1. April 2020 Blog

7 ways to improve e-commerce support

Customer support is one of the crucial factors when it comes to choosing an online store. Find out how to meet your customers' expectations.

There are between 12M to 24M eCommerce sites in the world. The fierce competition and rising customers expectations are becoming a challenge for all of the e-retailers.

Low prices and great products don’t guarantee success anymore. It’s the customer support that has become one of the crucial factors when it comes to choosing an online store, as customers become more aware and expect an excellent service while shopping. Keep reading to find out how to deliver brilliant support for your e-commerce customers. 

Identify and eliminate your customers’ pain-points

Before you even start thinking about improving your customer support strategy, implementing new tools or hiring new agents - take a look at the customer’s journey. As buyers need your support when they encounter issues, it might be extremely helpful to eliminate them before they occur. That way, you can improve the overall customer experience and additionally, save some time and effort of your agents. 

Here’s a useful template that will help you create a customer journey map. You can customise the sections based on your store’s specifics and fill out the fields to match your customers better, along with their needs and motivations. 

customer_journey

Source: Uxpressia.com 

If you can't eliminate all of the issues right now, at least you can be aware of them - and expect them to occur. Prepare a few scenarios for such situations and train your team so that your agents know how to deal with the most sensitive and common questions. 

Create an omnichannel support strategy

For the convenience of your customers, you should provide support via a few different channels. Choose channels that your customers prefer, though - nowadays, new technologies offer a vast number of options, it doesn’t make sense to be where your customers are not. Even though social media became a popular contact channel - more conventional forms of communication, like email and phone, are still the most common contact method chosen by consumers. In fact, according to Hubspot Research: 62% of customers want to communicate with companies via email for customer service. 48% want to use the phone, 42% live chat, and 36% "Contact Us" forms.

Enable a few options, for buyers who prefer talking over the phone, chatting on live chat or Messenger, tweeting, writing emails or reaching out via contact form on the website. 

Source: Mokosh 

Still, omnichannel support means not only providing a few ways of contacting a customer-facing team, but also giving agents access to all of the essential information about customers.

Once you decide which channels to choose for customer support, select tools that enable integrating them all - that way, your agents can have purchasing and interaction history across all of the used channels. Avoid customer frustration and don’t force them to share the same information on and on. Go omnichannel! 

Find out more on how to provide brilliant omnichannel support

Make it extremely easy to contact your customer support team

On your user-friendly website finding a “Contact” section or starting a conversation via live chat should be fast and intuitive. Check out below how brands do it. 

Even though the contact button is usually at the bottom of a website, place this option also at the top. You’ll save your visitors some time on scrolling down. It seems like a meaningless detail but can be game-changing for a customer who’s searching for a contact form in a hurry. 

Source: Fruit-bijoux 

Live chat in the bottom corner of an online store should also be available on every subsite. Therefore, customers can reach out to a brand during every step of their journey.

Source: Pdpaola 

Enable self-service

Build an informative FAQ section to allow your customers to find all of the needed information on their own. It will be time-saving and beneficial for everyone. Once you’re at it, though, make sure you update your FAQs regularly - especially when you make any changes in your offer, terms and conditions or delivery times. 

Interestingly, a popular FAQ section can also be created and accessed with a bot. The market is filled with easy-to-use chatbot platforms so that you don’t need any coding skills to implement your own bot on a website or in Messenger. Facebook even provides an automatic response feature natively in the platform. This way, customers can receive immediate answers to repetitive questions

Source: Lefrikbrand 

Offer proactive support 

Speaking of chatbots… Generally, e-commerce customer service is seen as help after purchasing - if a package isn't delivered on time, there's a problem with payment, and so on.

Nonetheless, you can also use its potential to boost sales and improve customer experience, for example, thanks to virtual assistants. Advanced chatbots can help your customers find the desired products easier and enable faster shopping.

virtual assistent

Source: Inteliwise.com

Find customers that might need your help, even if they didn’t reach out to your team. Monitor your site, and social networks - focus on the keywords connected to your brand, products and industry. That way, you can recommend your online store to customers who are looking for products such as yours. Additionally, you can find opinions about your store and respond to them. 

Be prepared for the busy shopping seasons

In the e-commerce industry, there are at least a few busy seasons throughout the year. Based on previous years' revenue and traffic on your website, you can easily identify the most significant periods for your online store.

Usually, retailers focus on Black Friday, Pre-Christmas season, Mother's Day, Children's Day, etc. Brace your team with additional training, scripts or tools to face the challenge of the busiest shopping seasons for your brand, and therefore, increased number of questions and issues. 

Delight your customers

Make an effort not only to meet your customers' expectations but also go beyond and delight them. How? You won't like the answer. It depends on your industry, products, and for the most, on your customers and the particular circumstances.

For example, if a product has been damaged during the delivery, instead of denying your responsibility (yes, that wasn’t really your team's fault, but still), deal with an issue. 

Send a new product with a hand-written note and a small gift as compensation. These, in fact, low-cost gestures can make your customers smile. And happy customers are more likely to become your brand's ambassadors. 

Plus, what's the most significant factor that influences customer-facing team performance? Yes, your team! Find people who are empathic, patient, and for the most, who love chatting in a friendly and helpful way. 

Learn more on how to make your customer support more human

twit customer experience

Source: Twitter 

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to improve your team’s performance when it comes to customer support. The E-commerce industry can be challenging, but certainly with a set of smart, integrated tools, and well-trained, friendly agents you’ll satisfy, and hopefully even delight your customers. 

And, speaking of smart tools, you might actually want to give CloudTalk a try. It’s a powerful cloud-based phone system that can easily help your customer service reps offer outstanding support. See it for yourself!