Negative reviews can be detrimental to an eCommerce brand. Such reviews eventually impact the brand image and credibility of a product or a company in the market and quickly lead to a shrinking customer base. The final purchase decision of a customer heavily depends on the ratings and reviews by other verified purchasers. Now the obvious question arises, when and why do these customers publish negative reviews about your products in an eCommerce platform?
In the entire customer shopping journey, anything could go wrong. It could be poor customer support, delays in delivery, UX issues with the website, account management, returns and refunds, and so on. All the touchpoints are sensitive and eCommerce businesses need to take them seriously.
Value Customers’ Time:
A prime reason for customers making purchases online is to save time and money. If there are delays in delivery, or a wrong product being dispatched, or delays due to mistaken delivery address, etc. can all turn out to be an exasperating experience for a customer. Add to it, a poor customer response. In the entire eCommerce delivery process, even a small mistake could lead to customer displeasure. If a customer’s grievance goes unheard and unattended within a reasonable time, he/she is unlikely to post any positive reviews about their experience with your brand. The likelihood of such undesirable circumstances arises when the eCommerce backend processes are not planned, well-defined, streamlined, and synchronized with the overall operational framework and business goals and strategies. With well-planned SOPs, a strong eCommerce order fulfilment process can be established.
: Another brand turn-off for customers is to find the ‘Out of stock’ or ‘Coming Soon’ or ‘Not Available Now’ banner for products they are looking for especially when competitors are able to provide. No matter how creatively a mismanaged out-of-stock scenario is being put, the bottom-line is as bad as saying ‘NO’ to customers. Not being transparent with customers about product unavailability and still accepting orders is even worse. The outcome is obvious; an unhappy customer is only going to post reviews based on how a brand made him/her feel.
Stock availability is one of the outcomes of a good inventory management system in place. Here, the use of relevant technology and software applications can completely turn the game around for an eCommerce entity. But for that to happen, first the company needs to accurately define its eCommerce inventory management process from A to Z with fail-proof SOPs.
Prompt and Effective Customer Support:
Customer support is one of the few physical touchpoints in eCommerce customer service. A customer comes in contact with customer support when something out of the standard happens or wants to be part of the shopping journey (potential customers having queries). Customer communication with customer support could hardly mean anything else.
Various possible scenarios may include a customer has received a replaced item but the product still has issues and he wants clarity or a return has been initiated and processed and the customer wants to know the refund status, etc.
In any CRM, employees should be made acquainted (and trained) with the procedure of handling customer grievances. Automated response systems like the IVRS are very effective in properly routing customers to the concerned customer support team. Whether it is automated or manual, both shall require impeccable procedures (SOPs) to effectively handle customer grievances in the right direction for appropriate resolution.
The common cause of all these issues leading to negative reviews which we get to see on eCommerce platforms is poorly designed SOPs or total absence of it. If enhanced and improved, SOPs can work wonders for an eCommerce company struggling with operational finesse. Detailed SOPs can incorporate the necessary granularities of a business process or operation to remove the subjectivity of flawed working patterns.
With well-defined SOPs, employees would have the operational roadmap at their disposal to carry out their tasks and activities as per intended operational standards and expectations whether it is order processing, inventory management, customer support, or any other function.