For today’s businesses, how well you provide customer support is a key factor in shaping your company’s reputation. In the words of Walmart founder Sam Walton, “The goal of a company is to have a customer service that is not just the best, but legendary.” But what steps can eCommerce businesses take to bolster their service? Here are 5 customer support trends in e-commerce you simply can’t afford to ignore.
Rich Self-Service Experience
Purchasing online has trained people to complete a transaction without assistance. Over time, consumers have become accustomed to this experience and prefer to help themselves when possible. Make this as easy as possible by providing a rich self-service experience complete with Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), virtual assistants (VAs) and guided navigation. Detailed FAQs should provide brief answers to the questions your customer service and sales staff hear most often. Whether it is sizing information or details on correct product usage, anticipate their questions. Don’t forget to include information that first-time customers have as well. Include an explanation of your company’s:
- Payment options
- Shipping procedures
- Return policy
Be sure to include information about how they will receive tracking information once their order has shipped as well as where and how they can track their package.
Use VAs to engage the buyer, just as a human would. If you utilize VAs for product information, ask questions such as “how and where will you be using this product”. For after-sale support, be sure the VA asks for relevant information to locate the purchase in the first interaction. Integrate your VA with your CRM for a seamless experience.
Use guided navigation for complex products or products that are not easily distinguished by images. Allow buyers to drill down on the details of their search to result in the most relevant returns. Give buyers access to the technical details they need without sending an email or making a phone call.
Sometimes a question cannot be answered by a FAQ. That’s when buyers will want immediate human contact. An online chat allows your customers to get the support they need without leaving your webstore. Not only does online chat give your customers the immediate support they want, it provides you with the means of identifying customer pain points. The data collected during online chat should be used to enhance the customer experience before and after the sale. Be sure to follow up with the customer to determine if problems are resolved and questions are answered.
Mobile Friendly Interface
Today’s shoppers are on the go and they take the internet with them. This means more e-commerce transactions are taking place on smartphones and tablets. Make sure your site is built on a platform that is mobile-ready. Your entire site, including all product information, should render correctly on mobile devices. Your shopping cart, VAs, and online chat windows must be totally responsive for all size screens. Customers should not be forced to phone in an order or call with a question because your site isn’t mobile friendly. And speaking of phoning in, click-to-call is a feature every mobile site should incorporate. With one click, buyers should be able to connect with a live customer service representative.
Social Media as Customer Service
Shopping has not only moved online, it’s turned social as well. It’s not enough to have social media accounts to send out marketing messages. You must actively listen as well. One of the worst things you can do is not respond to questions or complaints on social media. At least one customer service representative should be assigned to monitor and respond to all issues or complaints that are posted to your company’s social media accounts. A survey by Conversocial found that customers are increasingly turning to social media channels for customer care because they are so easy to use. Use your social media as a customer service channel and publicly build a reputation for great service to reinforce your brand.
Complete Customer Service Integration
It is essential for your online customer service functions to integrate seamlessly with your phone support. Make sure open tickets are captured and available to online chat representatives and VA programs as well as phone support personnel. Whether the customer phones, emails, or initiates an online chat, the customer service representative should have a 360 view of the customer, their current ticket, and the overall state of the customer account. An omnichannel experience doesn’t apply just to sales, it’s relevant to support as well.
As you can see, legendary customer service for e-commerce is all about using the right mix of technology and human interactions to provide a personal relationship to online shoppers. By offering a rich self-service experience, to providing the convenience of Virtual Assistants, online chats and click-to-dial, you show customers that you care about exceptional customer experience. There’s no time like the presenet so start improving customer service for your eCommerce business today.