5 Strategies and Best Practices for eCommerce Customer Service
Guest post from the customer service outsourcing experts at LTVplus on 5 strategies and best practices for eCommerce Customer Service.
The eCommerce industry continues to keep growing at an unprecedented rate. For example, more than 206 million people visit Amazon every month. And if you’re wondering how many eCommerce stores there are all over the world, the number is somewhere between 12 million to 24 million.
In this sea of eCommerce stores, one might wonder what it would take to stand out. The answer? Reliable eCommerce customer service will make your customers feel valued and will encourage them to keep coming back.
What is eCommerce customer service?
In a nutshell, eCommerce customer service is the way that online businesses give assistance to online users. This spans the buyer’s journey from decision-making, to purchase, and even until the post-purchase experience.
Customer service can be served via the following channels
- Phone calls
- Social media
- Live chat
Additionally, eCommerce customer service includes the following:
- Helping potential customers with purchase decisions
- Offering solutions and answers to technical queries
- Acknowledging feedback from customers
- Handling disputes or other product or shipping concerns
Why does eCommerce customer service matter?
Data from Microsoft shows that customer service is an important factor for brand loyalty according to 95% of consumers. After all, it’s all about helping customers with what they need plus ensuring that the customer experience is pleasant.
When your eCommerce business delivers great customer support, your customers are content and satisfied—enabling you to forge stronger relationships.
Check out these numbers from Obrello:
- 84% of customers share that customer service helped them make up their minds about a purchase
- 68% of shoppers say that they are ready to buy from stores that provide excellent customer service
However, 80% of businesses believe that they actually provide excellent customer service—but only 8% of customers agree. This shows that there’s a disconnect between customer expectations and what eCommerce stores are able to provide.
5 Strategies for eCommerce customer service
Here are a few strategies that should be part of your customer service strategy.
Enable self-service for online users
This is actually an underrated strategy. Most people think of interacting with support agents right away. But the truth is, 60% of US consumers actually prefer automated self-service for simple tasks. Here are some ways that you can enable self-service for customers:
- Set up a knowledge base where you can publish all the relevant information that consumers require
- Make your FAQs clear, concise, and easily accessible
- Don’t forget to add information on shipping and returns
- AI chatbots are also good for real-time conversations on common questions. For more complicated ones, live chat is your best bet—but more about that later!
Be present where your customers are
According to a study by the Aberdeen Group, companies that have a well-structured omnichannel customer experience have a 91% customer retention rate.
Omnichannel basically means offering seamless customer service across various channels where your customers are.
It doesn’t mean simply being present—but being unified across all touchpoints and being able to deliver consistency regardless of the channel. Why? When 73% of customers use multiple channels in the shopping journey, it’s clear that you should learn how to maximize these different channels.
Follow these three steps to guide you in crafting your omnichannel customer service strategy:
- Identify all touchpoints and channels preferred by your customers and target customers
- Review your customer journey and strategize how to engage online users across all touchpoints
- Use tools to ensure that the flow of data across all channels is smooth and consistent. Here’s where using helpdesk software comes in.
Improve response time by providing real-time support with live chat
The digital transformation has spoiled online users. They are used to getting answers right now, right away, as soon as possible. In fact, 12% of Americans said that “lack of speed” is the number one thing that irks them when it comes to customer service.
The best way to deliver speed without sacrificing quality is by offering live chat. It allows online users to get an answer right away without having to wait for hours for an email. This is why 79% of customers prefer live chat. Plus, users get to communicate with actual human beings, not just an AI bot.
Other benefits of using live chat:
- It drives 3-5 more conversions.
- Increases customer satisfaction due to the shorter response time
- 63% of customers are interested to come back to a website with live chat
Ensure you have the right people in the right seats
Your eCommerce customer service team should be top-notch. After all, they will act as your front liners and first point of contact with both existing and potential customers.
Here are some crucial tips when it comes to hiring your customer service team:
- Aside from skills and experience, attitude and personality are very important. Agents must be empathetic and patient to ensure a pleasant experience for customers.
- It’s important to set up a training schedule to streamline your customer service processes. The training should include important information about your company and products or services.
- Track your team’s performance using surveys and feedback mechanisms.
- Be open to hiring agents who speak different languages so you can better cater to your international audience.
If your customer service system is becoming too overwhelming, or you find yourself spending more time on customer service compared to other aspects of your business, it might be better for you to outsource your eCommerce customer service.
There are many benefits of outsourcing. But essentially, you can just hire a dedicated team who will take care of manpower, training, execution, and monitoring. It’s like having an extension of your business.
For example, LTVplus has highly experienced and trained agents who can help with customer service, cart recovery, and even failed payment recovery. They also have multilingual agents to cater to your international customers.
Equip yourself with the right tools and automate what you can
The right software is just as important as having the right team or processes. Having a help desk software like Replyco can help customer service teams manage support tickets and respond to them faster.
Basically, a helpdesk software centralizes all your customer messages into one intuitive inbox, allowing you to automate repetitive tasks and streamline workflows. That way, your agents can provide quality customer service in a short period of time.
Some examples of tasks you can automate:
- Email notifications
- Shipping information
- Tags and labels
Wrap up: Is your customer service right where you want it to be?
It’s time to reassess how your customer service is doing. Aside from being a tool to help people with their questions, it can also be a tool to maximize your sales—if executed properly.
As online consumers’ expectations continue to increase, customer service becomes even more essential in order for your eCommerce business to thrive.
Remember that your eCommerce business is only as successful as the quality of your customer service.