I recently read an article about the top five drivers of customer satisfaction in the remodeling industry, and at the top of the list was communication.
Others in the list included sticking to a schedule, being professional and organized, trust and problem resolution.
In reality, the list above could be applied to any type of business, including retail.
How many times have you purchased something online, and waited patiently for your item to be delivered, only to receive an email ten days later saying the item is on back-order!
Don’t let this be the experience your customers receive when shopping on your site. Nothing will drive customers away from your site more than poor customer service.
No matter how busy you are, by setting a routine that you and your staff follow when customers purchase or call in for help, you can avoid disappointment, and gain a loyal following of happy customers.
What your customer wants
- Promptly confirm purchases via email
- Confirm that payment has been received
- Advise when item purchased will be shipped
- Once shipped, let them know package is on the way, and confirm tracking details
- Provide updates and status on late or delayed shipments
- Always include a packing slip or invoice in every package you send out
- Include a returns policy in the package
- Include a phone number or email address that customers can call with questions
- Include a FAQ page on your website
- Return customer calls within the same day, if possible
- Resolve issues promptly, avoiding arguments
- Issue refunds and credits promptly
What your customer doesn’t want
- No confirmation that order has been received
- Difficult to find company contact information
- No tracking information
- Poor returns policy
- No return phone call or email
- To be kept on hold
- Product doesn’t arrive
- Slow or no refunds policy
- Goods not as described
- Unfriendly service
Unfortunately, sometimes a customer will have a negative experience, no matter how hard you try. If that is the case, don’t try to hide behind your policy, don’t lose your temper, and don’t take the complaint personally.
If this happens to you, work with the customer to provide an alternative product, a refund, and even offer a small gift or discount coupon off their next purchase. You will be surprised how an unexpected gesture of generosity on your part can suddenly change the whole dynamics of a situation. Your upset customer then becomes your biggest fan!