Buying furniture online can be a nerve wracking process. Buying big ticket items from retailers that are unfamiliar can make customers worry about identity theft, and it is always hard to conceptualize what furniture will look like in a given room.
Offering great customer service at an online furniture store often has to do with overcoming these obstacles so that customers feel comfortable making their purchase.
All websites need to have an aesthetic appeal and easy usage and flow, but this is even more true for websites that have to do with home décor and design absolutely must be easy to use and visually appealing. Most businesses will have better websites when they have something custom designed for their company, but for companies that rely on appearances and sales, this is even more necessary.
Most companies find that live chat is a great investment, but for companies that offer high ticket items, live chat is a necessity. Customers need to be able to ask their most important questions – what are the internal measurements of a drawer? What is the finish on this piece of furniture? What is the size of the shipping box – before they make a purchase. Similarly, customer service representatives on chat must be able to answer as many questions as possible. If they can't get an answer for a customer immediately, they need to be able to get the information and get back to the customer within 24 hours, and less if possible.
One huge mistake companies make is to put a live chat applet in the bottom of the webpage but not have it watched. This is worse than not having a live chat at all. If you can't pay to have chat available around the clock, a contact form is probably easier for managing customer expectations.
Online furniture has a lot of competition. It turns out that customers often hate going to showrooms. They feel pressured to make on the spot decisions and find that they can't adequately visualize their space to make good decisions.
The preference away from brick and mortar furniture stores is a boon for online retailers, but they still need to . When businesses look at surprising customers, they often consider sending out a coupon on the customer's birthday or alerting them to a special sale on the website. While these thoughts are great, it's better to surprise a customer on the front end, before they have decided to buy from the business. Offering great purchasing tools can greatly help a business succeed.
For example, knowing that customer struggle to visualize their room, a company could create a website tool that allowed them to create a grid for , place furniture in various places, and get an idea of just how big that couch is going to be without breaking out a measuring tape. Websites that sell wall decor have embraced this technique by allowing someone to take a picture of their wall and then overlay the desired art to get a sense of its size and scale.
Customers hate it when companies break promises, and with the advent of social media, negative stories can spread faster than businesses can imagine. The best way to avoid negative stories on the web is to keep them from happening in the first place. If a business makes a promise, keep it. If furniture is supposed to be delivered on a particular date, make sure it gets there. If the shipping cost is advertised at a certain amount, make sure to meet that cost.
Online retailers sometimes struggle to define their customer service goals; after all, they may feel like most of their work is done before the customer actually gets to them. This couldn't be further from the truth. Successful companies online work to provide high quality customer service from the very first moment a customer lands on their website.
Many companies sell ready made furniture, or flat pack furniture that is basically the same from customer to customer. One way to set a business part from its competition is to offer exciting customization options for businesses and homeowners. For example, a number of different pull and knob options might be available. Fabrics and design might be customizable for .
But beyond that, items can have different configurations available. A bureau, for example, might have single drawers throughout the height of the tower, or have a more typical configuration with two half drawers and several single drawers. By allowing for these types of customization options, customers can make their purchase truly theirs.