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online_shoppingIn Michiel Gasterlaand’s article “The Secret to Winning the Customer Service Battle in eCommerce” in Entrepeneur, he states that only 1% of web store customers feel their expectations are being met. Web stores are missing the opportunity to differentiate themselves through customer service. Gasterlaand writes:

Whether they realize it or not, web stores now are competing primarily on customer service. Apart from offering a great product for a great price, customer service clearly is the new battleground.

So what does it take? We’re not talking bells and whistles here. The best approach is to make sure your customers have a seamless experience by reducing customer effort as much as possible. Offering a live chat option can help facilitate the transaction process. Solving problems quickly is also key. Online sales associates need to be well trained on how to interpret customer needs, anticipate their questions, and know how to resolve problems expediently.

Gaasterland recommends getting the basics of customer down first: reduced customer effort and quick problem solving, before trying to dazzle customers with extraordinary experiences.