50 Good Customer Service Strategies - CPC Strategy

How much extra money can you make with better customer service?

This comprehensive guide on ecommerce customer service will teach you how to improve your customer service strategy without altering the structure of your business. It also helps illustrate just how much money you can make from your existing customer base with great customer service.

 

50 Good Ecommerce Customer Service Strategies

1. Offer a monthly product giveaway to customers that sign up for your newsletter.

2. Offer coupons to your customers for writing a seller review.

3. Add coupons & promotions in your e-mail marketing. Don’t have an e-mail marketing strategy set up? You need one.

4. If possible, work to offer same day shipping for customers that need their items in a hurry.

5. Increase your call center hours to take into account extremely early and late orders.

6. Offer free return shipping for a limited time to see if that added feature builds confidence in your customers and leads to more conversions.

7. Give customers the ability to have their items sent gift wrapped, or to purchase their item with gift wrapping for them to wrap themselves.

8. Offer gift cards to your customers so they can easily share your website with others.

9. Implement live chat. Live chat can greatly decrease the number of abandoned carts at your webstore.

Great Live Chat Customer Service Example by Zappos

10. Give a coupon to each customer that signs up for your weekly newsletter.

11. Let customers apply to become a ‘product tester’ where they get your products for free in exchange for writing about them on blogs and linking back to your website.

12. Throwing a video-submission contest using your products and rewarding the winner, then use those videos for your own marketing.

13. Provide product recommendations or similar items to customers below the items they’re interested in to make it easier for customers to find items that work well in sets, and to increase average order volume. Sweetwater does a great job of this:

Customer Service Idea #13: Provide Product Recommendations to your Customers

14. Be upfront with shipping and tax costs. No one likes hidden charges.

15. Invest into your site navigation and search functions. Customers who can’t find an item they’re looking for quickly is one of the major causes of a high bounce rate.

16. Start a review contest. Whoever writes a review gets entered to win a drawing of $1,000. Roots Canada has a great example below:

Customer Service Strategy #16: Start a Review Contest

17. Create a blog where you show off your expertise about your products and interact with your customers.

18. Start a Twitter & Facebook page and promote it on site to share deals and listen to your customers.

19. Throw a Holiday-inspired contest where a winner receives a gift package or makeover of their house with your products. To be entered into your contest you can have users sign up for your newsletter or fill out a short questionnaire.

20. Display McAfee, Better Business Bureau or VeriSign secure badges.

21. Include a personable About Us page. Here’s a great example: http://www.heartypet.com/t-about.aspx

Customer Service Tip #21, Include a personalized about us page.

22. Lower shopping cart confusion. Use one of these tools for help: http://www.getelastic.com/8-quick-n-dirty-tools-to-beat-site-abandonment-this-holiday/

23. Increase your return policy time table to increase customer confidence.

24. Give coupons to customers that share their purchases on Facebook. Shopon.com provides a tool to help you do just that.

25. Display positive seller reviews and testimonials on your home page.

26. Personalize your brand beyond your About Us page with interviews and op-eds from your staff. Show off your expertise of your products.

27. Offer delivery estimates so your customers can know when to expect their order.

28. Add additional payment methods like Paypal, Google Checkout, and Amazon Checkout so your customers can checkout with ease.

29. Open a forum where your customers can talk openly about your products. You’ll be surprised by how much you can learn from them.

30. Ask for product reviews in exchange for coupons. You can then use these product reviews as valuable SEO on your website.

31. Create a ‘deal of the day’ or ‘deal of the week’ for your customers.

32. Offer a deals section to your customers. Offer quarterly or yearly clearance sales to clear out old inventory. Wetsuit Warehouse does a great job of this:

33. Give your customers free samples of products for signing up to your newsletter.

34. Donate generously to a charity and promote it on your website.

35. Run a special promotion where a certain % of proceeds goes to charity.

36. Offer a ‘best sellers’ or ‘popular products’ section to your customers.

37. Add a coupon section to your website for easy access. You’d rather keep your customers on your website while they look for coupons instead of on Google, right? Macy’s does a great job of it: http://www.macys.com/campaign/social?campaign_id=61&channel_id=1

Great Customer Service Strategy #38: Have a coupon section on your website.

38. Offer freebies / coupons for customers that share your products on social networks.

39. Reach out to bloggers with a strong community and let them write about your products. They don’t even have to be in your industry – do they have a hobby that your products can service?

40. Give coupons and deals to users who invite their friends to shop at your store. Have them e-mail you a copy of their invetation for a coupon.

41. Have great phone support? Connect consumers directly to a phone representative from a search engine. More: http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2120364/Phone-Through-Rate-is-new-AdWords-Ranking-Factor (Make sure to read the comments- some good insight there).

42. Include any retailer awards on your home page.

43. Host a blog-a-thon where you invite regional bloggers interested in your products to a big party where they are the theme, in exchange for a blog post. Lucky Gunner does a great job of this: http://www.luckygunner.com/2011-blogger-shoot

Good customer service technique #43: Host a blogger party for all those in your industry!

44. Listen to your customer and talk about it. Offer an easy ‘submit feedback’ button on your website, then talk about any changes you make that take into account customer suggestions on your website or blog.

45. If all of your products are made by people in America, show it off on your About Us and home page.

46. Offer discounts if customers buy in bulk? Let it be known, clearly!

47. Have a list of charities to donate to? Share that list on your website.

48. Offer multiple language phone support for your products? Show it off clearly on your home and product pages. Don’t have multiple language phone support? Depending on your products it might make sense to add new language support to your customer service team. Talk with your current team to see approximately how many non-English speaking calls, or calls where the caller cannot speak English very well, happen.

49. List your contact info clearly, including a mailing address, on your Contact Us page. I hate it when I find retail stores that only include a customer inquiry form to fill out on those pages without any information about the company.

50. Advertise your top customer service employees on site to show off your good customer service skills and promote good customer service within your company.

Enough from an online marketer. Lets hear what online retailers themselves have to say about their customer service strategy.

 


Website: www.HeartyPet.com

Name: Michael Blair

Position: Co-Owner


 

In your opinion, what is the most important quality of good customer service?

Mike: Communication, communication, communication! The customer doesn’t want their order being placed and sitting for days wondering when it will ship. They need immediate order notification and immediate tracking information. Emails must be answered within an hour, phones must be answered. Customers are surprised at how well we communicate and we get compliments all the time for it. We never want the customer to be out in the dark!

What separates good customer service from great customer service?

Mike: I think this ties back into #1, some companies have good customer service, they respond within a day, we have GREAT customer service, we response within minutes most times.

What’s the number one way you encourage your shoppers to come back and shop with you again?

Mike: First and foremost is we ship them their order within 24 hours and that is the beginning of our “wow” factor. If its a first time customer, we follow-up with them to see how their furry friends are enjoying their foods and invite them back to review the products. We offer them a discount for their input. We also encourage all customers to sign up for our Auto Delivery program. They place their initial order, select the frequency they would like to have it shipped, and then our system takes over. We ship out when and what they want and we offer them half off the shipping costs as a benefit. The service is a wonderful feature for our customers and a great way to generate repeat business for us.

 


Website: www.EverythingFurniture.com

Name: Scott Perry

Position: Owner


In your opinion, what is the most critical element needed for quality customer service?

Scott: Following through to make sure customer service issues are resolved completely.

What separates decent customer service from awesome customer service?

Scott: Go the extra mile to make sure your customers are taken care of. If you can produce an experience they won’t forget, they’ll likely come back to you for products next time, or they’ll share their experience with friends.

How do you persuade your customers to shop at your store again?

Scott: E-mail marketing with discounts.

 


Website: Confidential, here’s his personal blog on databases

Name: Chris Edwards

Position: Owner


In your opinion, what is the most important quality of good customer service?

Chris: Getting a response within a short period of time.

What separates good customer service from great customer service?

Chris: Having a company work with you rather than tell you that they have to stick to some hard and fast rules.

What’s the number one way you encourage your shoppers to come back and shop with you again?

Chris: We send emails asking for feedback on the products they bought.

 


Website: www.Titanium-Jewelry.com

Name: Ron Yates

Position: Owner


 

In your opinion, what is the most important quality of good customer service? 

I would say a great attitude on the part of the customer service team.  A real desire to please the customer, to show a pro-active willing spirit to make the customer’s experience a great one!  This goes against some people’s natural inclination, so for those types of folks they either need to change professions, or really train themselves to go outside their comfort zone.  They have to have the attitude to make great memorable experiences for their customer.  And this has to start from the top down.  It needs to be a culture that is constantly fed.

What separates good customer service from great customer service?

Good customer service takes care of the customer’s immediate need or problem.  Great customer service goes beyond the basics.  It actually WOWS the customer, creating a memorable experience.  Great customer service will actually create evangelists of your brand from your customers.

What’s the number one way you encourage your shoppers to come back and shop with you again?

While competitive pricing is important, price is not the most important factor in creating loyal customers. Your competitors will always be willing to undercut you on price, so if price is the main arrow in your customer service quiver you will miss your target more often than not.  However, if you provide your customer with outstanding WOW customer service every time they interact with your company they will craze that sort of service.  Go beyond their expectations.  Roll out the red carpet for your customers and watch them come back time and again.

 


Website: www.ChristmasTreeforMe.com

Name: Bill Quinn

Position: Owner


 

In your opinion, what is the most important quality of good customer service? 

Do what you say you are going to do; when you say you are going to do it.

What separates good customer service from great customer service?

Immediately accepting responsibility when you do not achieve #1 above.

What’s the number one way you encourage your shoppers to come back and shop with you again?

We don’t do this well so I have to pass on this answer.


Website: www.instawares.com

Name: Osman Portillo

Position: Interactive Marketing Manager


 

In your opinion, what is the most important quality of good customer service? 

Good customer service should resolve customer issues in a timely manner.

What separates good customer service from great customer service? 

Great customer service increases the customer’s confidence in the company, to become a loyal customer.

What’s the number one way you encourage your shoppers to come back and shop with you again? 

We are putting together an email campaign to incentive customers to come back to the site.

 


Website: www.BuyCostumes.com

Name: Michael Kust

Position: Data Feed Specialist


 

In your opinion, what is the most important quality of good customer service? 

I think that accessibility plays a major role in providing good customer service.  Many times I find myself on the phone with service providers (ex cell phone and cable) for over half an hour before actually getting to speak with a customer service representative.  In my mind any customer calling a business should be connected with a customer service representative in less than five minutes.

What separates good customer service from great customer service? 

When a company gives consumers multiple ways to get in contact with them and resolve issues.  Many companies now days not only have a phone number but have also added live chat on their websites and are quick to respond via social media.  The companies that actively communicate with their customers by way of social media stand out in my mind as providing exceptional customer service.

What’s the number one way you encourage your shoppers to come back and shop with you again? 

Email.  All customers that make a purchase have an option to join our email lists and receive exclusive offers not available to other customers.  Since costumes are mostly a seasonal business we offer the option for the consumer to only receive emails from us during the months of August – October.  This way we don’t frustrate the consumer that wants to take advantage of our special offers but find our emails irrelevant our side of the Halloween season.

 

 


Website:  www.BaseballExpress.com

Name: Connie Simmonds

Position:  Customer Service Manager


 

In your opinion, what is the most important quality of good customer service? 

Being attentive to the caller; listen to what the issue, question or concern is. Be sure to ask the customer if their questions were answered. Be honest with the customer do NOT over promise. If there is an issue find a resolution that is a win-win for the customer and company.

What separates good customer service from great customer service?

To me great customer service is doing what you say you will do. Follow up on issues and be sure to get back to the customer if there was something that could not be fixed immediately. Know when to listen and when to speak; often people just want to be heard and cutting people off and not letting them express themselves is rude. Always provide service with a smile, it sounds crazy but you can hear a smile over the phone [emphasis added]. Great customer service comes with knowledge and caring for others. Customer Service Representatives must have a heart to serve, without this they will never be great.

What’s the number one way you encourage your shoppers to come back and shop with you again?

Be polite and positive. Personalize the conversation, use the customers names and let them know we are always here to help and we appreciate their business. A simple “thank you” or “I’m sorry” goes a long way to gain a person’s repeat business.

Final Thoughts:

There’s some clear synergies in the responses from retailers above. One that stands out is the use of e-mail marketing to re-engage their customers in some way after the sale is made. So what is the most effective way to engage your customer after the sale is made? That will definitely have to be another blog post.

For now, if you’re not doing e-mail marketing, it needs to be on your hot list of things to do in 2012.

Another synergy that stands out is between Hearty Pet and Titanium Jewelry. Both talk of the ‘wow’ factor in customer service in order to create extremely loyal customers that come back to shop from them again and again. Definitely something to consider improving if you can, if you don’t, your competition might!

About the Author+Andrew Davis is CPC Strategy's Director of Marketing, an expert in ecommerce marketing strategy, product marketing and all things shopping engine related. You can contact Andrew directly at andrew@cpcstrategy.com or via phone at 619-297-3798. See all posts by this author here.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1163622579 Michael Blair

    Excellent article Andrew, lots of great advice here. Your #28 is high on our list for 2012!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000442788728 Andrew Davis

      Excellent! You guys bring the wow factor in so many ways. When I get a pet, I’ll be visiting your store.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1163622579 Michael Blair

    Excellent article Andrew, lots of great advice here. Your #28 is high on our list for 2012!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000442788728 Andrew Davis

      Excellent! You guys bring the wow factor in so many ways. When I get a pet, I’ll be visiting your store.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1163622579 Michael Blair

    Excellent article Andrew, lots of great advice here. Your #28 is high on our list for 2012!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000442788728 Andrew Davis

      Excellent! You guys bring the wow factor in so many ways. When I get a pet, I’ll be visiting your store.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=510229919 Bryan Partipilo

    Good stuff

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=510229919 Bryan Partipilo

    Good stuff

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=510229919 Bryan Partipilo

    Good stuff

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1134296118 William Parris

    Great post Andrew.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1134296118 William Parris

    Great post Andrew.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1134296118 William Parris

    Great post Andrew.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1480255921 Ana Erostarbe

    Thank you so much.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1480255921 Ana Erostarbe

    Thank you so much.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1480255921 Ana Erostarbe

    Thank you so much.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1279175652 Jennifer Long McCormack

    Great article Andrew! Thanks for all the good advice.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000442788728 Andrew Davis

      Thanks Jennifer, glad you enjoyed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1279175652 Jennifer Long McCormack

    Great article Andrew! Thanks for all the good advice.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000442788728 Andrew Davis

      Thanks Jennifer, glad you enjoyed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1279175652 Jennifer Long McCormack

    Great article Andrew! Thanks for all the good advice.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000442788728 Andrew Davis

      Thanks Jennifer, glad you enjoyed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=586371115 Shannon McElyea

    Super article worth saving and sharing. For companies who realize the value of phone sales and support, I’m working w a company that provides 1 click, hands-free calling for customers and folks browsing your website or mobile app. free trial here http://www.zingaya.com – there’s a website upgrade underway. stay tuned. ;->

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=586371115 Shannon McElyea

    Super article worth saving and sharing. For companies who realize the value of phone sales and support, I’m working w a company that provides 1 click, hands-free calling for customers and folks browsing your website or mobile app. free trial here http://www.zingaya.com – there’s a website upgrade underway. stay tuned. ;->

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=586371115 Shannon McElyea

    Super article worth saving and sharing. For companies who realize the value of phone sales and support, I’m working w a company that provides 1 click, hands-free calling for customers and folks browsing your website or mobile app. free trial here http://www.zingaya.com – there’s a website upgrade underway. stay tuned. ;->