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How to optimize WooCommerce customer service

14 min read
Beka Rice

You want to build a successful eCommerce brand? Then you need to optimize your customer service experience. According to the Zendesk Customer Experience Trends report, 84 percent of customers rank customer service as an important factor when deciding to do business with a company, ahead of things like reputation and convenience. On the flip side, while great customer service can help you make a sale, poor customer service can damage your brand. A report from Microsoft found that 58 percent of American consumers will switch companies because of poor support experience.

Businesses that make the effort to provide great customer service can differentiate themselves from their competitors. A reputation for strong support improves brand image and helps turn customers into loyal brand advocates. In this post, we’ll cover the steps you can take to improve your customer service for your WooCommerce store, and we’ll examine the extensions you can use to streamline this process.

Strategies for improving customer service for WooCommerce stores

Send automated emails to check in on customers after orders with AutomateWoo

A proactive approach to customer service can help reduce the number of issues you face and lower customer support load. If a shipment is delayed or an item is out of stock, you should relay the information to the customer before they get frustrated and reach out to you.

It is also good practice to check in with your customers after they’ve received their orders to see if they need any assistance. Customers will appreciate you taking the time to reach out, allowing you to build relationships that are more than transactional.

With the AutomateWoo extension ($99/year at WooCommerce.com) you can set up automated email correspondence with your customers. The plugin comes with preset workflows for various use cases such as abandoned carts, win-back campaigns, and more. You can create a custom workflow to follow up with customers about their orders.

Go to AutomateWoo > Workflows and select add workflow. In your new workflow, set the trigger that will initiate the automated email to Order Completed. You can refine which customers receive the message by applying additional rules.

Click the +Add Action button and select send email as the action. You’ll then need to add the details for the messages.

There are numerous variables you can use to add personalization and order details to the message. These extra touches make customers feel acknowledged and can lead to better engagement.

Once you have created the message, find the Timing panel. You’ll need to change the field from Run immediately to Delayed and specify the amount of time you want to pass between the workflow trigger and the first email message. Choose a length of delay that accounts for the average time it takes for customers to get their orders and start using the products.

AutomateWoo uses asynchronous events to process many triggers at once. These events are delayed and separated from the main event. The required asynchronous events for each workflow are determined by the workflow’s trigger. Custom triggers must specify which asynchronous events are required (if triggered by an event hook). Here is an example of a custom trigger using an existing async event:

Provide exceptional documentation with Product Documents

You can preempt many support inquiries in advance by making detailed product documentation available to customers before they make their purchase. Product documentation can also improve conversions, as customers have more information to make their purchase decision.

With the Product Documents extension ($49/year at WooCommerce.com) you can display an assortment of documentation on your product pages. This includes manuals, assembly instructions, technical specifications, training videos, and more.

By default, links to the documents appear beneath the short description on the product page. You can add as many documents as needed by going to Product data > Product Documents for an item. Each document requires a label and a download URL. You can organize the documents into sections. These are displayed as a collapsible accordion tab on the product page.

You can use shortcodes to display your documents across your website. For example, this basic shortcode  displays information for any products listed on the page:  [woocommerce_product_documents].

If you want to move the documents to a different location on the product page you can use the following code:

By default, documents open in the same browser window. If you want the document to open in a new window, you can add the following code to your functions.php.

Manage all customer communications with Re:amaze

The first step to improving your customer service is to use an integrated support system. Today’s customers shop through multiple channels, making it necessary to have multiple avenues for support. Customers expect the ability to communicate with a brand through email, chat, social media, and phone (voice and SMS). you want to keep these support channels organized, you’ll need a single place to manage the different touchpoints.

The Re:amaze customer service platform (starting at $29/month at reamaze.com) provides an integrated solution for managing all your support channels. It allows you to stay connected to your customers in real-time via live chat embedded on your website. You can connect email, Facebook, Instagram, and SMS to monitor and respond to all communications straight from the Re:amaze dashboard. Re:amaze has a direct integration with WooCommerce, giving you the ability to link customer data to support inquiries.

Steps to connect WooCommerce

To get started with Re:amaze, you need to integrate your WordPress site using the Re:amaze Helpdesk & Live Chat plugin. After you install the plugin, go to Re:amaze > Settings from your WordPress dashboard. Add your Re:amaze Account ID and Secret SSO Key.

You can also connect your WooCommerce store within your Re:amaze dashboard using the WooCommerce REST API. Go to Settings > Advanced > Apps & Integrations > WooCommerce. Click Connect a WooCommerce Store and provide your API credentials

After you’ve added the API credentials, you can test the connection to verify that it’s working. If everything is in order, you’ll see a green checkmark for the Status.

Once the integration is complete, Re:amaze will match the emails from support conversations to existing emails in your WooCommerce database. This allows the software to pull order details and other customer information.

All your support conversations appear in your Inbox. The intuitive interface makes it easy to manage your conversations by segmenting answered and unanswered messages. You can view messages by channel type and can respond to all types of messages from the conversation page. Let’s examine how to set up your support channels with Re:amaze.

Configuring your email address

To configure your support email, go to Settings > Channels > Email Channels and click Add a Channel. You’ll be prompted to enter a channel and to choose which staff should receive notifications. When you click Next Step, Re:amaze will create a mailbox and an email with the following format; channelname@yourreamazename.reamaze.com.

Next, you’ll want to connect your support email so that all incoming messages land in Re:amaze. Click Connect to my email address and enter your email. You’ll then need to enable email forwarding with your email provider. The steps involved will vary based on the provider. You can learn more here.

To finish setting up the channel, go to Settings > Email Channels > Manage Settings. Here you can turn on spam filtering, set an autoresponder message, and enable an automatic satisfaction survey. Once the channel is configured, you can start replying to all customer emails from your Re:amaze dashboard.

By default, emails are sent using Re:amaze’s provider, Mailgun. If you want to deliver emails using your own email service provider, you’ll need to enable Custom SMTP. You can do so on the settings page for an email channel. You’ll have to provide your email server’s hostname, port, domain, username, and password to authenticate.

With your custom SMTP in place, you’ll now own the deliverability and signing for the emails sent to your customers.

Embedding chat widget

When you connect your WooCommerce store to Re:amaze, the chat widget is automatically added to your site. Customers can enter their messages and you can reply from your support dashboard. Re:amaze comes with three pre-built chatbots you can use to streamline your support inquiries:

  • Hello bot: handles the first response in a conversation by automatically asking the customer for more details.
  • Order bot: the bot automatically detects if a customer is asking about an order. It can use the customer’s order details to answer questions like “has my order shipped” or “where is my order”.
  • FAQ bot: This bot uses machine learning to automatically suggest FAQ articles based on the customer’s inquiry.

To enable these bots, go to Settings > Automation > Chatbots and check the boxes for the bots you want to use. Be aware that the order of the bots determines what sequence they will run in. If multiple bots are enabled, the bot on the top will trigger first. If it is unable to solve the user’s inquiry, the next bot will initiate.

You can also create custom chatbots to add more detailed response flows to customer communications that are customized to your specific industry or needs. After you create a Custom Chatbot, you can add steps to the flowchart as depicted in the image below:

Each step is a node and allows you to create a “Bot Response” that the customer will receive when they follow that pathway.

You can add even more functionality to the chat window with cues. Cues allow you to automatically engage users based on specific criteria. For example, you could offer a discount code to a user about to leave your site or you can ask a user on a product page if they need more details.

To create a cue go to Settings > Website Integrations > Cues and click New Cue. Enter the message you want to show to users and define the rules that will trigger the cue. Rules include time on site, number of visits, time on page, about to leave site, and device type, among others.

Once the cue is set up, you’ll have to add the code to your site. If you want greater control over when cues are shown, you can manually display cues using Reamaze.js API calls. Here is an example of the code you could use to show a promotional offer:

Templates and canned responses

Another effective way to streamline your support processes is to use pre-made templates. Templates (often called macros or canned responses) give you ready-made responses to common customer support issues. This removes the need to type the same response over and over again—saving you valuable time.

You can create groups for your templates (shipping, returns, log-in issues, etc.), allowing staff to find them more easily. Templates are available in the text editor on the conversations page. As you type a reply, click the book icon and select a template from the menu. If you have more than six templates, a filter option will appear to help you find the appropriate template.

Streamline returns with Return and Warranty Requests

Returns are an inevitable part of eCommerce. Companies that are properly prepared to handle them can build customer loyalty: 92 percent of shoppers say they will buy from a brand again if the returns process is easy.

The Returns and Warranty Requests extension ($79/year at WooCommerce.com) gives you a single solution to efficiently manage the return merchandise authorization (RMA) process. Having an easy-to-manage RMA process will improve the customer experience and make it more likely that shoppers will return in the future to place another order.

To get started, you’ll need to allow customers to start the RMA process from their account. Go to Warranties > Settings. Find the option for Initiate RMA from My Account and select Yes.

This will add a button to start a request to customers’ accounts. You can change the button text by modifying the Warranty Button Text field within the settings.

When a customer submits a request you’ll be notified by email (if you have notifications enabled). You can see all your RMA requests by going to Warranties > RMA Requests.

Each request has a status of New, Processing, Completed, Rejected, or Reviewing. You can update these statuses as you move customers through the returns process.

To see the details and to make changes to a request, click on the Manage button. This opens the details for the request. If you choose to handle shipping for the customer, you can upload your shipping label as well as the tracking details.

You can create a custom status for your RMA requests by editing your functions.php file. Here is an example of how you could do that:

Key takeaways

Customer service is an important part of running an eCommerce business. Many buyers will review a company to make sure it has great support before placing an order. If they do not like what they find, they’ll turn to competitors. Businesses that provide great customer service can improve brand reputation and loyalty. You can improve customer service for your WooCommerce store by following these steps:

  • Send automated emails to check in on customers after orders with AutomateWoo: A proactive approach to customer service can help mitigate issues. With the AutomateWoo extension, you can set up automated email sequences to ask customers if they need assistance after their orders.
  • Provide exceptional documentation with Product Documents: Detailed product documents give customers the ability to answer many of their own questions. With the Product Documents extension, you can add unlimited supporting documents for your products across your site.
  • Manage all customer communications in one place with Re:amaze: The Re:amaze extension gives you a centralized place to manage all your customer communications. You can streamline your support process by monitoring and responding to messages from a single dashboard.
  • Streamline returns with Return and Warranty Requests: You can improve the returns process by having an organized system. With the Return and Warranty Requests extension, customers can initiate returns from their user accounts. You can then manage all the RMAs from a single dashboard.

The following extensions mentioned in this post are included at no additional charge in the GoDaddy Managed WordPress eCommerce hosting package:

  • AutomateWoo
  • WooCommerce Product Documents
  • WooCommerce Returns and Warranty Request

Learn more about GoDaddy’s WooCommerce hosting options.