Top 7 Marketplace Customer Service Practices to Grow Your Business
Your marketplace customer service delivery can make or break your business. Learn the best practices to grow your brand.
No matter which platform you are utilising for your online retail business, good marketplace customer service is essential. Offering 24×7 customer support can boost your sales considerably. It can also generate a sense of loyalty and bring positive feedback to your business.
What Makes Marketplace Customer Service So Important?
The reason customer service is so critical is due to the fact that customer acquisition costs seven times more than customer retention. So its important to hold on to as many existing customers as possible.
If you don’t offer effective customer service in marketplaces, buyers will go to your competitors instead. According to Zendesk, 81% of consumers say that a positive customer service experience increases the chances of them buying from the same business again. In contrast, 76% would switch to another brand after a bad experience.
Providing excellent marketplace customer service not only increases sales and profits but also helps companies save on costs.
Response Times are Critical
Hubspot states that 90% of customers rate an immediate response as essential when they have a customer service enquiry, with 60% defining “immediate” as 10 minutes or less. The reality is that customers spend an average of 7.2 hours waiting for customer service representatives to reply, with issues taking over a week to resolve. Adding insult to injury, many online businesses don’t even respond at all to customer concerns.
Marketplaces also have quality-of-service criteria that sellers must meet. Among those standards is the merchant’s ability to answer enquiries and resolve issues promptly. If you fail to meet those criteria, your seller ranking may fall, with multiple infractions leading to store suspension.
Losing out on customers and potential sales adds up. Research indicates that poor customer service costs Australian businesses $101 billion annually. To avoid this situation, here are some ways to improve customer service in marketplaces.
7 Best Practices to Improve Your Marketplace Customer Service
Providing fast customer service in marketplaces is just one part of satisfying consumer needs and staying competitive. Here are several tips for offering stellar customer support at your marketplace stores.
1. Be authentic in your marketplace customer service delivery
When dealing with customer concerns, it’s always best to show your brand’s authentic side. This means being honest about limitations and owning up to mistakes. Customers want brands to be more honest about these situations.
Handling complaints about delivery delays, incorrect products, and damaged goods is all part of managing a growing marketplace store. Sometimes, despite all your efforts, shipping, delivery, and warehouse management are out of your control. While these issues may be unavoidable, your marketplace customer service team needs to know how to handle them and best support your buyers.
Set realistic expectations. If it takes two more weeks for a restock, then be honest about it. When brands are honest about what they can and cannot do, customers are more likely to trust them even when things go wrong.
2. Use customer service tools, features, and practices
An essential component of a successful customer service department is organisation. You may have an established process and a motivated team, but without organisation, things fall apart.
Keeping track of conversations can be difficult when you manage multiple stores or handle hundreds of queries. Equipping your marketplace customer service team with tools that enable collaboration helps keep everyone on the same page. Think shared inboxes, customer service software, automated replies, response templates, and more.
Prioritisation is another item to implement. Not every customer ticket is an emergency, so representatives need to learn the difference between solving an urgent time-sensitive issue and an enquiry that can wait a few more minutes.
3. Automate what you can but keep a human touch
Despite the rise in AI and automation tools, a significant number of customers prefer to have human interactions when it comes to customer service. CSG’s State of the Customer Experience Report notes that 36% of consumers would prefer to wait for a human representative. So, while advances in technology are there for businesses to use, human customer service representatives are essential to resolve problems when needed.
4. Invest in customer support agent training
Your marketplace customer service is only as good as the training and resources your representatives receive. With 68% of consumers saying that businesses need to improve customer service delivery, investing in training programs and resources is a must.
Continuous development of customer service skills is worth the investment. Reps can empower themselves in addressing customer issues while impressing shoppers with their efficiency and ability in solving problems.
5. Ask for feedback
Today’s customers are more capable of making informed decisions. They want brands to listen, and they want to know other customers’ opinions about products and services.
On top of reviews being major factors in buying decisions, they’re also a great resource for customer experience improvement. So don’t be afraid to follow up and ask for feedback after interactions with your customer service team.
If your team wants to learn how to improve customer service in marketplaces, feedback surveys are a good starting point. Businesses get a more favorable view from 77% of consumers if they proactively seek and apply customer feedback. Feedback not only helps make customers feel heard and valued, but it also helps your team identify what went well and what needs improvement.
6. Measure, optimise, repeat
No customer service approach is set in stone. Businesses must be proactive in solving customers’ problems while improving processes based on data.
Evaluating your customer service in marketplaces involves tracking volume by platform and busiest hours plus following trending topics amongst your customers. When you have this data, you can refine your marketplace customer service approach by measuring and optimising results.
7. Anticipate online shopping peaks and staff for them
Forecasting how much support is required during high-volume seasons isn’t easy. However, it’s better to be prepared than to lose out on revenue. A Simplr study found brands that took longer than 24 hours to respond to customer enquiries missed out on up to $2 million per day during the holiday shopping season!
During busier times, you can tap into staffing solutions to add to your marketplace customer service teams when you need them.
Get Your Marketplace Customer Service Needs from Ozzca
When you need efficient customer service in marketplaces, look no further than Ozzca. We can help fill those support gaps, whether you need someone full-time or just looking for someone after hours, on weekends, or during holidays.
We offer cost-effective marketplace management solutions, from store setup and product optimisation to customer support and reputation management.
Get started by booking a consultation today!