This means customer satisfaction and your interactions play a major role in how to make money dropshipping. You can find the best dropshipping vendors, pick the right dropshipping niches to operate in, and sell the best dropshipping products but still fail due to poor customer service.
Read on for some guidance on customer service for dropshipping, a few tips, and some techniques that can help you keep customers happy.
Customer Service Tips For Dropshipping
Poor customer service is one of the most common dropshipping mistakes for both beginners and experienced business people alike. It may not directly impact your dropshipping profit margin, but it can damage your ability to make sales. Keeping customers happy isn't always easy, but you can follow a few simple guidelines to keep it from getting out of hand.
Make sure you or your customer service representative follow these three best practices:
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to try to assume what a customer wants. Really, customers will tell you what they want. One way to give them this opportunity is to engage with them on social media. Answer questions, have conversations, and build your understanding of your customers. This will let you know what products they want, what they think the best dropshipping websites are, and more. You can even use this as an opportunity to seek out customers who will use their social media presence to evangelize your products. So, you won't have to choose between affiliate marketing vs dropshipping, you can do both. Just realize that customers want you to understand them because they know this means you'll be able to serve them better.
Be Clear In Your Operations
Openness and transparency are key to a successful business. We always recommend speaking to your supplier to set up private label dropshipping and adding your branding to eCommerce packaging, a packing slip, and RMA form. This shows your customers that you're involved with the entire process, and makes your business feel less like a middle-man. But, this doesn't mean you should lie to your customers and pretend you own or manufacture the products you sell. Be open and honest about your business structure and how the process works, even in dropshipping ads. This will start your relationship with customers off on the right foot and avoid causing customers to label you as shady or duplicitous. A few years ago some dropshippers did just that and damaged customer faith in the model so much that many asked "is dropshipping dead?" and "is dropshipping legal"? You don't want to be responsible for the death of a business model, and more specifically your own business.
Keep Response Times Short
Speed plays a major factor in all aspects of your business. Customers expect order fulfillment, product updates, and of course customer service to be as speedy as possible. In today's environment, you need to answer customer issues within two hours to have any real chance at keeping a customer satisfied. Each hour that goes by after that will make it more likely that they will not only never shop with you again, but they will go out of their way to leave a bad review and tell their friends about their experience. Ideally, you should have customer service representatives on-call 24/7. Though this can be costly, look to sites with people seeking dropshipping jobs and hire a full-time customer service representative as you grow. It will help you avoid long response times and keep your customers happy while you focus on sales.
Customer Service Techniques For Dropshipping
Happy customers are vital for any business to succeed. But, this requires investing time and energy into understanding your customers and giving them the best service possible. Luckily, customer service doesn't have to be a guessing game, there are a few techniques that can help you keep your customer service game on point.
Here are six customer service techniques for dropshipping:
Use Multiple Methods of Communication
The age of phone calls is fading away and customers want to be able to reach out in whatever manner they're most comfortable. It's worth investing in eCommerce software that lets your customers chat with a customer service rep in real-time. Live chat, emails, and phone calls should all be options for your customers, so they can reach you whenever and wherever to help resolve issues. You can also look into dropshipping automation tools that help handle the simplest of customer concerns without requiring any human interaction unless requested. This can save a lot of time and money in the long run with upsetting customers.
Create a Customer Service Email
Customers shouldn't have to reach out to a generic email or through a contact form to get support. You also don't want your daily-use or personal email addresses getting in the hands of every customer who needs support. When you create your new website or create a storefront on an online marketplace, you should also create a dedicated email just for helping customers resolve issues. You may even want a few to separate issues by need. Think firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, etc. This lets customers feel like they're reaching out to the right person and that their issues will be dealt with appropriately.
For dropshippers that use BlueCart eCommerce, they can handle customer issues, send promotional emails, and sell products all from one easy-to-use dashboard. We also take care of store design, eCommerce payment processing, and more, so you can focus on selling. Even better, all BlueCart customers also get listed in our wholesale marketplace where their products can reach 92,000+ buyers in the U.S.
Invest In A CRM
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is a special type of program designed to keep track of all customer data in a single place. This includes customer contact information, surveys and feedback, transaction history, and more. They also let you answer customer queries and track all communications on the same platform. CRMs can be expensive, but they're a great investment for when you've scaled your dropshipping business to a level where customers cannot easily be tracked manually. If you participate in reverse dropshipping, this is a great early investment as your customers are likely much harder to track due to the fact that they live in another country.
Always Follow Up
One of the most important techniques to teach your customer service representatives is to follow up with customers at every step possible. This is obviously true when they ask a question, but you should also follow up after an issue is resolved. This lets customers know you actually cared about their experience and helps build your company's reputation. This is also a great way to get feedback from customers on ways to improve your business and product offerings. Instead of asking "is dropshipping worth it?", you'll be able to uncover issues early on and make your business successful.
Have a Shipping Policy and FAQ Page
The dropshipping model can be complicated and customers may not understand how it works when they place an order. Avoid any issues later down the sales funnel by supplying customers with information upfront. Create a shipping policy page that lists important information like how orders are processed and shipped and the average length of time a customer can expect to wait for their packages. Pair this with an FAQ page that answers the most common questions, and you'll save a lot of time for your customer service team. If customers can find the answer to their questions on their own, you're more likely to make a sale and leave customers satisfied.
Include All Product Information On Website
This may seem obvious, but many dropshippers have made the mistake of only including minimal product information on their site. This can be misleading or confusing and cause customers to return items more often. Plan to import as much data as possible when using a dropshipping website builder to set up your site. This will help avert issues early on and is also a best practice for SEO for eCommerce product pages. You'll be able to draw more traffic to your product pages and provide enough information to make the sale. It's truly a win-win situation.
You Got Served!
Customer satisfaction is the key to running a successful dropshipping business. You need to invest your time and money appropriately to make sure you're providing the best experience possible for all of your customers. Your dropshipping business ideas will only be as successful as your ability to serve customers and keep them happy. Make sure to include your customer service plan in your drop shipping business plan to help guide new hires.
For more tips on how to dropship and keep customers satisfied, read our free drop shipping for dummies guide, or take a look at some of our favorite dropshipping books, eCommerce books, and dropshipping courses.