Setting up an e-commerce site can be an easy way to make extra money for yourself. In some cases, it can become a full blown business venture for yourself and anyone else who you work with.
However, what happens when disaster strikes? If something goes wrong on your site, will you be ready to respond?
Determine the Problem
What is the problem? That is the first question that you have to ask yourself. If you don’t know what the issue is that you are facing, you won’t be able to handle it correctly.
While your customers and others associated with the site may want answers right away, it is best to take your time to figure out what is going on. Once you know what the problem is, you can relay a detailed and clear message as to how you will proceed.
Always Apologize for the Inconvenience
Customers like it when companies own up to their mistakes. Failing to take responsibility for what happened can make your business look aloof or indifferent.
Even if you aren’t sure what is going on or how to fix it, you should profusely apologize for the problem. It shows that you care about what others are going through and are committed to making sure that the issue is taken care of as soon as possible.
Take the Site Offline
If necessary, take the site offline until you know what the issue is. This should prevent hackers from infiltrating your site, which is extra important if you’re having a security problem. It will also give your IT team a chance to determine what is going on.
If you don’t have an IT team, you should hire a computer expert to help you out as soon as possible. Many small businesses use data backup services that allow for an archived version of your site to be uploaded quickly.
In addition, a cached copy of your site allows you or your team to determine if any files were altered or corrupted.
Offer Refunds or Replacements
Don’t be afraid to offer refunds or replacement goods. In the event that you don’t have the resources to offer refunds, you could offer a credit or a discount on a customer’s next purchase.
This once again shows that you are trying to work with your customers and figure out how to make sure that what you experienced doesn’t erode their trust for your brand.
How Will You Correct the Problem?
Once you have determined the issue, apologized and offered refunds, you need to show how things are going to be different in the future.
If there was a problem getting orders to the correct customers, you should announce that a change in delivery provider has been made or an upgrade to order software has been made.
It is important to take action when a crisis hits. Take your time to determine what happened, announce the problem to customers and then make it right.
Combined with a few apologies, this should help customers retain their trust in your site.
Jason Kane has been working in e-commerce for the last five years. He recommends Webgistix for any and all product fulfillment needs.