October 25, 2022
Did you know that being a retailer doesn't require a huge investment of funds or a large amount of warehouse space? It may come as a surprise to you, but all you need is a laptop, a reliable internet connection, a small amount of money, and some good contracts. This is referred to as dropshipping.
Shopify defines dropshipping as a retail fulfillment method where a store is not required to keep the products it sells in stock. Rather, the shop purchases the item from a third-party dealer and has it shipped directly to customers.
This business model became widespread due to the ease of establishing one and the channels offered by technology. But the number of dropshipping businesses popping up has saturated the market and made it a rather challenging feat for business owners to distinguish their brand from others.
In a saturated market where uniqueness is almost impossible, one way to stand out is by providing an exceptional customer experience. Because yes, you've got people buying from your store, but were you able to carry out a smooth transaction? Would they be compelled to do repeat transactions? What will the customer experience here that they won't get anywhere else?
Online reviews greatly contribute to customer perception towards dropshipping stores. At least 94% of customers agree that a bad review made them avoid a business. It also won’t do well to ignore the influence of word-of-mouth which affects closer social circles.
When it involves monetary transactions and the exchange of goods, people will understandably be a lot more wary and discerning. Breaching their trust can result in being bombarded by reviews like the following:
Bear in mind that people read reviews before they purchase something from a store. Even if the number of positive reviews is higher, prospective buyers still check critical reviews just in case they need to be aware of a red flag to watch out for. That said, here is a rundown of the most common factors that you should take into consideration if you want your dropshipping business to thrive.
Being a reliable brand enables you to leave a lasting positive impression on customers, especially when associated with a good customer experience. With this social proof in place, the business gathers customer trust and is able to become more competitive in the constantly expanding market.
A positive customer experience can coax the customer to shop again. These returning customers become your very own advocates to promote your brand through their recommendations, citing the consistent customer service they received.
An option for refunds is preferable, of course, but you can steer the customer into an option like a product replacement instead, that will net the least cost. Or you can prevent that altogether with an honest advertisement and efficient logistics.
Research says that 65% of customers don’t trust company press releases. People in general have simply been trusting businesses less and less. While business owners can’t do much about it, they can make some internal adjustments and walk their talk to earn back some of that trust.
Contact information is the number one must have for dropshipping business customer service. As a business dealing in the purchase of products, it’s imperative to provide accessible channels where customers can start two-way communication with your business.
Create a business email or an affiliated business email intended for customer service. You can even provide additional channels by adding a phone number and, of course, your social media accounts.
Live chat support cuts the wait time and provides an instant connection with representatives. It is also an ideal channel where customers can receive immediate and real-time resolutions whenever they encounter issues with the items or services they have purchased from your company.
See to it that you add a non-intrusive widget on the store page to indicate to prospective buyers that it is an available option.
A Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page is akin to a user manual. It should contain the documentation of the store's features and solutions to common problems encountered. It’s a proactive method of delivering customer service.
Keep in mind the buyers who are busy during sales hours or who live in different timezones. These buyers are more likely to have the funds to purchase more products.
Do not over-embellish your product description. Say what’s on the tin and lower the risk of disappointing expectations. You can also mention the store’s partners and inform the buyers where your products come from.
Angry emails from irate and disgruntled clients are an inevitable fact. For a store that is still in its early phases and with a still-growing clientele, it can be seen as a sign of progress. Regardless of the store owner’s reception, the last thing you want to do is to ignore such emails, especially those with legitimate concerns.
In creating customer service emails, it’s all about balancing the tone. Apologizing too much can come off as unprofessional, and generic responses sound too robotic and insincere. But placations are not enough; you need to add an action there as well, indicating that you are actively doing something to address the issue. If need be, offer some incentives like discount vouchers or a refund.
Dealing with and professionally responding to customers is a fundamental skill in learning how to handle customer service in dropshipping businesses. Here are some email templates you can modify for answering angry customers:
Hey [customer name],
We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience caused during [insert date] when [insert situation]. It was not our intention, and we take full responsibility for our actions.
We looked into the situation and found the cause to be [insert cause/s]. Relevant information has been logged into our records to prevent future instances of this incident happening again. In the meantime, you can [insert preventive measures here].
If you have any questions regarding this incident, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We’d be happy to talk through them with you.
[insert company name]
Hi [customer name],
Thank you for reaching out. We messed up, and we understand the source of your frustration.
To reiterate, you experienced [insert situation] last [insert date]. Our team investigated the situation and found the cause/s to be:
To make up for the inconvenience, we’d like to offer a [insert incentive/s here]. Your complaints and feedback are greatly appreciated and will give us a chance to improve and do better in the future.
We’re sorry once again for your poor experience. Let us know if you have any questions, clarifications, or concerns.
[insert company name]
Hi [customer name],
Thank you for the honest feedback. We are really sorry your experience with [insert company] didn’t match your expectations. Although we strive for 100% customer satisfaction, it’s clear we’ve fallen short. We’d like to know more about your specific situation and have a thorough look into it.
If you wouldn’t mind contacting us at [insert company email] or talking to our live chat operator [insert link], it would be greatly appreciated. We look forward to speaking with you.
[insert company name]
To lessen your worries and provide further assistance, you can try smart email services instead.
Various stores are employing different strategies of all kinds on various platforms. While some elements stay the same, it’s the approach that can edge out a store among its competitors. Let’s take a look at three stores with great customer service.
This makeup brand has been making waves with their active social media marketing and various collaborations with influencers. Their sites are easy to navigate and usually designed with vibrant themes.
They value honesty by backing up the advertised quality of their diverse color palettes. Speaking of color palettes, they have a feature that allows customers to build their own eyeshadow palette.Even more enticing, ColourPop has free domestic and international shipping when the total cost exceeds a certain amount.
Honesty remains in their verified product reviews, complete with the reviewer’s relevant details like skin tone, skin type, and age range, so readers who share the same attributes can compare.
Burga, backing up their niche in beautiful phone accessories, has a cleanly designed website. Their promos are immediately showcased, and the product types offered are listed on the navigation tab and illustrated on the homepage.
Their listings have high quality photos, and product types have an accompanying picture for reference for those who are not familiar with the technical terms. For iPhone 14 phone cases, for example, customers can select what type of phone case the design will be added to.
Besides their limited promos, Burga also has free shipping just like ColourPop when the total cost exceeds a certain amount.
What is more convincing social proof than real-time sales updates? Warmly Decor uses a "recent sale notification'' that shows the recent purchases from the site. The pop up displays only the basic information and is very non-intrusive.
Their neutral color theme and minimal design not only reflect their specialty in high-end home decor but are also pleasing to the eye and easy to navigate. Right on the homepage are clear labels and a 100% return and refund guarantee.
Another highly appreciated trait is their automatic currency converter, which detects the user’s IP and matches the listing prices to the current exchange rate.
Customer service for dropshipping businesses can be incredibly demanding, especially for solopreneurs and local small businesses. A growing business needs to cater to a growing consumer base with varying needs and should be able to assist them when it comes to their reviews, queries, and purchases.
The most efficient way to solve this dilemma without sacrificing either experience or quality is for businesses offering dropshipping to outsource customer service. In partnership with ecommerce websites like Shopify, this is how business process outsourcing (BPO) enables your company to focus on other primary tasks without overstretching your resources.
The first thing to do is contact a BPO company and establish a contract that fits your business's requirements. Provide details like a schedule, whether it’s a 24/7 operation or a specific timetable, and which languages to cater to.
Take time to refine the specifications of the contract and check whether the BPO company can provide what the business needs and whether the plan is within the business’ budget. Set the guidelines and the target launch date.
The outsourced customer service team can then be integrated by adding them to your personnel and granting them the necessary credentials to access the company’s customer service channels. After every inch of the contract has been looked through and the representatives are set, it’s time to sign the contract.
Just as there are good practices, there are also things one shouldn’t do. Here are some examples of what to avoid, especially in customer service for dropshipping online orders.
Slow and erroneous responses will aggravate your already infuriated clientele. It's even worse for those who don't hear back. This can come across as a lack of concern for the customer and plain laziness.
If the buyers receive a product that falls short of what is advertised, not only does it guarantee a negative review, but also a demand for a refund or replacement. It can also get the business into legal trouble because of false advertising under consumer protection laws.
Just like how long wait times on queries irritate clients, it applies as well to the shipping timeline. The option to pay for faster shipping in online shops such as Ulta and Wish is proof that buyers are willing to pay for faster delivery.
Presentation, a component of shipping, also matters. Buyers take note of the care put into the packaging in order to avoid any damage during the shipping process.
There’s always a possibility of error from the process of gathering the ordered products until the delivery to the buyer. A return policy is a customer’s fail-safe just in case they receive a defective or the wrong product.
Customer service has always been connected to the success of an ecommerce business. It’s no different for dropshipping, no matter how minimal the requirements are.
People value the opinions of the people they know, so businesses really have to commit to the customer-first mentality. And shouldn’t they be? Their continued use and support of the store is what keeps it alive and flourishing.
Outsourcing customer support solutions allows business owners and their personnel to focus on the front end and logistics requirements. Here, NMS can be your partner in delivering top class customer service.
NMS offers necessities like live chat support, 24/7 call center support services, and multilingual client support to cover all bases. We also have an additional email support service, engineered with end-user safety and privacy in mind, and a focus on efficiency by employing artificial intelligence alongside our highly trained call center agents.
Ready to elevate your customer service? Contact us!
Help us devise custom-fit solutions specifically for your business needs and objectives! We help strengthen the grey areas on your customer support and content moderation practices.
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