How to stop customer complaints before they happen

Let’s face it: no matter how well you run your e-commerce business, you can’t please everybody.

While it’s nearly impossible to prevent 100 percent of customer complaints, there are a number of things you can do to greatly reduce the amount of misunderstandings and unsatisfied shoppers you deal with.

Here are a few tips on how to prevent customer complaints before they happen.

Communicate clearly with your customers

Miscommunication is a prime cause of customer complaints, so ensure you provide as much information as possible. This includes obvious details like prices and sizes, as well as delivery times, reviews, testimonials and your customer support hours.

Put yourself in the position of a person buying a Christmas present for a loved one. If they find the perfect product on your site and pay for it immediately, only to find out afterwards that increased holiday sales have delayed shipping times, they’ll likely complain.

E-commerce sites that don’t give that information upfront are creating a recipe for disaster. Apart from the initial headache of dealing with an upset buyer and a refund, there is the possibility of that person badmouthing your business to others—which could have a knock-on effect. Research has shown that it takes 12 positive customer experiences to make up for one negative one, so don’t underestimate the importance of keeping people happy.

Provide fast, personalized customer service

Another important aspect of communication is establishing clear and direct ways for your customers to contact you. In addition to listing your phone number and email address on your website, you should align your support hours to your customers’ needs. Larger businesses should also consider offering a live chat option.

Why? A late reply to a query—or worse, no reply at all—will have an adverse impact on the overall customer experience. Nothing is more frustrating to a customer than when they have a hard time reaching the person they’re trying to do business with. We have built the only customer support help desk for e-commerce that provides you with all the information you need to send fast, personalized responses in a couple of clicks.

No matter how great your support team is, if you’re selling internationally, your customers may not be getting the help they need if your agents don’t speak their language. That’s why our help desk software also has a built-in feature that auto-translates incoming messages into your preferred language so you can understand your customer’s query. Your response will then be translated into the customer’s language.

Strict quality control

If you can tell your customers exactly what to expect from you and follow through on those promises, you will eliminate the vast majority of customer complaints with those steps alone. Practice strict quality control of your goods and services and nobody will be able to fault your business.

Yes, this means ensuring your goods arrive in one piece, but it’s not all about the condition of your products: check that they are exactly as advertised; confirm that you are listing the correct colors and fabric of clothing, or technical specifications of electronics; make sure that your photos accurately depict what you’re selling.

According to several surveys, getting a new customer can be anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive than hanging on to a current one, so make sure you’re providing straightforward service and that your products are what the customer expects.

Take care of these three things—clear information, great customer service and strict quality control—and you will reap the benefits of happy customers who will keep coming back to you time and time again.

eDesk is the leading helpdesk for online sellers, purpose-built to address the precise demands of e-commerce. Sign up for a no-hassle, 14-day free trial right now and see for your yourself the difference it will make to your business.

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