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Shopping online has soared in the past decade, and it doesn’t look like it’s about to slow down. Which means it’s time to amp up your online customer service. Since 2000, the number of internet users has grown 528%. Yes, you are looking at that correctly, and that’s not a typo.

You shouldn’t be only amping up your online customer service strictly because the increase in online shopping, but also the risks involved. Think about a shopper who shops in a store. They have the product right in front of them, directly in their hands. They can try it out, take it for a test run, try it on, whatever they want.

Now let’s compare the online shopper. They make a purchase based on photos or videos, or sometimes neither. They go off a product description and sometimes they have online reviews they can reference.

It’s quite a different type of shopping, and now you see the risk involved with online shopping. So not only are there more people shopping online, but they are taking a bigger risk. Which means there’s a much higher probability of having to deal with online customer returns, complaints, etc.

This is why your online customer service needs to be top notch. If you’re a large retail store, your online customer service should be an entire department, with numerous employees who strictly deal with customer service. If you’re a smaller company, then you might be able to get away with your online customer service going to just a one or 2 employees.

But either way, you must have a plan in place for your online customer service. Taking it as it goes will leave you in a river of fire, and that’s not what you want.

Your online customer service is also an important aspect of your overall brand image. If your customer service is lacking, people will notice, and you can bet they will share their thoughts with others. A positive customer service relationship leads to positive attention and, well, we don’t have to tell you what negative customer service relationships lead to.

If you’d like to learn some strategies on how to improve your online customer service, take a look at the short video clip above.

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