eCommerce Customer Service Best Practices

Maria Spanicciati

Senior Content Marketing Manager, Gladly

Read Time

5 minute read

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ECommerce brands have the advantage of selling straight to consumers while bypassing expensive overhead costs and the logistical stress of running a physical storefront. What’s more, they’re ready to capitalize on digital retail’s explosive growth over the past few years.

But pursuing a digital-first business model has its challenges.

Consumers still crave the personal, human support they can get at a checkout counter or help desk, even when shopping for products online. And with expectations for online support higher than ever before, your brand needs to provide exceptional service, even at a distance.

Whether you have years of experience in eCommerce customer support or you’re just starting to assemble your service team, these best practices set your service heroes up for success—and allow you to easily scale your team for future growth.

Start with thorough documentation

Before you build out the rest of your support systems, you’ll need to make sure you have clear, thorough, and internally consistent documentation.

Comprehensive self-service knowledge bases make it easy for your customers to find the answers they need quickly and reliably. Knowledge bases can also smooth the online shopping process and streamline your agents’ workload.

Your team also needs a clear set of processes and procedures to follow, including live chat scripts for common questions and concerns. Clear, thorough documentation lets your agents provide support in a knowledgeable, timely, and consistent manner.

The right tech support also makes the process of documentation easier. Keeping all documentation in an integrated knowledge base ensures that your customers always get consistent, accurate answers, no matter where—or who—they’re turning for support.

Policies need to be clear

Few things are more frustrating than dealing with unclear retail policies, especially when you need help regarding an item you’ve purchased.

If your brand offers delivery, your shipping and delivery policies need to be easily understood and accessible, so customers know how long they can expect to wait before placing their order.

Brands that sell and deliver merchandise will also need to think about returns. While your specific return policies depend on the nature of your business, customers deserve straightforward, uncomplicated access to all of these policies before they purchase.

If you sell clothes, make sure your sizing is detailed

As an eCommerce clothing brand, you can’t offer your customers the luxury of an in-person fitting room—but you want your customers to be confident that they’re selecting items that will fit them well.

When it comes to a product’s sizing information, put extra thought into describing the fit of your clothing. Does an item run large? Do pants have a high or low rise? Does the fabric have stretch or is it a rugged, break-it-in kind of material?

When done right, carefully crafted product descriptions help differentiate your brand from your competitors. Not only do they help your customers feel good about what they’re buying, but they’ll feel better about their relationship with you as a brand.

Live chat support is essential

For complex questions about a product, nothing beats direct support from a knowledgeable agent. Your service heroes should be quickly accessible and ready to help via web chat, so customers who can’t find the information they need on your site can get answers right away.

For businesses who want to step up their customer service, consider integrated support for newer channels like texting and social media messaging. More and more, shopping is happening on mobile devices, and as a result, customers want to reach agents there as well.

Find a platform that puts people first

Legacy ticket-and-case-based systems silo interaction into their own impersonal support ticket, making it hard for your agents to know your shoppers as people.

But customers still want a human touch, even at a distance, and your agents need the right tech support to build relationships with them. Gladly’s all-in-one customer service platform sorts interactions by customer rather than ticket, bringing all support conversations into a single, lifelong conversation.

With instant access to a customer’s personal information, purchasing history, and previous interactions, your service heroes get the tools they need to put people first and build lasting relationships with your customers.

Radically personal eCommerce customer support

Gladly makes it easy to offer exceptional customer experiences. To find out how our radically personal, easy-to-use customer service platform can help your team offer fast, effective, human eCommerce customer support, contact us today or request a copy of our demo.