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How Do Distributors Ensure Great Customer Service On Their Global E-Commerce Sites?

The best global e-commerce sites are those that provide a great customer experience by being accurate, engaging and easy to navigate.

Customer experience is becoming an integral part of a successful e-commerce site as people increasingly rely on the Internet to make purchases. According to a post on the BizReport website, at $1.3 trillion, e-commerce now represents a little more than 5 percent of global sales.

An article on the Forbes website points out that, with global e-commerce, it’s important to be accessible to customers worldwide. People find currencies from different countries confusing; businesses should be sure their websites advertise prices according to the local currency and ask for payment in a way that’s familiar to their customers. In other words, tailor your website to the country or region in which your online customers reside.

Shipping costs also must be spelled out on your global e-commerce site. Your e-commerce system should be able to automatically calculate shipping charges, and make sure customers know up front what those are. You don’t want to surprise someone with a shipping charge after they’ve already placed an order. Distributors also must clearly define the company’s return policy and make it easy to return products on their websites.

The latter point speaks to the importance of being respectful to customers. With e-commerce, clients can often see how you treat other customers through such platforms as message boards. It’s important to be respectful and polite even if you’re upset by a negative post. Keep in touch with customers by being active on social media and responding to comments in a positive way, and by sending emails notifying them of special offers and linking back to your website. This shows that your company is involved and cares about its customers.

Keeping customers informed goes a long way toward keeping them happy. Give them an answer before they even ask a question. Notify them when an order ships. Proactive communication is a vital element of good customer service.

Similarly, it should be easy for customers to navigate your site and find what they want. There are free and low-cost site search tools, such as Google Site Search, that allow customers to easily find products on your e-commerce portal. This is especially important if you have a large number of products or product categories.

Customers should always be able to find the cart and order buttons, especially on mobile platforms. Sometimes in the mobile environment, those buttons are hidden because a website is not mobile ready. But making sure the site works well on all platforms is critical. Customers aren’t going to stick around your website if they’re unable to look up information about their order or even place one.

Automated order processing can also improve the customer experience. An automated order processing system can help you anticipate the needs of the customer, providing them with automated order confirmation and notifications about the status of their order.

Finally, it’s important to be reachable. There are a lot of sites that don’t provide a phone number, so customers can’t even call. What kind of customer service is that? Great customer service centers on being reachable by multiple methods, such as phone, email and social media. It’s also important to give a timely response when a customer makes contact.

The key to great customer service with global e-commerce is being open and accessible to clients. Provide them with accurate information, give it to them automatically or make it easy to find, and ensure that they can reach you if they need to. It’s a matter of engaging with the customer in every way possible so that they’re satisfied and come back again.

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