I love having an online store, the freedom it allows me to send our gorgeous cars all over the country is wonderful. And I now know there is a suburb of Adelaide called Paradise!
There are drawbacks though, of course. One of the drawbacks of being an online business is that we don't get to meet our customers face-to-face. You rarely get to talk to your crew, and in many ways it makes customer service harder. It's like a long distance relationship, and we know how hard they are!
We work hard on our customer service at Lucas loves cars. I always say that I want people to love us as much as I love us! That can only happen if your customer service makes people feel special.
So here are my 5 tips to ensure you maintain great customer service. (It works for online and face-to-face services.)
It's so important that people know what is happening with their query, order or issue. If a customer has contacted you, to buy a product or to ask a question, it's important that you respond quickly and clearly. If you don't know the answer that's fine, send a response saying that you have received their query, and you don't know the answer but you will get back to them. There’s nothing worse than wondering if your email has ended up in the spam folder!
When someone goes through the process to make an order with you they have trusted you with their business and are now waiting on their goods. Let them know you have received the order, and then also when you have shipped the order. Don't you hate it when you have made an order and don't get any confirmation? Did I make it? Should I do it again? Make these emails easy to read and make sure they have all the information they need – the products, the price and the address for delivery at a minimum.
Love your site, and look forward to further shopping!! Kind Regards, Sue.
Respect the product and respect the customer. I find this one word drives my customer service levels in a lot of small ways. It's a simple life lesson that my son is learning ... 'Treat others how you would like to be treated'.
You respect the customer by not sending emails every day asking them to buy buy buy! No one wants to receive these emails, and you will find that your mailing list will get smaller FAST.
Respect the product – the images and descriptions you use to display them on your site. Remember, the client cannot touch and feel them, so you have to be their eyes and ears. Ensure the packaging is such that the product will arrive in the same condition it left you. People are more likely to come back, and you will have fewer issues, if you take care with delivery.
I just want to say thank you so much for the melamine set and the working wheels Compartment tray. They are really lovely, I am thrilled with them and the way they were packaged is a Credit to you. Can't wait to serve up a little snack for my 2 year old grandson, along with a drink In his new cup. Thanks again Joan
The obvious point here is speed of delivery. And, although that is important when people are buying from your online store, I'm talking about the speed at which you deal with an issue. Things go wrong, and as hard as we try, it's human nature that we are not perfect. Any time someone contacts you with an issue, the faster you get to it and resolve it the better.
Having an issue doesn't mean you are bad at customer service. Ignoring the issue is bad customer service. You can turn a customer's experience around completely just by the way you address an issue they raise. The longer you wait to address something, the harder it is to change the customer’s opinion of you.
Money transferred Saturday, order processed Monday and I received it Tuesday morning! WOW! That's customer service! Can't ask for more than that.
And.....the packing was perfect...it could have been fine china and it wouldn't have broken! Thank You, Kate
Don't have issues! AKA Quality
It is impossible to never have issues, but it's important to continue to aim for perfection. We stock quality products because we want them to last. We want the kids to love them for years. It's not just our products that speak quality. We work hard to have quality service too. From the information on the website, to the address on the label. It's important that things are correct. It sounds trivial but when you are sending multiple orders per day, it's important that you send the right product in the right box, to the right person! Double check the work as it happens and you will have less issues to deal with later.
Everything we have ordered from your fabulous business in the past has always been a hit. Other mums often ask me 'oh where did you find that?' Especially when it is a birthday gift....i always tell them about Lucas loves cars!
Hope you are having a lovely day. Louise
Say sorry with no excuses.
On the rare occasion that something does go wrong, it is sometimes easy to fall into making excuses. 'Sorry that happened, we were busy.' Your customer does not want to hear why something went wrong. They also don't want to hear 'this doesn't usually happen, or this is unusual.'
Say Sorry then let your customer know how you plan to fix it. This one interaction with the customer may be the only one you have with them, and if something has gone awry they don't care if all the other orders went out correctly. Their only interest is their order, so you need to focus on the resolution and how you correct the issue that has occurred.
These values - Quality, Communication and Respect - are the same for good customer service in any industry. Think of a restaurant you have been to recently that you thought had good service, or a fashion store or a mechanic. Think of any business that you think of as having good customer service. Are they doing these things right? I bet they are.
The idea is to make the customer feel like they are cared for. The easiest way to do that is to actually care about them and their experience. xo
Do you have any stories of bad customer service that you have experienced? Or maybe we have forgotten something you think is important for good customer service. Let us know.