Online retailers can’t put their feet up in the weeks that follow Christmas as ’tis the season for your after sales service to be in high demand. “My order is damaged. What should I do?” “I can’t set my product up. Can you help?” “How long do I have to return goods?” This is just a taster of the sort of questions you are going to have to answer so read our top tips now and improve your after sales service.
1) Answer customer queries quickly
Make sure that you have enough staff to answer your customer queries by telephone or email over the festive season. Are you dealing with undelivered, faulty or damaged goods? You need to provide customers with quick and clear answers as they will certainly be annoyed at not having received their goods in the state they expected for Christmas. Remember that an efficient after sales service is a great way to secure customer loyalty. If they are happy with your advice and how you react then they will know that they can count on you in case of problems and will order from your website again.
Customer confidence will increase if your customers know who they are talking to. Consider putting a photo of the person providing the after sales service in his/her e-signature.
2) Pull out all the stops for your customers
Take the time to listen to your customers’ problems and resolve them. Don’t forget: no customers means no business. Has the courier service delivering your goods damaged them or not delivered on time? Although you are not directly to blame, you still have not fulfilled your requirements. Apologise and try to find a solution quickly.
Show how flexible you are in resolving your customers’ problems. Never say: “Sorry but we can’t do that.” Adapt and provide answers or suggestions to suit the customer even if they are not in line with your sales policy. For example, a customer is two days out of the return/refund period. Show how responsive you are and accept the product return.
3) Have a clear returns policy
Make life easier for your after sales service by clearly detailing your delivery and returns policy in your terms and conditions.
Consider extending the returns period for the Christmas season. Your customers will appreciate the gesture and will be more inclined to purchase from your website.
4) Make a gesture of goodwill
If you make a mistake then consider making a gesture of goodwill to convince your customers to continue ordering from your website. Take the time to phone them or send a personalised email to apologise. Refund the delivery charge they paid to return their order or offer them discount vouchers and promotional codes to use for their next purchase on your website.
Make sure that the new product is delivered quickly (recorded or tracked delivery). You could even include an apology letter in the packaging along with a small gift.
Christmas doesn’t end on December 25th for online retailers. After Christmas Day online retailers need to handle all sorts of questions about usage, exchange and refunds. This time is as important as the run up to Christmas as the quality of your after sales service has a direct effect on customer loyalty and therefore the relative revenue.