Customer service is the act of providing and delivering professional, helpful, and high quality assistance to customers before, during, and after their shopping experience. According to the US Small Business Administration, more than 60% of customers leave a retailer due to poor customer service. You already know that happy customers are repeat customers, and having a well-defined customer service strategy is essential for retaining customers and increasing profitability. Fortunately, Bonanza has compiled some key points that can help ensure your buyers are happy shoppers.
Respond to Inquiries in a Timely Manner
The time it takes you to reply to a buyer's inquiry is the first impression a customer has of you and your service. Understand that their needs may be time-sensitive, and the quicker you reply to their inquiry means there's a higher chance of a "browser" converting into a "buyer." Bonanza allows sellers to set a specific email address for buyer inquiries in the "Account > Account settings > Seller settings" page (that way you can ensure that customer inquiries don't get lost in the mix with your other account notifications). Be sure to check that email address often. Pro members can also opt into SMS (text) notifications so that you never miss a buyer's question. Turn on your booth chat in your "Selling > Booth settings > Booth appearance" page so buyers can communicate with you in real time.
Getting a lot of repeat questions? This may be an indicator that your listings should be updated to include additional information. If the buyer doesn't have to reach out for more details, they can make a decision to complete their purchase on-the-spot, meaning more money in your pocket.
Understand your Customer
Your customers are real, live humans who are coming to you to find a product that they want to purchase. What does your customer need and feel? You have to know your customer to provide a personal and memorable experience for them. Look for clues about their mood, patience level and personality. This will help you build a rapport and will go a long way toward keeping your interactions positive. Attitude is contagious; remain calm and upbeat, and your positive energy will transfer to your customer. Call them by name (or username) whenever possible to let them know you're attentive and invested in providing a positive shopping experience specifically for them. Put yourself in their shoes; what information would you want prior to completing a purchase? How would you like to be communicated with?
Hold Yourself Accountable
As Seneca once said, "Errare humanum est," or, in modern English, "To err is human." Mistakes happen, and that's ok! Taking responsibility for your mistakes will show buyers that you're willing to make it right, and they'll appreciate your honesty. If a transaction does not meet the expectations of the buyer and they've contacted you to let you know about their concerns, take a moment to pause before you react. How would you feel if the tables were turned? How would you like the situation to be resolved? Validate the buyer's concerns and be empathetic. Understand their needs and stay focused on the issue that they are presenting.
If the issue is out of your control, assist the buyer in finding a resolution by directing them to the appropriate party. Did the postal service lose their package? Help them contact their local post office to trace the package. Use the experience as a learning opportunity; perhaps you may consider offering shipping insurance as an option for future buyers to purchase in order to protect their investment.
Shoot for the Stars
Go above and beyond to ensure a positive experience for your buyers. Once money exchanges hands, ownership changes. Take care with packing and presentation to protect the product on behalf of the buyer. Slip a personalized thank you note into their package to let the buyer know you appreciate their business. Maybe you even want to include a private coupon code for future purchases to encourage repeat business (pro tip: you can set coupon codes for your booth in your "Selling > Booth settings > Discounts & coupons" page).
Ship orders fast and include tracking so the buyer can view progress to their destination. Follow up post-purchase to ensure the buyer received their item and is satisfied with their purchase. Bonanza has a tool for sellers to send automated messages to buyers. Visit your "Selling > Booth settings > Payments & purchases" page to set your After Sale Message (we recommend 1 week to ensure appropriate delivery time).
Create Future Customers
Studies show that repeat buyers account for 40% of a store's revenue. Creating a positive customer experience means that buyer is more likely to think of you the next time they're in the market for your product. Buyers will share their amazing experience purchasing from you with friends and family, which can create referrals and even more opportunities for you to grow your business (and your wallet).
Now that you have the knowledge to provide a positive shopping experience, the opportunities are truly endless. We can't wait to see how much your business grows!