Episode 8: With customer service to a successful online shop

In episode 8 of the '' The Conversion Hacker Podcast '', Germany's top conversion hacker Jörg Dennis Krüger explains how you can optimize your customer service to make your customers happy in the long term, using the example of the e-commerce giant Amazon.


Welcome to the conversion hacking podcast! My name is Jörg Dennis Krüger and as my personal trainer rightly said: Yes, I am the conversion hacker! My topic today is the archenemy of all online shops.

The antichrist of e-commerce, the big American department store: Amazon. For many online retailers, this is both the savior and the final fatal blow. You can quickly get reach and sell products on Amazon, but Amazon always grabs a larger market share and displaces the smaller retailers.

At least that's how you might think. But Amazon does it, yes, a bit out of the strategy that Amazon invests in new technologies and that Amazon did not want to make any real profits for a long time. And now you can still say that Amazon exploits employees and doesn't pay enough and so on. Even if I am perhaps a bit skeptical whether the normal warehouse worker gets more or less at a smaller, medium-sized online shop than at Amazon. That probably depends a lot on the company and so on. But, Amazon is definitely a huge competitor. But how did Amazon get there?

If we ask ourselves the question and answer the question, then we know how to make our online shop more successful and how we can survive against Amazon. Because from my point of view, surviving against Amazon is not that difficult. Because why do I also order from time to time and I like to order from Amazon?

Well, I really, really like to order from smaller online shops where I know they have a nicer selection, I might know the people there and where I can find the products and the price doesn't really play that big a role. Price doesn't really matter that much to me on Amazon. At Amazon, I'm one of those, just like many, many, many others who only look at one thing: They look at: "Is there a small Prime symbol on it?". And many products - via Prime - are more expensive than if I didn't buy them via Prime. Prime, especially for slightly cheaper products, usually means a surcharge. And what does Prime mean? Prime means the product is delivered quickly, often the very next day.

Amazon pretty much tells me when it will be delivered. But Prime also means: In most cases, the product is sold by Amazon and I can use Amazon customer service. And there we have the two exciting things that ultimately make Amazon so popular. Fast delivery and great customer service. Amazon is not necessarily cheap at all. Maybe they want to be natural too, but I know many, many, many counterexamples where the actual shops are cheaper.

And Amazon isn't particularly great to use either. Yes, this department store has a bit of an advantage that somehow everything can be found there, but in the end also 25 packages from 23 warehouses and so on, that is no longer this great advantage that I say okey, I now order everything from one Provider, then the parcel carrier comes only once and that's it. No, no, it's actually these two things: delivery time and customer service.

If I have problems with Amazon shipments, then I actually have no problem. Recently Amazon delivery didn't arrive here. I have no idea on the note from DHL, or what Amazon Logistics I have no idea what was written on it: “Given to the neighbor even with the name of the neighbor.” Fine went, neighbor says: "No one was with me." Well, I called Amazon: "Friends what's up?"

They said: “Yes, no problem at all! Have to wait another two or three days to see if the product will still be delivered and if not then I'll credit you!" And then he called after two days, "And did you get it?", said "No, unfortunately not" - "Okay, I'll give you credit!" quickly quickly Quickly. Theoretically, he would have even sent it to me again and not only wrote it well, but unfortunately the product was no longer there at the moment, you couldn't send it again, I have to order it again - well, that's how it is. And otherwise, something is defective, even within the two-year warranty:

Amazon helps! Amazon doesn't say, "Oh, sorry, but it's been six months, we'll have to see." Amazon says: “Nah you, no problem. Do you want a new device or should we just take it back – no thing.” Amazon is incredibly accommodating. But if you look at the statistics that Amazon publishes, Amazon has relatively low return rates overall, maybe also because a slightly different target group is addressed, maybe because they don't necessarily offer fashion, but this open strategy of providing such good service and also accepting returns, even if you say, oh God, that's not necessarily a real return, someone actually broke it, or whatever, but it's a service that keeps customers with Amazon. And if I order something that I'm not sure whether A will last long enough, or B whether I really want to keep it, then I prefer to order from Amazon.

Why did I argue with a large online shop for vacuum robots, as my vacuum robot was defective, relatively quickly. And then he just said: "Yes wait a minute, no problem at all, then send me the vacuum robot back, we'll check it and if it's really a defect and everything's ready, then we'll send you a new one, right fix it, send you the money." Then you just have to look at the law, which says: “No, no, wait a minute, the warranty works differently. Warranty means first delivering a replacement and then requesting the defective product back.”

Because otherwise, as a customer, I'm left with nothing, I've paid, I don't have a device anymore, so everything's gone and I have to hope that the retailer will react. The legislature wants to protect me from that. But many retailers don't care. First of all, they want to distrust the customer enormously. "Well, he just wants anyway..." and no idea. And the customer notices this distrust and of course I ordered the next robot vacuum somewhere else and not from this big robot vacuum shop. What's that about?

Example from real life: I bought parasols, really first in the store and was very excited that I - Bauhaus, I'll advertise it - that I could also return the parasol to Bauhaus. Two months later, as he was defective, too, without a receipt. I couldn't find the receipt, I didn't pick it up, back again. Sure, the lady at the information desk was like: "But you have to bring the receipt with you!", but the actual complaints processor took a look at it, saw it, yes, one of our products is okay, it's defective, well, no problem, here get your money back.

That means: I really enjoy shopping at Bauhaus again because I just know they have great service and even if something is defective. That was the umbrella from the Bauhaus own brand and I bought two of them, both of them broke relatively quickly - of course poop - but I'm going to buy again because the service was good, it's great.

No damage and in the end it's all good, the products aren't that good, well, well, the individual employees aren't involved either, maybe they didn't know, maybe I'm here with my umbrella on the third floor on the balcony , that's too much of a strain on the screen - I don't know. But in any case: That's customer service that keeps the user. And that's why people keep coming back to Amazon. And then of course I have a self-fulfilling story, if people keep coming back, then I can offer more products, then people buy more and I grow and grow and grow, then a few more innovations like wait, I don't know what, like an Alexa or here the buttons that you just introduced or maybe something like Prime, because then it's worth it, because I order there more often.

And then I can really grow into what I am and this statement - so with the growth of what Amazon has become, like that. But this statement from Jeff Bezos, this "We want to be the most customer-friendly company in the world."

This is actually what made Amazon great in the end. And successful online shops, from my point of view, they do exactly that too. They simply make their customers happy and are customer-friendly. And whoever argues with a customer or then immediately wants compensation from the customer or something, sends the customer yes in the long run and thus limits itself in growth.

I am a member of some Facebook dealer groups and I read these questions more often: “Well, here the customer sent me a product back, but he has now tried it more than once. I can't just resell it like I can from the value replacement, I would prefer to just send the product back and keep everything. "

Of course I see the problem, I see of course that you have to earn money and that you cannot give money back lightly and so on and immediately, that the margins are generally not that big. But well, this one customer, if I treat him nicely and he tells his friends and so on, then in the end I have the chance to grow in a completely different way and of course I always have a small number of problem orders, but I almost don't think so Problem customers, I think there are very, very few customers who actually do so with fraudulent intent. So when I click on invoice payment, as if I always get it or something.

So, I don't think people want to cheat, they just have a problem and that can be so much that you can really sue mattress manufacturers up to the highest level, whether a mattress can be returned or something. Well, God, it's idiotic of course when companies like Ikea or all other furniture stores say: Hey, sleep 100 days sample and send them back.

And then I say to my customer: "No, you've already slept on it, I'm not taking the mattress back, but suing me." Then I get sued and I even lose and so on, goes through the press. Oh my godness. Instead of simply making the customer happy, cleaning the mattress properly and then maybe making another customer happy by stopping, as Amazon does with merchandise deals, then just checking the products a little, selling them a little cheaper .

And so bind the customers even closer to me because they see; Man, I'll get good deals again and so on and so forth. So I don't defeat Amazon with a good conversion rate, I don't defeat Amazon with a cheap price, I don't defeat Amazon with, I don't know what, the perfect shop and all that. I beat Amazon by delivering great customer service. And that begins with fast delivery, i.e. really saying when I can deliver and then actually delivering, and that continues with the service after the order. Now don't actively ask and help and that sort of thing, but if there is a problem, really help the customer, reimburse quickly if necessary, send replacement goods quickly, that is how I keep customers happy and then I keep customers away from Amazon. 

And there are some products where I wouldn't even consider buying from Amazon, because I know the retailers from whom I order, they are so reliable and so fast and so great that I don't even have to go to Amazon . I don't have any added value on Amazon. So I always order from them, even if I usually start my research where I always buy something in smaller online shops and only maybe at the end go to Amazon and then buy there because somehow I couldn't find it anywhere else.

For many things, Amazon simply has a very, very large range because there are many marketplace dealers and things like that. There are no small online shops where you can go shopping - a shame too. You might be able to attract a bit of people with the range, but then I can really pull people there. And when, for example, I see online shops that deliver with DPD. Yeah well

I don't order there. I just run after my DPD parcels. But Magic: Amazon Prime at Sela, which is also delivered by DPD, then suddenly works because Amazon obviously thought about it and said: ok, DPD is cheap, but it also has to work and I'm two here DPD parcels, especially recently, have been chasing after forever, but the third thing you ordered from Amazon - a new office PC - came like a dream.

He found the house, he rang the doorbell, he didn't carry it upstairs, that was a heavy thing ten kilos, waited for me to come down, but anyway, it worked. Nevertheless, I prefer deliveries via Amazon Logistics or, in particular, via DHL. But there you see: Customer focus is the absolute secret to defeating Amazon and now you can just say: Yes, let's go! Customers think in a focused way and always think about what the goodies can be that I use to get customers to buy, because Amazon does a lot of things wrong.

Hey, I bought a toilet seat from Amazon. But it's neither a fetish nor do I have 100 toilets! I don't need more toilet seats, one is enough for me, you don't have to keep emailing me saying "hey I want to buy another toilet seat?!" Amazon does a lot of things wrong too. And there are still huge opportunities to overtake Amazon, to leave Amazon far behind in its niche. But you have to be brave for that. You might even have to be a hacker to develop the creativity to do something like this properly and defeat Amazon. So, let's go! Now, conversion hacking, hacking amazon over, more sales!

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