Many of us prefer to shop online. There are no crowds; it's convenient, quick, saves precious fuel, and there are virtually no time limits as to when we must shop. There's naturally tons of competition if you're a business, so finding a way to stand out from the crowd is going to be a solid determinant of your future success. Taking into consideration and assuming your web site is attractive, easy to navigate and your prices are competitive, customer service practices and that all so sought after personal touch is what can set you apart from the e-commerce crowd.
An e-commerce business must process sales quickly, and make it easy for customers to contact you. If you use a standard acknowledgment of order response, make sure you follow-up with an actual detailed phone call or email. Personalized responses are the best, and I can attest to the positive feelings I had about an online contact lens company sending me an email when I recently had problems filling an order. A representative went above and beyond and managed to find an optometrist in my area to meet my needs. That unexpected response from the customer service agent on an online store made a profound and positive impression on me.
Why not follow-up on customers who don't make purchases online? Why do some people abandon online shopping carts? If a company sends out a positive email and thanks the customer for visiting the site, there is then an opportunity to gather some customer feedback. Did the shopper have some technical problem completing their offer and therefore just abandoned the shopping cart? Did the customer get distracted by someone or something and forgot to finish the order? Here's an opportunity to converse with the customer, find out the problem, and turn the situation into a sale and new loyal customer.
It still is all about the personal touch to help customers and clients feel connected and appreciated by your business. One of the most impressive e-commerce experiences I ever had was a hand written note in the shipment box I received when I recently ordered some signs for my real estate business. It showed the personal and human connection.
Lastly, I would never discount the customer service opportunities on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. E commerce businesses have the opportunities to engage in dialogue and reach your audience with that personal touch. We may be in the 21st century, but we still want to count as individuals.