eBay Dropshipping and the Art of Customer Service
One of the biggest lessons I have learnt while building my eBay Dropshipping business is the importance of Customer Service, which truly affects the long term growth and sustainability of a business. I have come to realize that there are 3 very important aspects that a business needs constantly focus on to grow and evolve: cash flow, hiring and delegating responsibilities, customer service.
I pay close attention to all successful companies and brands and I try to replicate that model for my business. I came to the conclusion that when you own a business, whether it online or offline, the most important aspect (most often overlooked) is customer service.
Not taking care of your customers, can and will ultimately destroy your credibility as a business owner, reputation and your business as a whole. As our current business practices are moving completely to an online platform, this still remains the constant element that will dictate the future success of your business.
Market and consumer behaviour have radically shifted to a mobile eCommerce-world and every business that needs to be successful should eventually adjust to that, otherwise the ever so changing technology is going to cremate your business to the ground. This entire arbitrage game is predicated on attention and taking care of your customers will allow you enough leverage to organically grow your business and your brand.
Justifying the customer service return on investment (ROI) in your company — especially if you are willing to be in the game for the long run — is by default the essential element in long-term survival of your business.
It is also the key element that will help you stand out and allow room for creativity to build a company that your customers love.
It’s very important to ground yourself and be humble to the fact that customers chose to do business with you. From personal experience, there are 3 key elements that one should aspire to applying to their business:
1. The customer is always right, as they have invested money in your product.
As a drop shipper, the only way I can stand out from the competition is scaling my store and providing outstanding customer service, especially if you care about your customer’s money. Playing for legacy is a marathon and if you are asking someone to do business with you and pay money for your products and/or services, this business transaction gives them the right to have expectations and demands and have the leverage of the business transaction.
2. Take care of your employees. Customer service also applies in-house, by treating your employees right. Building a culture that reflects your authenticity starts from building trust with the people that work for you, as they will believe in your dreams when you believe in theirs. Appreciate their work, provide support for growth and learning, delegate responsibilities and be grateful that they are the ones helping you grow your business and tend to your customers. Take care of your employees and in turn they will take care of you, go the extra mile and ride along the journey.
3. Follow up with your customers. The radical difference between a good company and great company is following up with your customers and keeping in touch with them after they have done business with you. Repeat and referral customers are generated through maintaining communication with your customers. Yes, that also applies to drop shipping, because if they had a positive online shopping experience, they will refer your store to their friends and relatives, which in turn, helps build your brand and reputation. This is also incredibly important when there were issues with a specific transaction or the customer was dissatisfied in a particular transaction and expectations were not met, even when they were out of control. Following up resolves most of the unpleasant situations that arise.
Ultimately, the long-term success of your brand relies not on the profit that you made from a product or service that you sold, but on the delivery of customers service at a level that exceeds your customer’s expectations, which brings positive testimonials and produces repeat and referral business.