Customers have a lot of choices these days, and if you don’t deliver value, they’ll go to your competition. This is why customer support is important for your eCommerce business. With the eCommerce industry expanding at a rapid pace, maintaining client confidence and loyalty is always a major concern. And if customer service isn’t a priority in your e-commerce strategy, there will always be a gap between what people anticipate and what you give. According to HubSpot Research, 93% of customers are more likely to buy from a company that provides exceptional customer support even after the purchase.
To meet customers’ expectations and keep them loyal, e-commerce businesses must step up their customer service game. To do so, they’ll need to first develop a solid e-commerce customer support strategy. However, before delving into that, let’s talk about customer support in eCommerce.
What is Customer Support in E-commerce?
E-commerce customer support lays the groundwork for assisting customers on e-commerce platforms and throughout their lives. It’s all about assisting customers with anything from online purchase decisions to problem-solving, all while maintaining a consistent customer experience across channels and platforms. Customer service for online businesses must take into account the distinct problems of serving digital customers with:
- Frequently asked questions about products, fulfilment, and returns.
- The need for several channels to be monitored at the same time with quick response times
- Lots of service and support requests
Customer experience remains supreme amidst these issues. Your customer service team is tasked with becoming the brand’s voice – the only human touchpoint in this digital world.
How Can Customer Support Impact E-commerce Businesses?
The importance of customer service to an eCommerce business’s success cannot be emphasized. As a result, 95% of consumers believe that providing excellent customer service is critical if you want to earn their brand loyalty and retention.
However, following a single negative experience, 32% of consumers will abandon a brand they enjoy (not just any brand, but one they currently enjoy using their product or service). That means that even if they like your products, 32% of them will never buy them again if they had a terrible experience with your brand.
On the plus side, 86% of customers are willing to spend more for a superior customer experience. This means that if you get it right, you’ll get more visitors, more sales, and more revenue since customers would rather buy from you than from someone else.
Top E-commerce Customer Support Channels
Every industry has a preferred mode of communication. Live chat is the most popular method of customer support in the eCommerce industry. Social media, email, and phonecall may come in second place depending on the age range of your target audience. For instance, older customers usually demand phone service, whereas younger customers expect assistance through your brand’s social media channels. The golden rule of eCommerce customer support is to meet them where they are.
75% of customers prefer live chat to phone service, and this number is steadily increasing as more Gen Z buyers enter the market. When chatting with a chatbot, however, only 40% of customers expect the issue to be fixed quickly. This provides you with a fantastic opportunity to surprise and delight your consumers.
Many online shoppers (especially the younger generation) expect to receive some type of assistance via social media, which is currently regarded as one of the most popular customer service platforms. There are several drawbacks to incorporating social media into your customer support approach, including tracking issues and the inability to respond with confidential data. When your staff handles social media support successfully, it’s an opportunity to demonstrate to followers and potential clients the excellent customer experience you deliver.
In comparison to a live chat, email is the primary medium for managing customer service at many major and successful eCommerce organizations. This is because email does not pretend to be instantaneous.
However, just because your customer service team uses email doesn’t imply they don’t require innovative technologies. Automations, integrations, and templates can all be used to improve email response times.
Older folks, as previously stated, prefer this style of communication. To keep up with customers’ demands, big eCommerce websites usually provide phone support. Moreover, phones offer a quicker means of resolving issues. As a result, eCommerce businesses that provide phone assistance have an average resolution time that is 34% faster compared to the ones that doesn’t.
Best E-commerce Customer Support Practices You Should Implement
Let’s take a closer look at each of the key strategies for improving your eCommerce customer support:
Use a Reliable CRM
You can improve your customer support process by using reliable Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. Customer queries may be disseminated over several channels if you don’t have a good CRM system in place. This may cause additional issues, as customers may not receive timely responses to their questions. Furthermore, a disorderly approach may cause them to repeat their problem, resulting in a bad customer experience.
CRM software keeps your business organized and helps you retain customer relationships. It will simplify your team’s job and bring your business closer to your devoted customers.
Offer Real-Time Support with Live Chat
When potential customers are browsing through your e-commerce website, they may feel unsure about receiving answers to their queries. Using a live chat window to provide immediate assistance will help you get the task done. According to Econsultancy, 79% of customers prefer live chat to other channels because of the immediacy it provides. Hence, you can save costs by minimizing the time it takes to respond to customers with a live chat and thereby enhance sales and conversion rates. Some of the reasons why live chat is considered a great eCommerce practice include:
- Customers can get help from your live chat employees in real-time.
- They can even handle many chat sessions at the same time, which isn’t possible with conventional channels like phone support.
- Create possibilities for upselling and cross-selling.
- Maintain customer engagement for a more personalized and connected experience.
Analyze and Optimize Relevant Metrics
Analytics can tell you a lot about how customers feel about your customer service and what they think when they connect with your online store. Customer-related Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) such as customer happiness, average response time, churn, total discussions per day, and average resolution time are all important metrics to track when it comes to customer support. Therefore, when your customer service level is high, your sales conversion rate rises.
Ask for Feedback
One of the most important aspects of business development is customer feedback. Feedback provides a clear picture of how well your company is doing. Did you know that only 1 out of every 26 customers make a complaint, while the rest remain silent? Asking for feedback is the best method to determine if your company is doing a good job. The absence of negative feedback is an indication of customer satisfaction for many businesses.
Customer service is essential to a company’s success in the following ways:
- Enhance your products and services
- Improve the customer experience
- Enhance customer loyalty
- Improve your customer communication
- Measure customer satisfaction
Outsource Customer Support Service
Outsourcing your customer service to a third-party company can save you a lot of time while also increasing your support scalability. Outsourced customer support, for example, allows you to keep up with the demand of customers’ inquiries while staying within budget.
When you expand internationally, outsourcing your customer support is also a good option. Having a varied team and localized customer support, especially in areas where English isn’t the native language, can help your company develop and retain customers.
Focus on Proactive Customer Support
According to statistics, more than 60% of Americans prefer automated self-service to deal with minor issues, such as through a website, smartphone app, or other channels.
These self-reliant clients, led by the younger generation, prefer to solve problems on their own before contacting a customer service agent with questions. Remember that anything that assists your customers in finding answers on their own can improve their experience and increase sales.
To provide excellent eCommerce customer support, you must anticipate customers’ issues and resolve them before they become more serious.
Automate Your E-commerce Customer Support Process
Automating specific aspects of your e-commerce firm is a terrific approach to increase efficiency. Agents must deal with a plethora of support difficulties, constant pressure, deadlines, and demanding consumers, so e-commerce customer support isn’t always easy. This is where an automated customer service system comes in handy, allowing you to skip over the tedious, time-consuming manual tasks. Every eCommerce company should use automation in their daily tasks.
What Customer Support Brings to the E-commerce Sector?
When done correctly, excellent customer support can be a competitive advantage. Even when the market becomes congested and a slew of identical businesses pop up here and there, sticking to solid customer support practices will help your eCommerce business stay relevant. It can also motivate your loyal customers to stick with you while you continue to exceed their expectations.
If you’re seeking a reputable outsourcing company to help you with customer support, visit the Ecartize E-commerce Customer Services page. Our well-trained and professional team strives to provide great service that is tailored to your company’s specific requirements.