If you are running an ecommerce business, dealing with the endless supply of questions from random people can be a big pain.
It turned out to be a major headache at least for me when I launched my online clothing store.
Most of the queries I received from people was through WhatsApp chat.
I have a WhatsApp chat button on my website. In order to get in touch with me, customers can click or tap that button. They are redirected to the WhatsApp app on my mobile phone with a pre-defined message.
I receive most of the queries from people using this feature on my website. Some people start a chat after finding the WhatsApp number on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest.
While WhatsApp chat is a great feature to boost conversions and sales for your ecommerce store, it can also consume a lot of your productive time. People from all over the country and even overseas used to bombard me with questions day and night.
It is my habit to personally answer each and every question I get from people – be it my online store customers or the readers of this blog. This habit became the worst nightmare of my life.
The problem escalated to such an extent that I would feel completely tired by the end of the day – every day.
It even affected other more important aspects of my ecommerce business like the focus on SEO, PPC (pay-per-click) campaigns, social media marketing etc. Needless to say, my business started suffering because I was busy responding to the questions from my customers all the time. (See also: How do I market my ecommerce store in just 2 hours a day?)
When you run a brick and mortar business, potential customers walk in. You get to communicate with them face-to-face.
It is easier to take an intelligent guess whether the customer is serious about buying from you or he is just a tyre kicker.
But when you run an ecommerce store, you communicate with faceless people. If I was communicating with 100 people a day, only 2-5 used to convert meaning that only 2-5% people bought products from my online clothing store. So I realized that the majority of time spent communicating with potential customers was unproductive.
When the situation went out of control, I realized it should come up with a solution.
I could hire a team to communicate with my customers 24X7.
But I opted out of this option because I didn’t want to have an office at that time (you need to have one when you hire employees).
Another reason for not hiring an employee was that the whole idea behind launching an online clothing store was to get the firsthand experience about how things worked. I was not supposed to get involved too deeply.
I just wanted to gather knowledge and impart it to other people aspiring to sell online though this blog.
If you are a regular reader of Blogging Story, you probably already know that I teach sellers how to grow an ecommerce store on a shoestring budget.
So I brainstormed a lot trying to figure out how to save time and be more efficient at communicating with my customers.
It was when I came up with the idea of ‘FAQ cards’.
What are FAQ cards?
While answering the questions from people I received on WhatsApp, I noticed a pattern.
Most of the questions were repetitive. Here are a few examples:
- Do you provide Cash on Delivery?
- How to make a payment?
- What are your bank account details?
- Do you offer refunds?
- How long does the shipping take?
- How can I trust you?
- Do you provide original photo of the product?
I realized that I was spending countless hours typing the same answers. It was the major cause for the waste of time.
So I decided to design FAQ cards.
If you have an ecommerce website, you probably already have an FAQ (frequently asked questions) page.
I too have an FAQ page, providing answers to all these queries.
I copied the answers from the website and used them to prepare the FAQ cards for WhatsApp chat.
Here is an example of the card providing the bank account details:
I have this FAQ card saved in my phone’s gallery as well as in a folder of my computer. Whenever someone asks me to provide bank account details, I simply forward this message.
The same goes true for questions about refund, cancellation, exchange, shipping time, cash-on-delivery etc. I have answers to these queries on a separate FAQ card. When a customer asks a question, I forward the card. The customer gets the answer to most of his queries.
Nine times out of ten, the FAQ card ends the conversation right away.
The customer has now only two options: whether to place an order or leave.
I don’t have to waste my time typing the same answers again and again.
When you are running an online store as an individual seller, it’s important to put in place systems which make your job easier. These systems will help you avoid burnout.
The FAQ cards can be part of your communication system. They will help you avoid the waste of time answering the same set of questions from your potential customers.
They will also make the communication professional and more effective.
Let me know in comments what challenges you face when communicating with your customers.