Friday, 21 September 2012

Why the customer is always right...well sort of

When running an online store, what your customers think is incredibly important for a number of reasons, the biggest being that if they aren't happy they won't buy and your business won't succeed. While the key to business success is sales, you should make sure that you use your customers feedback and opinions to enhance your performance, whether they are good or bad views.

So how do you regularly use customers views and opinions to improve the running of your ecommerce store?

Customer Feedback Surveys - When a customer makes a purchase you shouldn't just end your interaction once the transaction is complete. As you have their contact details on file, send them an email containing a customer feedback survey, asking them how they found all parts of your service from the product itself, to the ease of accessibility around your store and the entire delivery process. Gaining feedback on these parts allows you to see what your business is doing well and what you need to improve on.

Detailed Seller Rating - If you run an eBay store, you are going to be well aware of the impact your detailed seller rating will have on your store's sales. While you will receive one or two low detailed seller ratings, because sooner or later everyone does, it is important to make use of these negative comments to improve that particular aspect of your business and ensure you don't receive any more for the same reason.

Product Reviews - While these reviews aren't a view of your ecommerce store as whole, they are what your customers will use when deciding whether to purchase a particular product. You should regularly check your products to see what people are saying about them. If you find that your one of your products has received a number of poor reviews, you may have to think about removing that product entirely from your store as them more bad reviews it receives, the more it will start to affect the overall image of your store.

Social Media Comments - Although you don't want to leave numerous negative images on your social media accounts as they will effect your public image, they allow you to receive feedback from people who may have intended to purchase from your store but then decided against it for a particular reason. This feedback is incredibly important in helping your business grow by allowing you to make improvements that will help bring in more sales. When looking at these messages you need to have the mind set that all feedback whether good or bad, helps your business take a positive step forward. Even though it may be your own business that you've spent a lot of time and money building up, you don't want to get offended by negative comments people have to say. The last thing you want to do is get in a public argument for everyone to see. Simply read the comments, take their views on board and if they are valid criticisms, make the changes to help bring in future sales.

You should also openly encourage people to send you messages to your customer support email address and through your social media sites for you to answer. It may be a case that some people are hesitant to purchase from your store for a number of different issues, answering any questions they may have could help allay any concerns and encourage them to purchase from you.

As all feedback, whether good or bad, is a way to help improve your business, it means in one way or another the customer really is always right.

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