Customer Service in Dropshipping
Successful businesses around the world know that providing customers with high-quality service and support is directly linked to an increase in sales and customer loyalty. Poor customer service, on the other hand, can cause damaging consequences to your store’s reputation and have your customers fleeing in the direction of your competitors. That’s quite literally the last thing you could want as a business owner.
The dropshipping industry is no exception. Your customers are hands down, the most important aspect of your dropshipping business. Without them, you wouldn’t have any business at all. It is of vital importance that you build a strong relationship with them centered on their positive experiences with your products and services, and it is your job to make them happy.
70% of consumers report that they are more likely to stay loyal and to recommend a business that provides good customer care. Most shoppers consider the quality of your store’s customer service as a sign of how much you really value them and their patronage. Your customers are going to remember you for the quality of the services that you provide, so you want to leave a positive impression that will have them come back to your store over and over again.
Based on this, we can say that providing excellent customer care is an absolute necessity for every dropshipping business out there.
Keep your customers happy and they will certainly keep doing business with you and your store. In this article, you will learn how to help your potential customers gain easy access to getting in touch with you. You will also learn how to give them resources and the information they need to know to gain confidence in your store and its products and services enough to hopefully become its long term customer.
How to treat your customers
First off, let’s talk about how you should treat and think of your customers. While your dropshipping business can run itself in many respects, you should not leave your customers to fend for themselves or through the use of infuriating bots. Remember that your customers are people, and they have needs and concerns that they need to be addressed in a kind and compassionate way. Here are some things you need to keep in mind while dealing with customers:
1. Treat your customers with respect
Some things go without saying, but you should always treat your customers with the respect that they deserve. They are after all the heart of your business. Treating your customers with respect entails a lot of listening, a lot of patience, and empathy. There might come a time when you will have to face a disgruntled customer, but just remember that all your customer wants is to be heard out. Make sure to listen calmly before offering solutions.
2. Always follow up on their questions
Never leave your customers hanging. Your customers are going to have questions about your products and they will not make a purchase until you have given answers to their queries. Answering your customer’s questions will also help to remove any doubts they might be harboring and will put their minds at ease enough to finally decide to make a purchase. If you don’t respond to their queries and put their concerns to rest, you can be sure that they will most definitely take their business elsewhere.
3. Take customer feedback seriously
Customer feedback is very important to you, as a seller and to your store as well. While you can bask in positive feedback, negative feedback should be taken as a chance for you to grow and assess what you could be doing differently. Listening to customer feedback is a great way to avoid mistakes in the future and to ensuring the satisfaction of your customers in the long term. Try to always respond to customer comments, thank them, and address their complaints graciously
4. Follow up after sales
Your relationship with your customers does not end after they have received your product, so always make sure to thank your customers for their business. This lets them know that your online store values them by adding a personal touch. It makes them feel special and cared for. Following up on sales with a thank you note should not be too time-consuming as you can make use of an autoresponder.
5. Handle negative comments positively
No matter what you do and how effective you are in managing all aspects of your store, you will experience customer complaints and even anger on your customer’s part. This can be a very alarming and uncomfortable experience for anyone on the receiving end of such negativity. But never let this negativity affect the necessity to respect your customers. Empathy and unwavering positivity go a long way in these types of situations. Remember to listen first, apologize, explain if you must, and find a solution to your customer’s source of displeasure. In the end, all your customer wants is to be listened to.
6. Set customer expectation
Let your customers know right away what you can and cannot do for them. After all, you are dropshipping, which leaves some things out of your control. To avoid any problems, make sure to clear all things up by creating standards and policies for your store, and displaying them with each product description or on your FAQ page.
As the saying goes, the customer is king. A business cannot place too much emphasis on the value and importance of their customers. They are the foundation of your success, so it’s important to treat them with the respect that the most certainly deserve during your interactions with them.
This will help you build the customer relationships that will only offer value to your business, as well as the information that will help you design and run a more customer-friendly store. Below we have listed down some of the channels that will help you, the shop owner, manage your customers, their questions and concerns.
1. Create an FAQ Page
Your customers are going to be coming with you with questions. And that’s good! That means that you have people who are interested in your products. However, some of these questions are going to be repeated as new customers come along, and you might not be able to always be there to provide a great answer every time.
This is where your FAQ page can come to your rescue. FAQ stands for Frequently Asked Questions. Creating such a page will allow your customers to get the answers to their most basic questions right away and on their own.
Use the FAQ page to clear up common causes for confusion and as a place for customers to gather answers to questions you get asked the most, especially on questions regarding billing, shipping, and delivery.
Your FAQ page should be easily accessible and visible to your customers. Having an effectively managed and executed FAQ should drastically bring down some of those repetitive queries from your inbox. Here are some ways that FAQ can help you and your dropshipping business:
- It saves you the time of answering the same questions over and over.
- It educates your customers about your product, services, and business.
- Helps you convert by removing customers most pressing concerns.
- It’s great for SEO because search engines consider the contents of FAQs as a high-information resource.
Again, you might not always be there to respond to your customers right away, but your potential buyer is definitely waiting for your response. If they have to wait too long, their interest in your shop and its products may drift elsewhere.
There are a great many ways for you to use autoresponders to create a great customer service experience. Here are other ways that you can use autoresponders:
One way you can use autoresponders is to reassure your customer that you have received their message and query and that you will get back to them soon. In the meantime, you can use this segment to include relevant information, like your business hours and refer them to an existing FAQ page.
When you make a sale
Your job is not yet done after you have completed an initial transaction with your customer. You can follow up their purchase with a thank you note and to also ask them to rate your product and store.
Also note that if your customer liked one or a few of your products, then it is likely that they will be interested in other things that you have to offer, so don’t miss this opportunity. You can use post-sale messages to up-sell and cross-sell, to let them in on special promotions, and other offers.
When someone abandons their cart
Cart abandonment is a prevalent problem in all online stores. There are many reasons for your potential buyer to not make a purchase, but a common one is uncertainty in whether you can provide them with a good product or service. An autoresponder can direct your customers to your FAQs, to a helpline, and other contact details that may help them get the confidence to complete the purchase.
While someone browses
You don’t want to lose any opportunities and opportunities include the “window” shoppers that browse through your online store. You can employ the use of an autoresponder to highlight special promotions and offerings of the products your potential buyers are eyeing.
3. Allow customers to track their order status
For your customers, being able to track order is important and it is also another way to set your customers’ minds at ease. Think of all the questions you can dodge when your customers can actually track their orders themselves!
78% of buyers rate the ability to track their order status as having a significant impact on their overall satisfaction from their online purchases. One of the most powerful emotions that your online customer experiences from making an online purchase is in delayed gratification and anxious anticipation, that is why many want and enjoy the option of being able to track their orders and to be able to follow their purchase through every step of the fulfillment process.
It is also a way of reassuring your customer that all the details of their purchase are in order and that it is on its way to them. Your customers will want a tracking system that follows their order, providing insight on its status on its journey to them. A good tracking system will allow your customers to know:
- An approximation of when the item will be delivered
- When the order is approved
- When it is shipped
- The geographical location of the order
Being able to track orders is a key component to the overall customer experience and most customers come to expect this service, so it is important that you follow through.
4. Offer live-chat
Offering live chat can get your customers' problems solved quickly and easily. Live chat is starting to become the most preferred platform for getting in touch with businesses because it is convenient and it spares everyone involved the awkward phone call conversations.
Live chat isn’t just great for your customers, it’s also great for you, the business owner. Offering live chat on your dropshipping website can be a great way for you to boost revenue and gather useful consumer insights. For these reasons, we have seen an increase in live chat being the preferred customer service channel, compared to email and over the phone interaction. Customers are reportedly more satisfied by live chat as it saves them a lot of effort to get in touch with you.
Unlike email, chatting with your customers allow for immediate support. This is great, because it allows you to satisfy your customers right away, and also gives you a better chance at defusing a potentially negative situation on your website before it can escalate and extend to social media and other more public platforms.
Being able to respond faster to your customers will also help you garner more leads. In today’s fast-paced world, your potential customers don’t want to wait around for too long for a response. You have competitors that they can turn to and why should they wait for you to email back when other online stores are just a click away?
Thankfully, adding live-chat applications to your store isn’t difficult and you will have a list of options to choose from on Shopify’s App Store.
Here is a list of a few popular messaging and chat support plugins:
- Tidio- adding Tidio to your Shopify store should take no more than 30 seconds. Click “Add app,” allow the widget to install on the site, and you’re done! Their live chat function is also boosted by bots, which will be helpful considering that you won’t be available 24/7.
- WhatsHelp Chat Button- The Chat button by WhatsHelp takes website visitors directly to popular messaging apps like Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp. From there, it allows your customer to initiate a conversation with you.
- to Live Chat- Tawk.to is a free messaging app that helps you monitor and chat with site visitors. It was designed to increase the effectiveness in managing online customer engagement experience, enabling multiple websites and agents in a single dashboard interface to chat with the visitors on your website.
- Chatra Live Chat + Facebook- Chatra offers live chat for your store and on Facebook. It also shows you in real-time how many people are in your store and when another customer appears. It also has an automatic chat option, to greet customers as they explore your site.
5. Educate customers with product detail
Providing your customers with all the relevant information about a product from the product page will save you a lot of time in answering customer questions.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make as an online seller is to not give enough information about your products. Product information is what sells, so you have to nail your product descriptions and leave every possible question answered from your product page.
Product information is the vital essence of sales. It’s what helps sway your customers in making a purchasing decision. When customers are coming to your online store and viewing your products, they look at the product image and the product description to learn about your products. They are looking for transparency, reliability, and all the details and information that they can get to feel comfortable about their final decision to buy your products.
If you aren’t providing your customers with enough details on the product page, you can be sure that your completion is. And we don’t just mean online competition, we are also talking about the brick and mortar stores, where your potential customers can come into physical contact with the products.
To remedy this, you have to give your consumers as much information as they need to feel comfortable about their purchase. A great way to do this is through product images. Product images can convey a lot of visual information to your consumers. Make use of your product descriptions as well to give all the relevant specifications, show your products in use, and don’t forget about infographics! People love a good infographic because it marries text and images to efficiently give out information that customers can absorb quickly and effectively.
Go the extra mile with your product images, product descriptions, and use infographics to educate your consumers about your product, and they will be ready to go from browsing your site, to being ready to hit the buy button.
6. Go through your services as the customer
One of the best exercises for any dropshipping shop owner is to just go ahead and put yourself in your customer’s shoes. You must have a critical eye and browse your online store from the perspective of your potential buyer. This is one way for you to drastically improve your customer service without going through negative customer feedback first. While you are doing this, you must ask yourself: Would I make a purchase from this online store?
From this exercise, you can garner a lot of insights into the workings of your dropshipping business. It will enable you to see what’s going right and what should be changed.
Some things you can try to consider are:
- The browsing experience. Try to ask yourself if your site is user-friendly and easy to navigate as a customer.
- Review the FAQs. Are they helpful enough?
- Go through your checkout process. Is the checkout process quick and smooth?
- Review your refund and return policy, ask yourself if your policies are customer-friendly.
If you are dropshipping, you should probably perform some test orders to have a firsthand experience in how well your dropshipping store performs alongside your product suppliers.
Conduct a test order from your store and see if:
- The item stock is reflected properly
- Tracking is satisfactory
- The item was delivered on time
- The packaging is in good condition
- The product is not defective and in perfect working condition
Doing this will help you anticipate and avoid problems. Be critical enough on your shop and its services and aim for nothing less than the best shopping experience for your customers. It’s the only way to go.
Back to you
There is not nearly enough talk on customer care when it comes to the dropshipping business. The fact that you are reading this article means that you do care about your customers and that you only want the best for them and your dropshipping business.
Remember that your customer is the lifeblood of your store, and without them, you cannot run what is considered to be a successful dropshipping business. Treat your customers right and they will surely appreciate your effort, and they will show this appreciation through positive feedback and repeat purchases.
What’s your take on the best practices for ecommerce and dropshipping customer care? Would you like to implement any of the methods mentioned in this article? At Ecommerce Pro, we love to discuss the future plans of your online business venture and to share practical solutions to help you meet your dropshipping business goals. If you have any questions regarding this article, we would like to address them. Please feel free to begin a conversation with us today.
The E-Commerce Checklist
We have listed down the best practices in a checklist to ensure that your online business is ready for launching.