When top management determines that any organization must become more customer-centric, immediately a search begins on the Internet for, “passion for customer service.” Most execs don’t think of “passion” as a component of e-commerce sites, but they should. Of course a computer, mobile device or app will always be mechanical and therefore cannot in and of itself be passionate and resonate any feelings of enthusiasm or excitement. To generate those emotions, you need to add the human touch.
My wife and I visited friends and we had never been to their home. They had a preserved palm tree in their living room, which was really beautiful. We were inspired and wanted something green in our apartment that looked great without having to be watered. I don’t really like artificial plants. I looked up preserved trees and found only one website that carries those items. Although the website was thorough, I needed more information so I called. The person who helped me was passionate about her products, gave me valuable additional information, and we purchased the palm tree that was just right for our home. Frankly, it was fairly pricey and without speaking to a passionate person, I would not have considered the purchase at all.
So what is the formula for your company to create the same scenario every time a customer clicks on your e-commerce site? After all, the ultimate goal of any e-commerce site is to sell products or services. Below is a list of suggestions to generate sales:
- Make sure your company’s telephone number is highly visible even if you offer live chat
- A friendly, professional and passionate person should answer the phone
- When a representative is not available, have an automated system capture the customer’s name, telephone number and best time to call back
- Ensure the automated message is welcoming and sounds especially friendly: i.e. “we are so glad that you called,” “we love to talk to new people about our products,” “we are sorry we are not available to speak to you now,” but during business hours we will definitely call you back at the time you specified or if it’s after our normal hours, by the next day.”
- Don’t include the hours that someone might be available. It’s better that the customer calls when they view the item so that your company can capture their information. However, they will not be disappointed or frustrated if the automated voice message includes my suggestion above.
- When you speak to the prospective customer, make him or her feel special. Tell them how you value new customers and share your company’s service and quality guarantee.
- Provide them with the estimated timeframe for shipping. People are reasonable. If you explain that your products are unique and might take a few extra days to deliver it will be worth it.
- Within a day or two after the expected delivery, email the customer with a friendly note saying you hope that they love their new product. If appropriate, ask them to send you a photo of how it looks (I.e in your new home). Show them that they matter.
Money is tight. Competition is boundless. Coupling “passionate customer service” with e-commerce is the best way to increase sales and create a valuable database of loyal customers. Consumers like to shop on-line for the convenience, but its not convenient or good business for a company to make it difficult and accessible for their customers or prospective customers to speak to another human. Consumers frequently need the assurance of a person to add an expensive item to their cart. Make sure “passionate customer service” is part of your e-commerce offerings. It is the perfect match!
What do you think?