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Have as many contact methods available as possible, and make sure it is
easy to get those details from the website. If a customer wants to know more
about a product and they can't even get your contact number, they may
abandon their shopping cart (which could contain a number of items) and go
elsewhere. If a phone number is on every page of the site with a message like,
Have a question? Just give us a call on 555-0135 , the customer immediately
sees how they can get their questions answered there and then so that they
may proceed with their order.
Payment Options: Make it clear which payment methods are accepted.
After-purchase care: Offering support for products once they have
been purchased.
Communication: The user needs to be clear at every stage of the website how
they are progressing through the shop, how they can cancel their order, and
they ideally should be contacted at least by email once their order has been
placed and dispatched.
Another important part of customer service is dealing with complaints—it is
important to show the customer that you have a system in place for dealing with
complaints; this could just be the main business phone number but with a mention
that it's used also for complaints, or a dedicated email address. This shows the
customer that you are happy to listen to complaints, and use the complaints to help
improve the business, and shows that you care for the customer, valuing their input!
These policies and procedures should be carefully planned out before your store
goes online, so that as soon as it does go online, the systems are in place ready
for excellent customer service and a professional, trustworthy service is ready for
customers immediately.
In this chapter, we have looked at a wide range of issues involved with creating
an online shop, and doing business online. We have discussed some legal and
professional issues, how to promote our products, how to photograph them to get
the most from them, and taken a look at some sample products. We have also looked
at some examples of how not to advertise a product online—to ensure we avoid
some common problems. With this knowledge, we should be able to prepare our
business policies, consider the legal issues in more detail, and collate the details of
our own catalogs so as to know exactly what we will be selling.
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