it phone, chat, email or social media – knowing your customers is of paramount importance for the success of your business. Your online shopping cart software will help the customer to purchase the product; but your customer care team will retain him for you.