If you think offering your customers a wide range of jaw-dropping world-class products is the key to growing your business, you’re just left of the mark. Product development is important, but, according to Forrester (one of the foremost research firms in the world), excellent customer service trumps a fantastic product any day. Based on a study by Forrester, 91 percent of customers drop an online transaction because of a bad customer service experience.

 

So what should you do as an e-preneur? Impress your customers with your service. Here are ten useful tips on how to do exactly that.

 

1. Know your customers

While building your customer database, take note of your clients’ habits, needs, and interests. This way, you’ll be able to anticipate their expectations of, and questions about, your company’s products and services. Short of becoming a professional stalker, get into your customers’ heads and shoes through their subscription profiles. This will make it easier for you to customize how you deal with your clientele. And if you can think ahead to what your customers want, you can solve problems even before they happen.

 

2. Be available to their queries

We’re not saying you should drop your life and be at your customers’ beck and call 24/7. But make it a big part of your e-commerce effort to reply to your customers’ messages and questions at least within a day of receiving them. Customers love it–and with good reason–when they feel that merchants are paying attention to them.

 

3. Make your website a breeze to navigate

Keep things simple and easy for your customers when they’re on your site. Having to click on so many options before they can check out their cart might cause them to actually abandon it altogether. Remember that you are dealing with the customer of the 21st century–they have the Internet constantly at their fingertips and can easily click out of your store and into another one if you make their experience in your site complicated. Make their shopping experience on your site as effortless as possible.

Included in this one is making sure that any videos and images you upload onto your site can easily load when your customers click on them. Immediately discard a video if, upon testing, it buffers for two minutes every time.

TackThis can do all this for you, and more. Because TackThis stores are designed to make it easy for non-techie entrepreneurs to navigate, all options for your customers are direct and up-front. A team of Store Creation Specialists are on standby to help with any glitches your visitors may encounter.

 

4. Follow through on your promises

If you announced that subscribers get a 10-percent discount for the whole month, don’t end the promo 10 days before the end of the month because your customers didn’t respond as well as you thought they would. To make it easier, commit to smaller steps: a 5-percent discount coupon for the first 5 customers who share your link on their social network; a freebie with purchases for the first 10 who post a selfie using any of your products. Always deliver.

 

5. Be personal and funny (but don’t invade personal space)

Some months ago, a post on Groupon’s site about a banana case on their inventory went viral because of the wit of the person replying to Groupon’s customers’ questions about the product. Be that person when you reply to your customers. Never begin your messages with “Dear Valued Customer.” Use your customers’ first names.

 

6. Go above and beyond

Customers are definitely impressed with 100 percent service–when merchants go the extra mile just to deliver the best shopping experience to their clients. For example, if you don’t carry a product with a specific feature, but know someone who does, you can blow the customer’s mind by referring them to the right website. Goodwill goes a long way.

 

7. Communicate with your customers on social media

The immediacy of social media is what makes it so popular. Take advantage of this. To support your online store, set up accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, at least. And keep track of your notifications. A customer already on Facebook, for example, will find it so convenient to chat with her friends and with her favorite supplier in just one place.

 

8. Provide an option for online chat

Dealing with your customers in real time gives you an invaluable edge over other companies who prefer to reply to their clients’ queries via email. This will also show your customers that there’s a real person behind your brand–and they will like it.

 

9. Use the tools that are available to you

Your website is an important tool for telling your customers about your brand and your products. But if you prefer a more direct tool, send out an e-newsletter to your subscribers regularly. Fatten up the newsletter with promo announcements plus fresh news and trends in your industry. Do research on what else you can use to reach out to your customers.

 

10. Have transaction transparency

While they’re navigating your site and filling up their shopping cart, have everything up-front. Do away with any fine-print conditions for sales because practically no one reads the fine print anyway. Explain in simple terms how, for example, your promo will reflect on their purchases. This will help your customers trust that you’re not scamming them; and because of this, they will keep coming back. Hand-in-hand with this, TackThis’ concierge services consolidates payment options. It also helps coordinate delivery, with tools running real time to make it easier to track orders.