eCommerce businesses experience the advantage of operating like traditional retailers, but without the major costs of maintaining a storefront. However, in order to satisfy high consumer expectations, eCommerce businesses must have a more responsive online support and customer service strategy. This guide will teach you all you need to know about eCommerce customer service, including tactics and tools you'll need to manage a top-notch customer service department.
The Difference in eCommerce Customer Service
Every company should value customer service and support, and this is especially true for businesses that sell directly to individual customers. However, as an eCommerce shop, you can't just mimic your favorite traditional retail company’s customer service strategies. The customer service issues in eCommerce revolve around how you offer access to customer support in a digital world, and therefore how well and how quickly you can resolve a question or issue without face-to-face contact.
Although both eCommerce and conventional retail businesses sell directly to customers, their purchasing procedures are significantly different. The most obvious distinction is that eCommerce transactions take place exclusively online, while customers can purchase items in person at brick-and-mortar retail locations. As a result, the purchasing process from start to finish is a bit different for eCommerce shoppers.
The largest distinction in terms of customer service is that the entire transaction may take place in a shopper's own house. Unlike at a shop, your team won't be able to approach them and provide help or take them through their selections. As a result, one of the most difficult aspects of eCommerce customer service is finding out how to persuade customers to interact with your staff virtually— something that conventional merchants don't have to worry about.
You want to make sure that consumers know how to contact your team and that doing so is simple, even for minor issues like size and stock information. Though the procedure differs from asking for assistance from store staff, it should be just as simple. A primary objective of your eCommerce customer service strategy should be to ensure that this is the case and customers aren’t left in the lurch.
Top Customer Service Factors with eCommerce
Greater Expectations – After time-to-resolution, eCommerce customers have abnormally high consumer expectations of online companies in general. Consumer expectations for email responses, for example, have risen from over 12 hours to as little as an hour. The list of expectations for internet companies doesn't end there. Every aspect of your internet experience should be as simple as possible. The purchasing, cart, review, delivery, and referral experiences are all included.
Mobile Devices – With 70% of Americans buying online, having a customer service team that prioritizes mobile is essential. As a result, online chat, click-to-call, and SMS text assistance have all become commonplace in today's customer experience initiatives.
Response Time – When it comes to eCommerce, your competition is only a click away. If a potential consumer has a query about your product, your customer care representatives must be able to reply quickly using their omnichannel customer service software. In fact, customers want as close to an immediate response while knowing they’re talking to a real human. This makes it especially important to be clear about your operating hours and how long until people can expect a response, especially if you’re a small company.
Resolve Time – Increasing client happiness is the aim of customer service. That implies that resolving client concerns in a timely manner is at the top of your service team's priority list. It's also on your consumers' minds and they want their concerns to be handled faster than ever before as response times get shorter.
Ways to Improve eCommerce Customer Service
Offer Various Customer Support Options
Consumers today are accustomed to having choices at every step of the purchasing process. This includes the choice of brands, products, and also the customer service channels they have to get in touch with the company. This means that it's in your best interest to provide your consumers with a variety of choices, such as text, live chat, email, and a phone call.
Encourage Customers to Get In Touch
Bad customer support can cost you, and it all starts to go downhill if a customer doesn’t have a simple way of contacting you. Unlike a typical retail store, your employees cannot approach clients while they are browsing your eCommerce site and ask if they want assistance. This implies that if you want customers to contact you, you must encourage them to do so at key moments in the purchasing process. Consider when a shopper might require assistance as one of the greatest methods to achieve this. Then, in places where it's most easy for people to contact your customer service agents, you can include contact information.
Personalize the Customer Service Experience
It's critical to remember that your clients are unique individuals in each of your support encounters. Even if certain aspects of your approach are automated, your consumers should never feel that they are being reduced to numbers. Fortunately, avoiding this snare isn't difficult if you use real-time conversational SMS tools. Keep in mind that responding in five minutes or less is ideal for customers, and this in turn will show that you care about the customer’s needs and time.
The Best eCommerce Customer Service Products
Your customer service platform will be critical whether creating a customer service department or just improving your operations to match current standards. Utilizing a seamless omnichannel ecommerce customer care platform will be necessary as eCommerce businesses demand faster response and resolution times.
In order to turn your contact center into a profit center, you'll need a software solution that incorporates integrated voice, IVR, live chat, email, SMS, and lifetime interaction history. We’ve gathered some of the best eCommerce customer service software listed below to help you start excelling with ecommerce customer support.
These days, Zendesk is practically synonymous with online customer care. It's utilized by some of the most well-known digital companies, such as Uber and Shopify, and it offers a comprehensive customer care solution for every stage of the customer experience. You’ll benefit from a ticketing system that can be managed from a single dashboard, live chat, call and text capabilities, and more. Zendesk also has its own CRM and allows you to develop your own unique knowledge base to make it easier for clients to locate the information they need. It also has extensive and user-friendly analytics and reporting tools.
LiveChat is a helpful live chat feature that you can add to your website. You've probably noticed the small chat bubble that displays in the bottom corner of many websites to allow users to contact customer care. Customers will like the ease of use, but it's worth noting that the customer support side of the chat is just as simple to use and comprehend, implying that no training is necessary.
SurveyMonkey has well-designed survey templates that you can use to find out how your leads and customers feel about your company. However, you are not required to utilize templates; you may adapt and build your own to fit your specific requirements. With powerful analytics tools and access to a wealth of consumer data, SurveyMonkey can assist you in making better business decisions in the future.
Acquire is a live chat solution with a twist: it enables real-time screen sharing between your customer support staff and your customers without requiring consumers to download any software. This feature reduces communication time, resulting in a more streamlined solution that improves client satisfaction. Acquire is trusted by a number of well-known companies, like Audi and Samsung.
Consider Referral Candy if you're searching for a way to create brand advocates via your customer service. Your clients will be given a personalized link that they can share with their friends, family, or followers in return for any incentive you want to give them, such as discounts or early access to limited-time offers.
Emotive focuses on assisting eCommerce companies in developing one-on-one relationships with their consumers using conversational text messaging. Emotive’s technology allows you and your customers to communicate via automated two-way SMS, allowing them to talk with a live person if they have any questions or concerns. Emotive can help you improve your SMS marketing communication strategy without interrupting your brand's operations and by integrating our system with your existing technology.
The Value of Text Conversations for eCommerce Customer Service
Since SMS or texting is the preferred communication method among customers, it’s in your company’s best interest to take this to heart. With 90 percent of people who open text messages within three minutes, it’s also a fast way to respond and resolve customer service inquiries. Your customer can also easily continue with their busy day while you work on resolving their concern for them.
People prefer to do business with real people rather than with a robot. Therefore, it’s ideal to take SMS customer support to the next level by making it a conversational experience. Conversational SMS marketing establishes true and honest interactions with your consumers. Your customer is interacting with you because you're engaging them in a real-life, human-to-human interaction, not because they have nowhere else to go for whatever need or problem they're experiencing.
If you’re ready to talk with and not at your customer, you can seriously benefit from integrating Emotive.io with eCommerce store and customer service strategy. Emotive can help you optimize your SMS marketing communication plan by integrating our system with the technology you already have. With genuine dialogues, your brand will be able to build trust with customers who are still unfamiliar with it and cut through the clutter of typical one-way communication, resulting in greater conversion rates.
Emotive has a real staff of people that handle all of your company's SMS communication operations and guarantee that customer trust is maximized through authentic and human interactions. Emotive Automation is used by real people to enable two-way text messaging for a variety of reasons, including product announcements, sale announcements, abandoned cart conversions, reorder prompts, and texting website leads. Your customers will appreciate the attentiveness and authenticity that your brand promotes with the assistance of conversational SMS customer service tools.
Elevate Your eCommerce Customer Service
With varying challenges that surround customer service in the eCommerce environment, it’s good to know that there are several tools to uplift your brand and create quality customer care. Customers who want lightning fast response times will be pleasantly surprised with the ease of contacting your company for help, your ability to handle their concerns immediately, and your willingness to offer personal touches with SMS conversations.