Simple Ways Ecommerce Sellers Can Delight Their Customers
- July 1, 2015 | Laura McCamy
The sense of delight customers get from trying on a piece of your hand-crafted jewelry or smelling the heavenly scents of your line of body lotions is difficult to replicate online.
Ecommerce sellers rely on words and images to convey everything about their products or services. We offer a number of things you can do to engage and delight your customers both online and off to keep them coming back for more.
In the age of online reviews and stars, online sellers live and die by the quality of their customer service. You can build strong customer relations by communicating clearly about shipping timelines and delays, responding quickly to requests for information, and offering your customers ample opportunity to give you feedback. In an era of impersonal voicemail prompts, your personal touch in assisting your customers will make you stand out from the crowd.
Paradoxically, your best chance to create a customer for life can happen when something goes wrong. Your gracious and generous response to an error in shipping, faulty product, or credit card glitch can turn an angry customer into a grateful one. The old rule applies here: The customer is always right.
When something goes wrong, take responsibility and do everything in your power to make it right. Even if you lose money on this sale, you have much more to gain in positive reviews and customer loyalty by providing stellar customer service.
A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
Make photography job #1 in your business. If you take your own photos, invest in good equipment and set up a space with good lighting to photograph your wares. Take new photos daily and post often to keep your listings fresh and at the top of the search engines.
Your photos can tell a story every bit as much as your words. If you sell pottery, include a photo of a place setting with a beautiful tablecloth and silverware. Use your images to help your customers imagine your products in their homes.
Make It Personal
When a customer buys from you in person, part of what makes the sale is your personality and your positive interaction. In an online shop, your words can create a warm, personal connection that will entice your customers to buy and keep them coming back for more.
Create a brand voice that fits your personality and your style. Stay as consistent as possible in all your communications: web copy, social media, marketing emails, even your checkout in your shopping cart.
Never underestimate the entertainment value of a retail interaction. Charm your visitors with a sense of humor and don't be afraid to poke a little fun at yourself.
Social media is one of the biggest tools ever placed in the hands of small businesses. Use it to engage with your customers. When someone tweets at you, tweet back. Thank people personally for positive reviews online.
Social media is a great place to listen to customer feedback, diffuse complaints with thoughtful responses, and let your customers get to know you. Be real with your customers and fans. Don’t be afraid to express the passion that made you start your business in the first place. Your customers will love you for it.
Insert Your Brand
Just because your business is primarily online doesn't mean you don't have an opportunity to reach out to customers offline. If you're selling tangible goods, chances are good you're also shipping to the customer. Take the time to insert a little something special into the box. That extra special something can leave a lasting mark on the customer.
Examples of great packaging inserts abound. Consider Johnny Cupcakes. Rather than try to explain how founder, Johnny Earle, has leveraged packaging to bolster his brand, I'll let him tell you, "It gets people talking. They will tweet about it, and they will post it on Instagram. It costs time, it costs more money, but it gets people talking and we save money by not advertising." Need further evidence, check out this post by Shop Not Made in China.