In a world where anyone can sit in their living room and create an online store, things like customer confidence matter. Customers want to know that you are ready and willing to back up every claim and stand behind your products or services. And they usually want to know this before they even consider making a purchase.
Think about it this way, if you encounter a website that doesn’t look professional, or if something looks off, you’re probably going to hit the “back” button and head back to your search, right? You’re going to exit stage left because you have no confidence in the company behind the website.
But if that company had only followed these six steps, you would have stuck around and possibly even made a purchase.
1. Provide a Toll Free Number
Some people like to talk to a real person before they make a purchase. It makes them feel more comfortable to know that someone is there to answer the phones. Other people just want to know that they have the option to call. A toll free number gives your company an extra boost of professionalism, and services like Grasshopper.com make it easy and affordable.
2. Offer Live Chat
Even if you are a one-man (or one-woman) show, live chat is not out of the question. There are many services that offer free versions for small businesses with few operators and low bandwidth. Check out Olark.com to see if their packages make sense for you. If not, there are many others.
3. Make It Easy to Contact You
When you are dealing with a large number of people (as we hope you will be in your ecommerce business), you need to give them options. Some people like to use the phone. Others prefer live chat. Still others will search your site for a contact page and expect to complete a form. Luckily, there are tools to help you with this type of contact page too. Consider using a service like Wufoo.com to embed a form onto your website.
4. Create a Help Page
Regardless of how your customer wants to contact you, they don’t want to search around to find phone numbers and links. Create a help link in your website’s header that will link to a contact form, phone, address, live chat and social accounts. You can also create a self-serving knowledge base using tools like Zendesk.com
5. Provide A Clear Shipping, Returns & Exchanges Policy
We’ve thoroughly covered the various types of customers and how they like to communicate with you. Well, there is one more kind of customer. This guy (or gal) doesn’t want to communicate with you at all – not if he can help it! This is the “self-serve” kind of customer. For him, you must anticipate questions and provide answers that he can find on his own.
Do this by creating a page on your website that contains all of the information your customers may be searching for. This includes your shipping, returns and exchanges policy. If you’re feeling extra ambitious, add an FAQ page to answer general questions too.
6. Ask for Feedback
Most customers want to give you feedback. They’re just too lazy or busy to take the time to do it themselves. Make it easy for them by asking for it – while they shop, after they complete an order, and even after they have received their order. Asking for their opinion lets them know you care, but it also helps you gain a better understanding of your ecommerce store’s strengths and weaknesses. You can use a tool like SurveyMonkey.com to create simple online surveys.