I’ve bought online since 1998 and I’ve bought a lot. Purchasing from hundreds of different eCommerce companies including Amazon, Apple, eBay and Google, and crossing a myriad of different ecommerce sectors selling physical products, electronic products including eBooks, media and software to training services. A problem I’m sure we all have experience with is the lack of good and consistent customer support. We’ve all experienced everything from poor communication, patronizing and rude customer support representatives, zero returns and slow refunds to blatant lies about your order.
A few companies understand customer support and why it’s critical to make it work positively for the customer or client. Amazon springs to mind – they just innately understand why it’s so important not to irritate or piss your customer off, and more importantly have them say “wow”. Jeff Bezos’ ultimate goal for Amazon is to set a new standard in customer service and to leave his mark, so in 50 years time and beyond people know that Amazon lead the way with a customer-centric business.
However with the majority of ecommerce companies, customer support is an Epic Fail! So how is this such a problem, why are they not learning from the leaders in ecommerce and just “Doing the Right Thing!”. You’ve heard the adage which goes something like “impress me and I’ll tell my close friends, piss me off and I’ll tell everyone I can”. I’m para-phrasing but you get the point. People deserve to be treated the way you’d like to be treated, and if you go against this, you better watch your back.
Word of Mouth (WOM) marketing is the absolute best form of marketing available, period. Not only is it powerful but its also costs you nothing. So providing exceptional customer support is also your best sales tool. Implement good customer support to tap into WOM marketing and watch your profits soar. But negatively impact WOM through poor customer support and watch your profits plummet.
The problem I see, and the cause of inept and poor ecommerce customer support is that many ecommerce companies are lucky in that they have started a business in an era when the internet is still young and trends change fast which results in customer desire to have the latest clothing, gadget or software. Right place, right time scenario and so they have a constant influx of first time customers landing on their site and buying via the proverbial conveyor belt. They are basically extremely lucky! Contrast this with an offline business that can’t hide behind a glossy website displaying images of exciting products and happy people with fake testimonials, it’s a real-life face to face to business transaction so you better get it right or you’ll know about it fast. Will they still get away with such poor support when the web advances and sales are not as easy to come by? I’d like to think not.
How the Best Ecommerce Companies Offer Good Customer Support:
- Free Delivery on most items
- No-Risk Money Back Guarantee
- Free Returns on Most items
- Product Guarantees
- Excellent Communication Pre & Post Sale
- Fast Shipping
- Reliable Couriers