8 ways to improve your E-Commerce customer experience
Providing a best in class customer experience is one of the most effective ways to win over new customers and retain existing ones. Hallmark Consumer Services offers eight top tips for improving customer experience.
In the highly competitive world of E-Commerce, it is essential that customers are provided with an unparalleled customer experience, to prevent customers going to your competition or leaving negative reviews if they are dissatisfied.
Investing in ways to improve your customer experience will also benefit your business as you’re much more likely to retain customers and their interest and investment in your brand, as well as making cost savings through a reduction in the number of customer calls or complaints to respond to and returns or refunds to process.
There are many ways you could go about maximising your customer experience, but we have selected our top eight methods of achieving this that are actionable and will give your business a competitive advantage.
1. Give more time
Many retailers now offer next-day delivery, in response to the increase in customers shopping online for convenience and ease. By making your cut off time for next-day delivery later, you can encourage customers to make purchasing decisions, as they know they can get the item quickly. This can serve as a marketing tactic to drive sales, particularly if the nature of your product means it needs to be replenished regularly.
Later cut off times can also allow you to reduce your costs, as the amount of inventory that is being stockpiled daily is lower, as it is moved in and out of the warehouse quickly and efficiently. Hallmark’s warehousing system is controlled and managed through a state-of-the-art system, which has been designed to manage the high volume of small orders associated with supporting E-Commerce businesses.
Installing Web API software on your E-Commerce website is another way to provide shoppers with more time, as it gives them the option to change or edit their order within a certain timeframe, for example, 1 hour after the order has been placed and confirmed.
2. Respond quickly
Response time is a crucial element of customer service in retail, as it has a direct impact on customer satisfaction and loyalty. By setting a response time guarantee of up to four hours, for example, you demonstrate to your customers that they are valued and appreciated – as long as you stick to your promise!
Having a live chat feature on your website during certain times of the day or allowing customers to send enquiries via social media can also effectively improve customer experience by offering an immediate response and providing a range of options for customers to contact you without any hassle. Depending on the type of E-Commerce site you have, installing live chat is usually relatively straightforward and inexpensive.
3. Get it right first time
Like the response time guarantee, first call resolution is an important metric of customer relationship management and refers to your ability to resolve customer problems and respond to enquiries the first time the customer calls or sends an online enquiry. Having this metric in place can increase your efficiency and minimise operating costs, as well as showing your customers that you care.
4. Offer gift wrapping options
Gift wrapped orders are another method of enhancing your customer’s overall experience by creating a greater visual impact on delivery. The gift-wrapping service can also be enhanced by providing them with the freedom to either send gift-wrapped orders directly to the recipient of the gift or hand over the gift themselves. Hallmark offers a range of gift-wrapping options from simple personalisation, such as a plain box with tissue paper inside and tied with a silk ribbon, through to a more bespoke service, allowing you to include your company branding on all packaging – a useful additional touchpoint with your brand.
5. Provide excellent staff training and support
It is essential that, when a customer makes an enquiry or has a problem, that this can be resolved by well-trained, knowledgeable staff who understand the complexities of your product, whether this is you or a team of outsourced call centre staff. It is also true that engaged, satisfied and motivated employees are more likely to provide top quality customer service. If staff feel well-supported, well-informed and appreciated throughout your supply chain, then customers are much more likely to be satisfied with the level of service they receive at the key touchpoints.
Hallmark ensures that all our contact centre staff take part in brand and product knowledge immersion via demos and training sessions. It is also important to us, as a Living Wage employer, that the companies in our supply chain also adhere to the Living Wage’s Foundation pay rate and that employees are treated fairly and ethically at all times.
6. Streamline your returns process
A simple, hassle-free returns process can dramatically improve customer experience. We recommend reviewing your current procedure to check that it is simple, easy to understand and is clearly communicated to your customers. Making the returns process as easy as possible is likely to encourage more people to buy from you online and improve their experience of your brand, even if they end up returning a product.
It is also important to check for quality issues in your product or its packaging to minimise returns made due to the receipt of damaged goods.
7. Ask for feedback
Asking your customers directly for their views on your product and service, and areas where you can improve, is a great way to show you value their opinions and custom, as well as potentially providing you with the solutions to problems you may be having in your business. Customer satisfaction surveys can be sent via email following an order, enquiry or communication with your team.
8. Share your FAQs
Make your customer’s lives easier (and yours!) by sharing your most frequently asked questions and featuring them in a prominent position on your website or product pages. This will save both your customer and your business time and resources and may enable customers to make quicker purchasing decisions, as they can access the information they require at the click of a button.
Get in touch
At Hallmark, delivering a great experience to our clients’ customers is one of our key strategic priorities. We work with you to help your business grow, and continually look for new ways to help you to maintain your competitive edge and keep your customers happy.