In addition to providing new channels to increase sales, a B2B ecommerce site also offers the opportunity to improve customer satisfaction through more responsive and accessible customer service.
By utilizing specific “self-service” information on your B2B ecommerce site, you can off-load a substantial number of inquiries received and handled by your company’s Customer Service Department each day. This means that your traditional Customer Service Department will be better able to focus on the inquiries that require a human touch.
Most B2B ecommerce sites provide two types of customer service information: general information and customer-specific information.
General customer service information includes the basics that you feel confident sharing with anyone, from anywhere. This may include:
- The requirements of becoming a dealer or distributor for your company
- Where to find a local dealer or distributor
- Your corporate return policy
- Technical support contact information and hours of operation
- Technical product specifications
- How-to guides
- Your mailing address, fax number, etc.
General customer service information is available on unsecured web pages and can be browsed and accessed by anyone, regardless of their relationship with your company. It is also indexed by search engine crawlers.
Customer-Specific Account Information
Customer-specific information may be sensitive and is typically kept private on a B2B ecommerce site through the use of a secured customer portal. Each customer is issued a unique user name and password and by logging in with those credentials they can access information specific to their account, including:
- Customer-specific pricing sheets
- Product information that is not public knowledge
- Order information
- Shipping and tracking information
- Account status
- Invoice reprints
Keep in mind that some companies secure technical information and “how to” documents within their customer portals as well.
Will hosting customer service information on your B2B ecommerce completely replace your Customer Service Department?
No, but it will make their workload more manageable and will assure your customers are able to get the information they need, even when your office is closed.
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