I came across a list of 50 things every business should be doing in eCommerce Customer Service at the VirtualHosting.com blog. Christina Laun, the author, does a good job of putting together the list (which can be found here). There are a few things that I would add to her relatively comprehensive list:
51. Look for easy and scalable solutions. You will hear us say this a lot. Given our mission, it’s critical that we find solutions that are relatively easy and inexpensive to implement (in terms of dollars and resources) and solutions that do not require a complete retooling every time we copy and paste our ecommerce platform into a new vertical market.
52. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Examine what others have done. Very few internet retailers can afford to create or monetize bleeding edge technology. Don’t be too creative. Do what you know works based on the experience of others.
53. Look at your competition. Evaluate what industry leaders are doing in your market space. Certainly, you will want stay in the confines of your means and capabilities (see #51 and #52).
54. Take time to understand customer expectations and where you may fall short. Evaluate what you do poorly and focus on opportunities to improve where you fall furthest short of expectations. This goes beyond treating problems as opportunities. This means you are constantly looking for and recognizing a problem (especially chronic problems), taking a global view, and creating an easy and scalable solution.
I disagree with # 33 from Christina’s list, “Don’t pitch to unhappy customers”. I say sell to all customers. I don’t mean in the Glengarry Glen Ross, Always Be Closing kind of way. I mean let customers know that you’re serious about earning their business. If you have an unhappy customer, chances are that customer still has a need. Look for ways to fill that need in a way that is both satisfactory for the customer and profitable for your company.
Also, listings 51 through 54 don’t necessarily only appeal to the customer service department. These can be applied to every department in your organization.