Best practices for ecommerce customer service

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Good customer service is essential for growing your dropshipping business. It might easily become overlooked when thinking of your ecommerce website design, branding, and advertising. However, online customers need to know they can contact a company when making a purchase, especially if it is a company they don't know very well.

What is ecommerce customer service?

As a customer shopping on a website, you may encounter difficulties. Perhaps there is confusion about a product or a query regarding shipping or payment.

Before placing an order, during the payment process, or after the product is received, customers might have issues at any stage of the sales funnel. To offer assistance, encourage a sale, or deal with a dissatisfied customer, it is vital to have customer service available as a retailer online.

Best practices for ecommerce customer service

1. Be prompt with attending to queries and complaints

Several countries across the world appreciate quick responses when contacting customer service.

An article by Ecommerce News in 2021 reports that 83% of consumers expect to be in touch with a representative after their first attempt. The British especially, with 28% expecting a tweet back within five minutes.

Leaving customers hanging for days or weeks without handling their queries means bad business. An American Express study found that US shoppers share their poor customer service experience with an average of 15 people.

2. Use a professional and courteous tone

While it might be obvious to some, it is worth mentioning - the tone of a response to a customer service query is just as important as the speed of the reply.

It's tempting to cut the pleasantries and get straight to the point but offering an abrupt response can aggravate customers leaving them less than impressed with their overall shopping experience.

Salesforce Research, "State of the Connected Customer: 4th Edition," supports this with 89% of survey respondents agreeing that they are more likely to make another purchase after a positive customer service experience.

3. Be present on all the channels customers expect

Customers expect to be able to contact support through all of these channels:

  • Email/contact form
  • AI-powered chatbots
  • Live chat with a human customer agent
  • Phone
  • WhatsApp
  • Social media
  • Text
  • A study by Zendesk "CX Trends 2022," gathered data from almost 97,500 Zendesk global customers to find these trends:

  • Overall email and web forms are the most popular ways to contact customer service, increasing by 10% from 2021.
  • Online chat is the second-most used method of submitting queries to companies by customers.
  • WhatsApp has seen a rise of 370% more consumers using it to interact with brands.
  • The phone is the third-most-popular communication with brands, increasing by 24% from 2021.
  • However, even with the increased use of chatbots, the level of satisfaction with the solutions provided has declined over the years, says "The State of Customer Experience," by Genesys in 2021. Only 25% of customers questioned said they were highly satisfied with chatbots.

    4. Speak their language

    Assisting customers in their native language is preferred.

    A survey conducted by CSA Research, 2020, questioned 8,709 consumers across 29 countries and found that 76% were more likely to purchase with the same seller if customer care is in their mother tongue.

    5. Offer self-service

    Self-service is becoming more popular as a way for customers to get the answers they need.

    Research from the 2021 Achieving Customer Amazement Study by Steph Hyken, indicates that 41% of online customers are referring to FAQ pages, chatbots and video tutorials for help. For ecommerce stores, this percentage is higher.

    These self-service options are going to increase as technology improves. Artificial intelligence is making chatbots more sophisticated. A whitepaper from Sales Supply "Customer Care 2022," cites these as the future of customer service.

    6. Ask for feedback

    Good customer service involves being proactive.

    Send customers a survey to ask for feedback on their shopping experience. This information is invaluable for improving your ecommerce store and finding out what your customers want.

    7. Be aware of cultural differences

    What consumers expect as part of good customer service varies from country to country. Doing research is recommended to know the preferred method and style of communication in the country you will be dropshipping.


    In the UK, 55% of consumers want brands to be more honest, consider their personal values (77%) and show empathy (61%) throughout customer care interactions (Freshworks, 2021).

    The most popular way to contact British consumers is by phone, with 58% saying this is how they prefer to talk to customer services. Email is the second-favourite option, followed by online chat (Eptica, 2020).


    According to Microsoft's study "Global State of Customer Service" in 2020, 90% of Americans consider customer service when choosing which businesses to buy from.

    A paper from Qualtrics XM institute, 2020, also found that 94% of US customers will recommend a brand to others if they evaluated the customer service as "very good."


    French consumers favour talking to customer service by telephone, followed by email. As many as 21% said chatbots were their preferred way to deal with a brand, says Statista, 2020.

    The same survey found that the French value speed and friendliness: 46% want a quick response to their query with a good solution, 40% appreciate courteous and helpful customer service agents, and 29% want to be kept informed during each stage of the submitted query.


    Typically, Swedes care the most about the professionalism of a company and its after-sales service, according to eCommerceDB, 2021.

    A study by Santander, 2021 found that Swedish customers will research a brand before making a purchase, often contacting a company first with questions. Well-trained customer service agents for these pre-sales queries are a must.


    Santander's report, 2021, "Poland: Reaching The Consumer," discovered that Polish customers also favour phone calls with customer care agents as emails take too long. However, live chat, chatbots, and social media are being used more as efficient ways to receive help with a query.

    The same report found that Polish people are prepared to spend more money with a retailer if they provide better customer service. They mention that the service they receive during and after a sale is important so being attentive is paramount.

    Related articles:

  • Customer surveys: improve your ecommerce store with feedback from your target market
  • How to provide a personalised customer experience in ecommerce
  • Global statistics to convince you to create a start-up (2022)
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