Need a conversion boost? Don’t forget customer service

By |
March 24, 2016
Customer Service eCommerce

With the holiday buying period well and truly over many online retailers are likely experiencing a drop in site traffic/sales and you might be asking yourself how you’re going to get your sales moving in the right direction again. When we think about conversion our first focus usually turns to IT or marketing strategies, however, what is easily overlooked that can have a powerful impact on conversion is your customer service standards.

Online businesses should consider the following, to boost conversion and increase customer satisfaction. These ideas will also help with reducing those expensive offline support costs that can devour margins.

Response times

This is an obvious one. If you receive a question from a customer it usually means they are a hot lead and seriously considering making a purchase. If you respond quickly you will catch them in a buying mind frame. If you delay and wait it can be very hard to get them back and chances are they have gone somewhere else. It’s amazing how many businesses are willing to wait 24hrs to respond to an enquiry. We know it’s not always practical to respond to an enquiry immediately, however you should be aiming for an average response time of around 2hrs.


Personalise email responses to customers – this makes them feel valued and will reassure the customer that someone is directly answering their questions.  This doesn’t mean you can’t make use of canned responses to save time, however, you should be adding a personal touch to each message.

Exceed expectations

Mistakes are bound to happen, but it is important to deal with them well and exceed customers’ expectations. For example, if you fail to deliver an item, then don’t just apologise for the error, but offer the item discounted or provide a store credit for a future purchase. Let’s keep returns/refunds to a minimum!

Sell Sell Sell

Where possible try and offer the customer more value than simply just answering the question they asked. Every enquiry is a great opportunity to influence the customer to make a purchase. This doesn’t have to be a hard sell but a little extra effort can make a big difference. See my example below:

Question: Hi, how much does delivery cost to QLD? Steve

Bad Answer:

Hi Steve,

We charge a flat rate delivery fee of $15 for QLD orders.

Please let us know if you have any more questions.

Great Answer:

Hi Steve,

Thanks for contacting us.

For orders going to QLD we charge a flat rate delivery fee of $15. Deliveries to QLD take approximately 2 – 3 business days and if you order before 1pm we dispatch your order same day.

Also, don’t forget to take advantage of our storewide sale today as it ends at midnight!

Please let us know if we can be of any further assistance.



If you have any other suggestions or questions on how to improve sales conversion through online customer support, it would be great to hear from you.