Even though dropshipping is a part of eCommerce, it has its own specifics that affect how customer service should be handled. Dropshipping is when you run an online store even though you don’t have any stock. You sell products from other companies that will be shipped by the companies that make or sell them.
It might seem easy and simple, like there are no logistics to worry about. True, but since your business is the one that customers deal with, if something goes wrong, they will come to you with claims and complaints.
Due to the nature of dropshipping, there are certain customer service techniques that you should pay attention to if you want to have a high rate of happy customers.
Best Customer Service Tips for Dropshipping
Poor customer service can cost you a lot more than the refunds and compensation you may have to pay out. It could also hurt the image and reputation of your brand because, according to statistics, a customer who has a bad experience tells twice as many people about it as a customer who has a good experience.
Since you have no control over how your products are made or shipped, it is very important that your online store has great customer service. Service quality could be the deciding factor in whether or not a customer stays loyal to a company. Eighty percent of customers say that service is just as important as the product the company sells.
Try to use the following best practices in your dropshipping business to make sure customers have good experiences.
Use CRM software that works well
One of the most important ideas in customer service is Customer Relationship Management, or CRM. Most customer-facing tasks, like marketing, customer database maintenance, data collection, support, and feedback collection, can be done through CRM software today. This makes CRM more efficient.
A good CRM platform not only lets you manage and analyze data in powerful ways, but also lets your customers reach out to you when they need help or support. In a dropshipping business, the way customers can talk to you is often the most important thing.
Implement Multi-channel Communication
It’s important to give customers the chance to get in touch with you right away in a way that works for them. Even more important is to make sure that their question is handled and answered as soon as possible. 46% of customers expect to hear back from you within four hours, so it’s best to set up your communication so that you can answer and solve problems quickly.
For the best service, offer more than one way to contact you. Make a separate email address for customers and put it on your website and in all of your newsletters and announcements. Integration of this email into your CRM so that support tickets can be made from customer emails is a good idea. Many marketers go to email marketing conferences, like MailCon, to learn more about how to use best practices for email marketing in multi-channel communication.
Also, keep the phone lines open with a toll-free number so that customers can talk to real people. Even though most customers would rather text than call, many still prefer to talk to “real people.” In this case, it’s important to choose a reliable phone service so that communication with customers is always easy and effective.
Last but not least, you might want to think about adding live chat to your CRM platform. A good chat app can give customers the speed of communication they want while also letting them use features that will help them solve their problem, like sharing links and files and uploading images.
Add a “Frequently Asked Questions” page to your website.
Set up a good FAQ page to answer questions that your customers might ask you often. In an eCommerce business, these usually have to do with delivery and shipping conditions, return and refund policies, billing and claims, and return and refund procedures.
In dropshipping, almost all of your customers will want to know which delivery service you use, if delivery is free, how long it takes, how and when they can return a product, and how they will get a refund.
Format all of this information as questions and answers to make it easy to find what you need. Make your answers as simple and clear as you can, and try to give as much information as you can about each subject. Also, don’t forget to update your FAQs if there are any changes to your terms or conditions.
If your FAQ page is easy to find, it may make your customer service team’s job easier because customers will be able to answer many common questions on their own.
- Make it easy for customers all the way through their journey.
- The ease and convenience of your eCommerce site have a big impact on customer satisfaction and loyalty. 74% of customers will think about switching to a different brand if their experience is too hard and inconvenient.
- With so many online stores out there now, customers won’t waste time trying to figure out a website that isn’t easy to use. They’ll just close the page and look at something else.
Make sure the user journey you make is as smooth and clear as possible to keep customers from leaving. Before you open your web store, make sure it works by answering the following questions: Is it easy to search for products? Is all of the information there? Is the checkout process easy to understand and safe?
Even if you’re happy with how your site works, keep an eye on what your customers do when they visit. This kind of monitoring will help you figure out where people tend to leave your website and where they might need help. Based on these observations, you can strategically place live chat prompts to help visitors as they look around and set up triggered messages, such as reminders for carts that have been left behind.
Keep detailed descriptions of your products.
Out of all the returns in online sales, 22% are because “the product looks different.” It means there’s nothing wrong with the quality of the product and the customer was happy with the web store and delivery, but what they got was not what they bought.
Make sure that your product descriptions are as accurate and up to date as possible to cut down on these returns. Give as many details as you can about the product to give the most complete picture possible. Add good photos that show the item off and show it from different angles.
By giving a thorough description and clear pictures, you give the customer more confidence that they are about to buy what they need. In this case, there is less chance that the purchase will be returned. Make sure to update the description as soon as possible if something is out of stock or if the product’s features have changed in a big way.
Handle customer problems in a proactive way.
In dropshipping, it’s important to solve problems quickly, which means you need to be in constant contact with your customers, vendors, and delivery services. Even if you don’t handle the inventory or make the delivery, it’s your job to make sure everything goes smoothly and solve any problems that come up.
If the product you ordered is out of stock, for example, try to find it from another vendor. If you can’t find the product, get in touch with the customer as soon as possible and, if possible, in person. Of course, it’s best to avoid these situations altogether by keeping the product catalog up-to-date, but if that’s not possible, keep in touch by phone or through a messenger app.
If the customer’s order is late, get in touch with the vendor to find out why and how long it will take to get the order to the customer. Get in touch with the customer right away and give them this information. Even though you can’t make the process go faster, you might still be able to keep the customer’s trust.
When you do dropshipping, you will also get some returns. There could be many reasons for this, but you still need to deal with it if you want to keep the customer. First, you need to make sure that your return policy is the same as that of your vendor. At the end of the day, it’s the vendor who will take back the item and give you a new one.
If a customer wants to return something, find out why and tell the vendor. No matter what the reason is, you should always act quickly and in a proactive way to keep the customer’s trust.
Keep in touch with customers and look at their feedback
After every sale, ask the customer what they thought. If everything went well, ask them about their experience to show that you care about what they think and to find any small problems you hadn’t noticed before. If there were any problems, the customer’s feedback could help you figure out how to stop them from happening again.
There are different ways to ask for feedback. Ask the customer to rate or write a review about their experience. But don’t ask for feedback by phone or instant message. These ways of getting in touch are more intrusive and can put pressure on the customer. Send them an email instead, so they can answer when it’s convenient for them.
When you do dropshipping, customer service is one of the things that will help you succeed. As the middleman between customers and vendors, you help with sales and purchases, give customers great experiences, and help them enjoy the products in the end.
Since there is no stock and no way to deliver, the best customer service is the best way to get a high conversion rate. So use our tips to really make it stand out!