Hopewiser were exhibitors at eCommerce Show North 2018. The below article originally appeared on their website.
Customer service. It’s at the forefront of your business, or at least it should be. Why is that? Because it’s your customers that are keeping you in business.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a B2B or a B2C organisation, you all sell products to people. Whether those people are corporate clients or individuals shopping via their smartphones, it’s imperative to your success that you get it right. If you don’t then I’m sure there are a sea of competitors out there just waiting to swallow your customers up.
But what constitutes as good and bad customer service? Well, bad customer service would cover such things as getting an address wrong and shipping your customers’ purchases to the wrong location. Additionally, sending out marketing material to a buyer who has moved house, or even to a deceased person. What may seem like a minor mistake at the time could have a large impact in the long run.
Think about it, if your customer doesn’t receive their purchase on account of a miscalculated postcode, or a bereaved family member receives a letter on behalf of the intended recipient, they’re going to be upset, right? They may subsequently take their business elsewhere, and whilst you may still not be worried at the prospect of losing the odd customer, word of mouth and repeated mistakes could potentially damage your reputation further down the line.
On the other hand, good customer service would entail the quick and effective delivery of purchases to the right addresses. If a customer or a business client receives their products to the address in which they provided within the allotted time frame, then they will be more likely to consider you for repeat purchase in the future.
Another example of good and considerate customer service would be running your database against a series of suppression files to see if any of your customers have either moved house or sadly passed away. In the event of the latter, it goes without saying that you should remove any deceased records from your database forthwith. Although bereaved friends and relatives won’t know to thank you for doing so, they will be appreciative of anyone who goes the extra mile to ensure that they don’t continue marketing to the deceased person in question.
It could be argued that customer service is just one aspect of the wider customer experience. There are many, many factors that accumulate to determine whether someone has a good or a bad experience when purchasing from you. There’s the accessibility of your website, the appearance and quality of the products, as well as their prices.
But what a lot of businesses fail to realise is that it’s something much more inconspicuous that has a large effect on customer experience. What’s that then, you ask? Data, my dear Watson.
Data is what helps make the world go around. Every organisation on this earth compiles data about their customers in one way or another. And what does that data include? Addresses, usually. Everyone has a forename and a surname, and everyone who purchases something online or signs up to a mailing list has an address. And every address has a postcode. Did you know that there are 30 million address points in the UK alone? That’s a lot! Therefore, it’s important that you match the right delivery address with the right customer. Because it’s no good having Mrs Walters receive Mr Jones’ watering can when she has been expecting a new pair of curling tongues.
Every ecommerce website needs accurate addressing and data solutions. Luckily for you, Hopewiser can bring a lot to ecommerce because addresses and data are what we are built on. With over 36 years of industry experience, I think we can safely say you can rely on us to help you improve your customers’ experience. Just take a look at our Ultimate Guide to Ecommerce Website Trends 2019. Also, our new online portal poses exciting new solutions that your business can benefit from at just the touch of a button.
Our Address Lookup service is a vital tool that you really cannot afford to live without as it is the quickest and most accurate online address and postcode lookup available. With no set-up and maintenance fees and free technical support, not only is it hassle free but you also get a no-obligation free trial to see if it is the solution for you. Just simply enter a postcode or partial address into the address finder and let Hopewiser do the rest of the work. Additionally, daily Postcode Address File (PAF) updates and the option to add international data sets and bank account validation means you’ll be able to use the tool to heighten your customers’ experience from all over the world.
If you decide that a web-based solution isn’t for you, fear not because we can tailor our software to suit the needs of your business with CRM integrations as well as installations in your company’s system. The latter is ideal for those organisations conducting large volumes of transactions as you can either pay per user or have a global licence fee.
Also available on the portal is our top of the range Address Cleanse solution, which is ideal for those who wish to run their customer database through a range of suppression files to ensure that their data is updated with any movers, goneaways, and deceased records. All you need to do is register online before uploading your files to receive instant cleansing and verification. Prices start from £35 and you’ll receive a free sample analysis of your data before choosing to pay.
Again, Hopewiser’s Data Cleansing services are also available as software installations or CRM integrations, so you’ll have complete peace of mind that you can continuously cleanse large amounts of your data and still receive optimum accuracy.
In a post GDPR world where there is an increasing awareness surrounding data protection, some businesses have taken it upon themselves to invest in technical areas such as cyber security to ensure that their customers’ experience is not negatively affected. For example, John Lewis and Partners recently announced a colossal 99% fall in profits to a pre tax sum of £1.2 million in the six months leading up to 28 July 2018. The retailer who owns Waitrose stated one of the reasons behind the vast decrease in profits is due to heavy investment in IT. One could assume that this increased focus is data related and could be a way of maintaining the corporations treatment of their customers, thus improving their experience.
All that remains for us to ask now is, how much do you value your customers’ experience? Very highly, we would hope! And whilst you may have the best of intentions, you may not even realise that a lacking address and postcode finder or outdated records may be damaging your reputation and your business as a whole more than you might think.
Don’t waste time wondering if you’re doing the right thing, contact Hopewiser today to see how we can help make it right.