The way you interact with your customers will influence everything about how your business grows. The way you answer questions and resolve issues, the way you communicate on social media, and the content that you produce are all ways you can control how the public perceives your brand.
And it’s not just brand awareness you need to think about, either. Customers who have a good experience with your staff or content are far more likely to refer their friends and family to you.
Which, of course, generates more revenue for your business. Gotta love that.
But your brand behavior goes even further. It’s the way that you retain your hard-earned customers.
If a customer runs into a problem, do they get the help they need?
When they have a question, do you respond quickly?
Prompt and friendly customer support, whether in a live chat, on social media, or in a quick email response, is the way to firmly establish your brand in your customers’ hearts. Your job is to harness the tools you have available to build a lasting relationship with your target audience.
Here are a few of our customer outreach tools that eCommerce businesses can use to enhance their customer experience.
Emails and Newsletters
You know, sometimes it’s the older, tried and true methods that still work best. Email marketing is an example of that. Sixty-six percent of consumers still prefer to use email when communicating with retail brands.
Build email marketing campaigns that engage, educate, and sell your customers on who you are. The easiest way to set up email campaigns is through a good email marketing software.
Expert Tip: For smaller businesses, the temptation to keep things ‘simple’ often leads them to overlook paid email marketing software. It seems simple now but trust us — the more your audience grows, the harder it will be to keep track of your campaigns manually.
MailChimp is probably the most popular email marketing and automation platform out there. You can create hundreds of separate email campaigns, each targeting different segmented lists of customers. It offers data reports so you can figure out which emails provide the best ROI. MailChimp even provides dozens of premade templates to make your life easier.
The popularity of MailChimp means that it can integrate with pretty much anything, including Shopify, WooCommerce, and many more.
If your email marketing needs are growing fast but you’re not really sure how to work them out, ActiveCampaign is a great choice. ActiveCampaign features its own CRM to handle leads and allows you to build segmented email lists with dedicated campaigns for each.
Companies who are willing to invest in marketing platforms, but have a minimal budget will be impressed by the quality and affordability of GetResponse. This email marketing platform offers a free trial that allows you to test all its features. Extensive integration with third-party tools makes it one of the most comprehensive services in the market.
It’s worth noting that GetResponse features hundreds of mobile-optimized email templates and a support department known for delivering outstanding customer service.
Social Media Management and Automation
Social media is one of the best places to hook new customers and engage with fans. Use social media to announce new products and distribute videos, images, and other content. Work on building up your ‘social proof’ by encouraging reviews, testimonials, and shares.
Running a social media campaign can quickly become a full-time job and then some. To simplify and save time, choose a social media management tool. Here are our top picks:
Arguably the most popular social media management and engagement tool available, Hootsuite offers a robust set of features to help eCommerce marketers stay on top of their campaigns. Use this social management tool can help you manage Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
Schedule posts across multiple platforms in one click, collaborate with other team members in real time, and review HootSuite’s analytics tools to help you refine your messaging. Check out their free version — you can always upgrade to one of their tiered packages later if you need to.
Buffer offers your standard social media management tools. One of Buffer’s best features is the browser extension, which allows you to share webpages as you surf online. This makes it easy to keep your queue topped up with relevant content. What’s more, Buffer’s free image creator also helps you create beautiful graphics to make your posts pop.
There’s also an exhaustive set of analytics tools which generate reports you can export for further analysis. One big drawback with Buffer is that it does not offer the ability to monitor mentions, hashtags, and other points of contact with customers, so keep that in mind.
Like our other social tools, SocialOomph helps companies schedule posts and manage multiple channels through a single platform. It has a user-friendly interface and some extra handy features; keyword tracking, automated RSS feeds, and a URL shortener.
SocialOomph is a great alternative for companies that identify Tumblr as a primary source of leads. It also links to Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and, of course, Facebook.
Customer Service Live Chat and Communications Integration
If you’re in eCommerce, you need to be intentional about creating meaningful communication with your customers. After all, it’s not like someone can just walk into one of your stores and snag an employee. So, make your customer service team available and easy to contact.
This means that you need to be visible for customers in all phases of their buying journey. A first-time visitor may have questions on your product or want to ask whether you ship out of the continental US. Existing customers may have an issue with their transaction.
Ideally, you’ll have all forms of customer interaction converge in a single software from which your team can answer anything and everything. This will prevent customer questions from falling through any cracks and save your team a lot of time.
Here are a few of our favorite customer service communication tools.
Zendesk offers a full suite of customer service features that can be accessed via email, social, telephone, or live chat. The company also provides a self-service portal to allow consumers to solve common issues on their own without being forced to wait for an agent.
This software relies on an easy-to-use interface while still delivering top-notch assistance, making it attractive for both businesses and consumers alike. Integrate with multiple platforms for maximum functionality.
Companies looking to implement an efficient and easy-to-manage customer chat and help desk solution should consider HappyFox. It offers live chat, a ticketing system for issues, and logs data so that you can evaluate ways to improve the customer service experience.
Olark provides a customer-centric help desk using automated chats to jumpstart customer interactions. Olark can be integrated into analytics platforms so you can optimize the experience. It’s also compatible with major eCommerce platforms like Shopify. Easy integration with MailChimp make it one of the most versatile support chat management tools a company can use.
Let’s Make it Happen
Looking for an integration to your current CRM and POS that doesn’t seem to exist? Flowlink specializes in creating integrations for eCommerce businesses exactly like yours. All you need to do is ask.
Need help revitalizing or building your eCommerce platform so you can take advantage of all these tips? Our team at Mammoth Factory is happy to help with that. Contact us for more sage advice on how to use Shopify Plus, FlowLink, Slack, and more, so that you can simplify your workflow and spend more time on the things that got you excited about eCommerce in the first place.