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March 2020
5 Min read
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Fee-based Hotline or
How to Lose a Customer in a Twinkling

Natali

Journalist, PR-manager, content creator

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To launch an online store and manage it successfully is not as complicated as it seems. It is just important to always be available to the clients. No one will be surprised that you work 24/7. This has become the norm to stay in touch throughout the working day, in the evening and on weekends.

If a client wants urgently to reach you and order delivery for a big sum of money, then it is obvious that he wants to make sure that he will not be cheated, will be understood and will receive explanations in case of unclear moments. Thus, he goes to your website, looks for contact information, finds it, tries to contact customer support by phone and… refuses the idea of buying anything in such a store. How do you like that? And the reason for losing a potential customer is a fee-based hotline.

Our mystery callers had faced this problem when we decided to check for stability the service of an American online store Zappos, that sells shoes, handbags, eyewear, accessories, clothing.

In order to assess how their service corresponds to the way they declare it, we have conducted short research and challenged the customer support service of the online store. In order to get the necessary information and not to spend money during the conversation, we decided to contact via the company’s support chat.

Online Shop Research

The results of our study have shown that client expectations of the service correspond to his requests. Both indexes — objective and subjective — are high, which means that clients were satisfied with the service. The online store has a user-friendly site interface: it is easy and convenient to use it to find the desired product. The result of the objective index differs from the result of subjective impressions by 1.75 points, which indicates that customer impressions match the actual service provided.

However, the customer support that is positioned as available 24/7, 365 days per year, is a chargeable service, while many potential customers appreciate telephone support and accessible operator.

Also, according to our research findings, one of the indicators of an objective index is lower than all others due to the absence of the additional services offer that is usually supplied upon purchase. 

Every online store has its advantages and failures. In order to successfully launch and promote your website, you need to remember the following key points.

  1. Target audience: the general appearance of a store corresponds to what it sells and for whom.
  2. Usability and Design: the way the elements of the site are presented and how convenient it is for a user to interact with them.
  3. Functionality: the opportunities provided by online stores.
  4. Customer service: loyalty programs and other benefits that a customer is offered.

What shall you do if one of the above points is weak or totally absent:

  • Order a site audit from a specialist or agency. Let them check its UX, usability, SEO component and other parameters;
  • Remove all obvious errors on the site;
  • Bring design and menu in order;
  • Check download speed. Weak platforms may not cope with traffic flow;
  • Test all content, because the content is the king of a party.

Just a few years ago, in order to start your online store, you needed to obtain the programmer’s knowledge or hire an IT specialist. But these times are gone. Nowadays, no professional technical knowledge is needed to open an online store and make it profitable. All you need is business acumen, the will to succeed, regular usability website testing and continuous improvement. That’s all it takes)

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