10 Customer Service Tips To Turn A Furious Buyer Into Your Best Friend
Running a successful eCommerce store is not only about creating it and finding people to buy your products – it is also about communicating with clients, handling their orders, and providing an excellent customer service.
Generally, being nice to your buyer is not difficult at all.
Still, from time to time, something might go wrong, and you might receive unpleasant emails from angry customers asking for a refund. How to deal with such emails and save your money?
Table Of Contents
- Why should you care about unsatisfied customers?
- Customer Service Tip #1. Apologize literally for everything and be extremely polite
- Customer Service Tip #2. Answer in time
- Customer Service Tip #3. Make your letters as informative as possible
- Customer Service Tip #4. Ask for photo proofs
- Customer Service Tip #5. Reship!
- Customer Service Tip #6. Give discounts
- Customer Service Tip #7. Feel free to contact AliExpress suppliers
- Customer Service Tip #8. Make info about returns, shipping time, etc. available on your website
- Customer Service Tip #9. Create a Google Sheet (or an Excel table) with all your orders info
- Customer Service Tip #10. Don’t blame yourself
“Thank you very much for your excellent service! I received my order in a week and I’m completely satisfied. Have a nice day! Susan.” – this is the email every dropshipper would like to print out and hang on the wall in a golden frame. And kiss it now and then. *just kidding*
But sometimes, you receive another kind of emails that can make you angry, upset, confused and horrified – and all at the same time.
Such emails sound like this: “I’m waiting for my order for eternity! Your site looks like scam and I’m going to my bank to have my money returned. I will sue you and never buy from you again. I am disappointed. Ryan.” Oh, you can’t be so serious, man.
Isn’t it actually better to issue a paltry refund, leave Ryan alone with his anger, and forget about him forever? Well, we’d say it’s not a wise decision.
Why should you care about unsatisfied customers?
- Such customers ask to be refunded. And you don’t want to lose money, right? *thanks, Captain Obvious*
- All the unsatisfied ones might go online and write negative feedback about your store. Unfortunately, that happens, but it’s not always because you don’t improve your customer service or your products are of low quality – it is just difficult to please everybody, and that’s okay. But you must care about your store reputation: bad reputation means low sales.
- An unsatisfied customer will never buy from you again. One-time purchasers are not our goal though, so what we need is a bunch of clients who trust you and purchase your products regularly.
We have lots of clients in our stores, and – you can believe us – we learned some tricks from communication with them 😉 We state that there’s a high chance to calm down an angry client, turn him or her into a loyal regular customer and (magic!) avoid the refund. But how? Let’s look at the customer service tips we prepared!
Customer Service Tip #1. Apologize literally for everything and be extremely polite
Yes, even if it’s not your fault.
Hello. I received the hoodie and it doesn’t fit me at all. I’ve chosen my usual size and don’t know what’s the matter with your effing hoodie sizes. I can’t wear a hoodie like this. Give me my money back! Megan F.
What to answer?
Hello, Megan! Unfortunately we can’t give your money back since you should have chosen the size according to the size chart measures. So, you received exactly what you ordered. Yours faithfully, <Store Name>.
Hello, Megan! We are extremely sorry for the trouble with your order! Could you please tell us if you checked the size chart before ordering? We will be glad to help you! Yours faithfully, <Store Name>.
Frankly speaking, it’s not our fault that the customer neglected the size chart (they often don’t pay enough attention to shipping info, descriptions, choice of variations and even correctness of their own address as well). Then why do we need to apologize for, you know, nothing? Well, mainly to calm down customers, to show them your sympathy and personal involvement. They should see that you really care about them and their orders. Saying you’re sorry never hurts but means a lot.
As for the politeness, it represents your professional attitude as a seller and a person who communicates with clients. Even if a customer calls you names, don’t serve him with the same sauce. Being calm and polite is the best weapon against angry emails.
Customer Service Tip #2. Answer in time
A customer waiting for the answer for 5 days is a very angry customer.
So, try to look through emails every day, but go easy on that – if you received an email at 3 am, don’t rush to answer and leave it till the morning. Night is to sleep and rest, not to stare at the screen.
But what if you receive something like this?
I sent you an email regarding my order about a month ago and got no answer since then. Your client support is horrible! You should improve that guys, really
You start thinking ‘How did I miss this email? Oh, what a shame!’, but then find out that you answered this guy the following day after receiving the email. Why didn’t he get your answer? The thing is, sometimes your messages can get into the spam-folder (if you have lots of email conversations with clients and send similar messages, it is a common situation). So, answer this customer complaint with no fear, and in polite expressions (remember Tip #1) say that you actually sent an answer a month ago, ask the customer to check his spam-folder, and express your desire to help.
Customer Service Tip #3. Make your letters as informative as possible
Answer not only the question you were asked, but the possible future questions as well. Here’s an example of an email:
Hello! Could you please tell me my tracking number? I don’t know where to find it and feel confused. Thanks!
How you should and shouldn’t answer:
Hello! Your tracking number is TR09783456HU. Yours faithfully, <Store Name>
1 customer’s question is answered. Probably you will receive more questions from this customer in the future and you will have to allocate time to answer those emails as well.
Hello! Thank you for shopping with us! Your order is on the way to you. Your order status is: 2018.03.20 22:05 (GMT-7): Despatch from Sorting Center. Your tracking number is TR09783456HU. You can track your order here: https://storename.com/track-your-order/. Please note: some logistic companies need 5-10 days to update the shipping status. The approximate delivery time for your order is 7-30 business days (work days of the week). Please let us know if you have any questions or if there’s any way we can be of help. Yours faithfully, <Store Name>
1 customer’s question + 5 possible future questions are answered at once (Is my package shipped? What’s my order status? Where can I track my parcel? Why isn’t the shipping status updated yet? How long do I have to wait for my order?). That’s how you can save your time!
Informing your customers about the estimated delivery time and possible delays in updating of shipping statuses now, you reduce the number of future angry emails from them in the future.
Message templates will be of much use here – all customers’ questions are actually similar. Create templates for different cases and feel free to use them to simplify the communication process.
Customer Service Tip #4. Ask for photo proofs
Unfortunately, people lie sometimes. To exclude that, ask customers to send you photo proofs that items they received are really faulty (or of a wrong size/color). Suggest reshipping or issue a refund only after you’ve received these proofs.
Hello, my order number is FOK-RT568LM342, I received the T-shirt I ordered but it’s blue and not yellow as I ordered. I would like to be refunded.
What to answer?
Hello! We are sorry! We will issue a refund right away. Please, forgive us. Yours faithfully, <Store Name>
Hello! We are very sorry for the trouble! Could you please send us a photo of the item you received? We will be glad to help and reship the T-shirt in the right color for free! Yours faithfully, <Store Name>.
You need photo proofs not only to make sure that the item is faulty but also to send them as evidence when you open disputes on AliExpress. And a little secret from our experience (don’t tell anyone!) – sometimes people just don’t answer our emails when we ask for photos, and we peacefully forget about them.
Customer Service Tip #5. Reship!
In 3 of 5 cases when a customer wants a refund we manage to avoid that. What’s the secret? Reshipment, good old reshipment. Let’s imagine we received such an email:
Hello, my order number is FOK-RT568LM342, i received the toy I ordered and it turned out to be broken. I would much appreciate if you made a refund.
What to answer?
Hello! We are very sorry! We will issue a refund right away. Please, don’t be mad. Yours faithfully, <Store Name>
Hello! We are very sorry! We hope that this misfortune didn’t cause you much inconvenience and you will have great buying experience in our shop in the future. We can offer you reshipment of your order for free with another shipping company. What do you say? Kindly let us know if you have any questions or if there’s any way we can be of help. P.S. Please send us a photo of the damaged item you received. Yours faithfully, <Store Name>.
You don’t force clients to change their mind about the refund, you’re just offering to consider reshipment. And, generally, they agree on that because they still want to receive your cool product and don’t mind waiting. However, reshipment is beneficial not only for customers, but for you as well.
Let’s do the maths. A customer orders a hoodie that costs $50 in your store. You pay $20 for it on AliExpress and $30 are yours. It’s simple. But if the customer is not satisfied for some reason and wants a refund, you have to return $50 back to the customer and start wheedling money from AliExpress supplier. As a result, you have no money from this order at all (or even go negative if the Buyer Protection has run out), waste time and get gray hair.
However, if you reship products, then you just tell the supplier that the received product is a faulty one and ask him to resend the item for free. So, you don’t lose anything! Great! Even if the Buyer Protection has run out, you still can order a second hoodie for your customer and get $10 of benefit. All in all, reshipment is useful.
Customer Service Tip #6. Give discounts
When you get customer complaints (the item was lost, the delivery is extremely delayed, the color is wrong, etc), try to offer a discount to ease tension. Look how easily people can change their opinion:
Thank you for shipping out my order. But it seems I have been given the wrong type (color) than what I bought. I’m completely dissatisfied and would like to be refunded.
Hello! We are incredibly sorry for the trouble with your order! We would like to offer you reshipment of your order for free with another shipping company. What do you say? We hope that this misfortune didn’t cause you much inconvenience and you will have great buying experience in our shop in the future. We would like to make amends and give you the promo code DISCOUNT15 for 15% off your next purchase. Kindly let us know if you have any questions or if there’s any way we can be of help. Yours faithfully, <Store Name>
Thank you, I think resending my order would be most appropriate. Thanks for the lovely service and discount!
Thanks for understanding! Have a nice day! 🙂
No refund, happy customer, saved nerves. Tadaa!
Customer Service Tip #7. Feel free to contact AliExpress suppliers
It’s AliExpress suppliers’ responsibility to pack & ship everything, you pay them for that. So, you have the right to ask to speed up shipping when it’s kinda delayed, or to replace the item your customer received for free if it arrived faulty (of a wrong size/color, ripped, damaged).
If a customer wants to change the address/name/size/color and his order still has an ‘Awaiting shipment’ status on AliExpress – write to the supplier directly and ask him to change the order details. We do it pretty often, and our suppliers are always ready to make advances and change sizes, colors, and variations before shipping.
Customer Service Tip #8. Make info about returns, shipping time, etc. available on your website
You need it to “drop all the charges” from you. You place this info on your site to warn customers in advance that shipping might take 10-30 business days and tracking might not be available due to free shipping. Making a purchase, customers supposedly agree to these terms of service. So, when you receive emails like this:
Hi! I’m waiting for my order for 2 weeks already, you must be kidding me! I need my order tomorrow
don’t freak out, inform the customer about your estimated delivery time and politely point out that these details are publicly available on your website.
Hello! We are so sorry you have to wait! But we must say that the estimated delivery time for your order is 7-30 business days – this info is publicly available on our site. Please, kindly wait for your order. Let us know if you have any questions or if there’s any way we can be of help. Yours faithfully, <Store Name>
Customer Service Tip #9. Create a Google Sheet (or an Excel table) with all your orders info
From our experience, we know that (sometimes) clients tend to email you from their other emails, ones that are not given in their order details. Let’s pretend you received an email from some email@example.com:
Hello! I cannot track my order, could you please help me? Anna Vitamee
You try to search for her order in ‘Sales’ tab using email firstname.lastname@example.org, but there’s absolutely nothing, the customer didn’t give you any order number and you feel confused. But if you have a Google Sheet table with info about all orders and customers you fill every time when you handle orders, you will easily find an order with customer’s name. Just open the table, press Ctrl+F, type “Vitamee” and voila – here it is, Anna’s order. Now you can help her and transform a sad customer into a happy one. Turns out that Anna left the email email@example.com when placing the order.
Moreover, this table will help you not only to find orders, but also to calculate your net profit, record fees to payment platforms and so on. We fill in such a table ourselves and we strongly recommend you to do the same for statistics purposes.
P.S. Yes, you can search for customer’s name in all the emails to get info about the order, but a table is really more convenient and visual.
Customer Service Tip #10. Don’t blame yourself
Really, you do your best! Don’t feel guilty if a customer received some faulty item, it’s commonly your supplier’s or post’s fault. Don’t take it too personally and change suppliers if you receive customer complaints about your products quality.
The most important thing here is to understand that satisfied customers usually don’t say thanks, they just receive their order, use items they get and are happy about them. Even if you get some complaints from people, keep in mind that you have much more loyal customers than dissatisfied ones, you just don’t hear from them.
It is important to establish trust-based relationships between your dropshipping store and people who buy from it. In other words, love your customers and they will love you back 🙂 We hope that our customer service tips will be useful for you!