The rise of e-commerce has given opportunities for various business models based on the internet to grow. From digital marketing to affiliation program, there is plenty of promising business you can choose to join. One of the most seek-after this past few year is dropshipping.
In dropshipping, you buy products from a producer or a wholesaler who offer drop shipping partnership then sell it later to your customers with a margin. However, you won’t even see the product you sell. Once you’ve got an order from a customer, all you need to do is contact your producer or wholesaler, and they’ll send the order to your customer directly from their warehouse.
This business model is interesting to many because of the obvious advantage: its easiness. To start a drop shipping business, you don’t have to own a big land for a warehouse to store the products or physical store to display them. You don’t have to deal with delivery as well.
However, this convenience comes with a price: the loss of your control of the inventory. You won’t have control about how the producer is going to wrap the product, what courier they will use, or when they will send it to your customers.
This is a vulnerability you should handle very well. After all, your customer won’t care whether it’s you or the producer who is responsible for the product and delivery. If they are dissatisfied with their purchase, they will think about you – as the store who sell the product to them – and not the producer. Late delivery? Ill-fitting wrap? It’s all your fault!
What can you do about that? Well, since you can do nothing about the product, then all you can do is maximizing your customer’s service. Because, in the end, it’s what retail business is about: customer service.
1. Prevention is the best action: choose the right supplier
If you haven’t yet started your drop shipping business, you can still prevent most of these supplier-related problems ahead of time by choosing the right supplier. A supplier who has wide-range of products is preferable, as well as supplier who is trusted and has a reputation as reliable from a fellow drop shipper. You can check our other articles about choosing the right supplier for drop shippers.
2. Be clear about all of your store policy
Retail business will deal with these activities regularly: purchase, payment, and return. You should put all the information about these activities on your website, either in Help page or FAQ page or any other special guide page. It will help both you and your customers. Put your policy on your website so your customers can access it.
3. Display several contact options
Contact Us will be one of the most important section in your web store. Customers will want to contact you, either because they have trouble they want you to solve, or because they want to complain, or because they simply have some suggestion for you. Therefore, make it easy for them to reach you. Put at least two phone numbers, an e-mail, a
4. Set maximum time to respond to the inquiry
Continuing from the previous point, it’s no use for you to set up a Contact Us page if you’re not going to take care of it properly. So, when you’ve received an inquiry from any of your contact line – either from email, phone, message, or chat, make sure to respond to it as soon as possible. Of course, sometimes you have other priorities other than responding to email. That’s why, setting up a maximum response time is important, especially if you have employees. Average response time from companies worldwide is 12 hours. If you want to give your customers a service better than average, then make it no more than 10 hours.
5. Seek answer before someone questioning it
Sometimes what takes answering a customer’s question too long is because you’re still seeking for the answer. Of course, you’re going to get questioned for something you can’t immediately answer. But most of the time, the questions from customers are usually recurring questions (for example, “When is my package going to arrive?”). You can research what kind of questions customers usually ask in the drop shipping business and find the answer before they ask.
6. Use both automatic machine and human touch
The next technology we predict will be ‘in’ is virtual assistance. If you can afford the technology to employ virtual assistance for your web store visitors, we recommend you to do it. It reduces your (and your employees’) workload. For less important interaction with visitors like greeting them, offering them a discount, or directing them to pages they request, you can use virtual assistants instead of you (or your employees).
But, some communication should be handled by human still. Inquiry through the message, email, or chat, for example. The human touch will be able to help your customers better with a specific question and help. Just make sure to have the right mix of both so you can respond to more customers in faster time, but still, maintain the quality of your response.
7. Give little-personalized surprise
Everybody loves a little surprise! Consider to ask your customers to fill in their personal data (like birthday, for example) so you can surprise them with something nice when the moment matters. The surprise doesn’t have to be expensive or over-the-top. A simple birthday card, with the discount offer, for example, is enough to lift someone’s mood and make your store more memorable in their mind.
8. Make sure your website is properly set
We’re talking about customer service, but we shouldn’t forget about customer experience. Make sure your web store is user-friendly, especially for the first-time visitor. The style should be interesting enough for people to check and pleasing to the eyes. The layout and design should make it easy for the user to browse or even compare.
Make an experiment. Try to visit your website and try to browse, check out, and pay. Is the process simple enough, or is it too tedious? It you’re not satisfied with it, there’s a big chance your customers aren’t either. It means it’s time for web store upgrade. Find a good site that offers the best Word press plugin for drop shipping business, like Ali2Woo.
It’s easy to feel so lost in customer service, especially when you’re dealing with difficult customers. However, realize that these customers are just human like us all, who can get angry and disappointed, and it’s our mission to help them with what troubled them regarding their purchase. Remember, happy customers mean a happy business, and happy business means happier us.