Small businesses have long been called “brick and mortars” but in light of today’s COVID-19 crisis, many are pivoting quickly and shifting to online sales. Navigating new territory comes with a whole new set of challenges during good times, but during a crisis, it can be overwhelming and exceptionally stressful.

As customers move to online shopping, it’s more important than ever for businesses to make sure that they are communicating with them throughout the buying process. Just because your customer has already made a purchase, doesn’t mean your job is finished.

While turnaround time is understandably a bit longer during these times, customers need to be reassured that they haven’t just sent their money off to a black hole. Most communication through sites like Shopify can be automated fairly easily and the reassurances they can provide can come back to you in terms of customer satisfaction.

Spending a little bit of time on the front end to make sure that you have a clear communication process in place throughout the buying experience can go a long way toward solidifying customer loyalty and retention. Just remember, most customers will be understanding of delays and issues as long as you communicate with them and don’t leave them in the dark.

Here are a five questions to ask yourself when it comes to communicating with a customer after a purchase:

  • If a customer submits an inquiry through your website, do they receive an automatic response that their question has been received and a rough estimate of when they can receive a response?
  • If orders are taking longer than a few days to ship out, can you automate an email that says you’re still working on it?
  • Do you provide tracking information so that customers know their purchase is on the way? (Many Shopify orders can do this automatically through Arrive.)
  • If an item is out of stock, do you contact them immediately with alternative options or estimates of when it might be in stock?
  • Do you follow up with an email thanking them for their purchase and keeping your store top of mind?