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How to Optimize After-sales Service for eCommerce

Cillian McGillycuddy 10 November 2020 • eCommerce

Getting sales through your site is the first and most important obstacle. Having a product that appeals to customers, presenting the products in an appealing way, and creating an effective marketing strategy are the key pillars. However, you always need to be ready to handle product returns. Therefore, offering a quality after-sales service is just another marketing tool that can win you repeat purchases.

The conclusion of the online sale is not the end of your relationship with the customer. Quite the opposite, in fact, as it marks the beginning of a relationship that is measured by how you respond and satisfy any complaints made by the customer. After-sales service exists with the aim of guaranteeing positive contact between the buyer and the seller.

After-sales service is an additional cost for e-commerce companies, whether it be in the delivery of returns or product refunds. It impacts the brand perception of a retailer too, as unhappy customers may leave negative reviews following a poor experience.

So, how can you improve your after-sales service? What are the benefits you can get from it?


Develop a product returns management policy

Marketing your product returns is essential because it’s one of the most frequently used after-sales services. It allows you to establish a relationship of trust with your customers.

In order to make it as easy as possible for your customers, include a return form inside the packag. Thene your customer can easily rturn if they have a problem with the order. Your on-site return policy should be clear and available in all the languages of the countries where your website is delivered.

“In 2016, CNBC reported that retailers often have e-commerce returns as high as 30%, and clothing sites can see ecommerce return rates as high as 40%.” said Red Stag Fullfiment.

For the success of your online business, it’s essential to take into account a foolproof return policy.


Product return examples

  • The order box

The most convenient way for the customer to return the wrong product is to use the order box received. We can see this with Converse shoes, where there are well-illustrated instructions to help the customer as much as possible:

Source: Converse
  • The self-service portal

ASOS‘s customers have the possibility to print their order returns with a self-service portal. This is a good way for customers to choose which option they want to return their product.

Source: ASOS

How to reduce your online return rate

We know it’s impossible to have a 0% e-commerce return rate. However, there are some measures you can take to limit product returns. When they visit your e-commerce site, customers have some specific expectations about the type of products they are looking for.

With this in mind, it’s crucial to write your product descriptions (👈 click the link for tips on how) as realistic as possible – you need to be objective and relevant. These descriptions are very helpful for customers making a purchase decision and help to minimize potential returns.

The management of your customers’ returns deserves your full attention too. It’s as important as a sale as effectively, if you handle the product return in a positive and timely manner, it can win you more sales in the future.

Don’t forget to analyze the reasons given by your customers for product returns too for quick ways to optimize.


How do you manage your after-sales service effectively?

Getting customers’ trust and building a reputation online is one of the most rewarding challenges for e-commerce businesses. The priority of your after-sales is to facilitate contact between you and your customers. that means your after-sales service is one of the best ways to build online trust with your customers.

Here’s some tactics to consider:

1. FAQ

The FAQ or Frequently Asked Questions page is a list of questions/answers aimed at answering common queries about your business or products.

Creating an FAQ is a no-brainer and it can save you countless hours every week answering the same questions. So, it’s in your interest to take the time to create one. Indeed, it’s more pleasant for customers to be able to access the answers to the questions they ask themselves, in a simple and quick way.

Here’s a handy guide we’ve found useful 👉 10 Tips For Creating a Killer FAQ Page

2. Satisfaction surveys

If your customers are happy, they are more likely to remain loyal to your brand. Simply asking your customers about their happiness can help you win over customers and let them know that you are listening. You can do this through customer satisfaction surveys.

The answers from your customers will allow you to analyze what changes are needed, if any, to improve customer satisfaction. In other words, the customer satisfaction survey is not only a measurement tool, but it’s also one of the cornerstones on which a customer satisfaction improvement strategy is based.

Here’s a handy guide 👉 How to Conduct a Customer Satisfaction Survey?

3. Customer support

One way to lose a customer is to offer little or no support at all after the purchase of a product. To avoid this it’s important to invest in your support team and ensure they are trained fully in how your company handles customer queries.

Even if your customers have problems with your products, they will probably buy again if they receive excellent customer support from you. Getting after-sales customer service right can be tricky, but this shouldn’t be a hindrance.

With the right processes, tools, and people, you can make sure that your company takes care of its customers throughout the entire sales process.


What benefits can I expect from a great after-sales service system?

Customers are doing more and more research before making a purchase now. Consequently, they expect businesses to meet their needs and respond to their problems effectively. This is even more true when it comes to large purchases.

Customers don’t just buy your product, they are also buying the customer service that you will provide after the sale.

A fully-optimized and effective after-sales service can bring you:

  • increased sales
  • improved customer loyalty
  • differentiation from the competition
  • a strong brand identity.

What’s you after-sales tactic that wins you repeat business from your customers? Let us know in the comments! 👇


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