One reason shoppers sometimes forego ecommerce for traditional retail shops is because of the customer service experience.
But as ecommerce expands—96% of Americans now shop online—so too does the sophistication of customer service offerings.
If you’re starting an ecommerce site, or just building out yours to provide a better experience, customer service should be a huge consideration. You don’t want one-time customers, but rather buyers who keep coming back to your online store.
And nothing deters customers—or makes them run back to a brick-and-mortar store—more often than bad customer service.
When customers have questions, they want answers, and fast—or else they’ll simply take their business elsewhere. Getting it right is a learning curve, of course, but it’s best to start out on the right foot.
Here are the 6 best customer service tools for any ecommerce business.
If you’re going to run an ecommerce business, customers will expect you to provide a customer service system that won’t require they pick up the phone—that’s usually the reason they went shopping online in the first place.
Clickdesk is live-chat support software that does that.
In addition to live chat and integrated help desk services, Clickdesk also provides ecommerce businesses with browser-based video chat.
This means you and your customers don’t have to download anything to be able to access simple, straightforward video and voice chats whenever there’s a problem.
Clickdesk integrates into many online ecommerce hosting platforms, including the wildly popular Shopify. It also provides analytics so you can see exactly what’s helping your customers, and what isn’t.
Clickdesk is free for 10 users and 30 chats per month. After that, pricing starts at $14.99 per month.
Acquire is another excellent live-chat and video chat service that’s become popular among business owners.
Acquire is a brand trusted by many large corporations such as Uber, Upwork, Standard Bank, and Audi.
In addition to live chat, voice and video chat software (no downloading required), Acquire also allows you to screen share with your customers. That way, you can see exactly what issue they’re dealing with in real time.
Acquire is a great option for new businesses, as the free version allows for up to 250 customer profiles. After that, pricing starts at $25 per month for plans that include voice and video chat. You can also try it out free for 14 days.
As a business owner, you know how important it is to have the right tools on your side—and the more easily you can do everything in one place, the better.
Salesforce Commerce Cloud isn’t just a customer service tool. Some of the world’s best-known retail brands, including Callaway and Ethan Allen, use this platform to deliver a “seamless shopping experience across all channels.”
It can be used to do everything from launching new brand sites to gaining invaluable shopper insights to integrating into one of the best CRMs out there.
If you’re looking for an all-in-one platform to make sure you’re reaching your customers and delivering exactly what they want, this is the tool for you. You can currently try it out for free for 30 days.
In addition to live-chat features, you can consider going the extra mile by creating a community for your customers to encourage loyalty.
Get Satisfaction provides a simple means to integrate an online community into your customer base—one completely tailored to your needs and audience.
For example, the Coca-Cola Company uses Get Satisfaction for their community app, My Coke Rewards. Coca-Cola customers can take advantage of the community, from anywhere, to ask questions and share feedback.
Get Satisfaction’s product integrations are also robust. They’re compatible with programs like Salesforce, Hootsuite, Google Analytics, and many other digital marketing tools you might already be using.
Contact Get Satisfaction to get specific pricing information for your company’s needs.
Zendesk offers a family of products that make interacting with your customers a painless process.
It provides a fully integrated customer support platform, customizable help center, live-chat software, call-center software, analytics and reporting, and lots more.
This is also one of the most intuitive customer service tools out there—if you look, you’ll see many customers using Zendesk for their help FAQs.
Because everything that comes with Zendesk is housed in one management system, interacting with customers and pointing them towards positive experiences is as convenient for you as it is for them.
Zendesk starts at no-fee per month for basic knowledge base setup and analytics. Other plans start at $15 per agent per month, and you can also start a free trial before committing.
6. Facebook Messenger
Finally, it often pays to use a platform that your customers are already familiar with.
If you have a company Facebook page, you already have access to Facebook Messenger—win!
One of the best parts of using Facebook Messenger for ecommerce customer service is that it is entirely compatible with Shopify. Customers can receive automatic shipping updates through Messenger, and you can communicate with them directly.
You can even make product recommendations that they can buy directly in the app, driving more sales to your business.
Create a Great Customer Service Experience for Your Customers, and You’ll Be Rewarded
Customers have so many options for shopping—so give them an incentive to visit your business.
If you’re able to provide a personal touch, you’ll make an impression.
Customer service tools might be an upfront investment, but they’ll pay dividends in the end.
Meredith Wood is the Editor-in-Chief at Fundera, an online marketplace for small business loans that matches business owners with the best funding providers for their business. Specializing in financial advice for small business owners, Meredith is a current and past contributor to Yahoo!, Amex OPEN Forum, Fox Business, SCORE, AllBusiness and more.