Because it is. And we need an optimized blog on this topic on our website.
Jokes aside, customer support in e-commerce truly is crucial, and anyone who has ever shopped online knows what a relief it is to have someone who can assist you, reach out with info on your purchase, and answer all questions. Since there’s no in-person contact in e-commerce, the only way to interact with your customers is through online customer support. With that in mind, every business that wants to stay alive and advance must have outstanding customer support.
Let’s go a bit more in detail to understand the whole topic better.
What Is Customer Support in E-commerce?
In order to create a seamless customer experience across channels and platforms, businesses use e-commerce customer service to help customers with everything from making decisions about purchases to resolving concerns.
The process of assisting online buyers through e-commerce platforms and channels throughout their life cycle is referred to as e-commerce customer service. This keeps businesses safe from a bad customer experience that leads to one-star reviews, that leads to a bad reputation, that leads to building your name again… sounds awful. And it is.
What Is Actually Meant by Supporting Customers in E-commerce?
We’re not only talking about how to handle customer complaints. Customer support in e-commerce means taking action to avoid any customer dissatisfaction. This means preventing sales mistakes by having proper training, answering all questions in a timely manner, and providing customers with correct information, as well. Agents should cover all channels of communication, from the official ones, like websites, to the informal ones, such as Reddit posts.
Why You Should Have Customer Support in E-commerce?
If you don’t trust us, trust the numbers. Many statistics show that customer support is an essential tool a business should have, but some numbers will wow you. For example, during COVID, when everything went from in-person to online, excellent customer service proved itself as a competitive advantage once again. According to the survey done by Salesforce, 92% of consumers agreed with the statement, “A positive customer service experience makes me more likely to make another purchase.” Isn’t that something?
More and more stats are showing how important it is to have exceptional customer support, and that is something that can be a significant factor for those who are wondering about starting an eCommerce business. However, established businesses shouldn’t ignore this asset either. Good customer service can be something that will level up your company when compared to the competition, build loyalty, and put the brand in good word of mouth.
What Is Bad Customer Support in E-commerce?
Another essential factor for achieving good AI or human support is to distinguish it from bad practice. You can do it by remembering and writing down all the bad experiences you had as a customer that made you stop doing business with someone. Or you can read on and see a few of our examples.
Simply put, bad customer support in e-commerce is when a client feels like their expectations or needs weren’t met. That could mean:
- Longer waiting times – Customers who had to wait more than 10 minutes for service were much less likely to return to the company again or refer others. Those who had to wait a long period were also more likely to post poor ratings online.
- Multiple transfers between agents – If a person is bounced and put on hold multiple times to get to the agent who knows how to solve the issue, that implies that the staff doesn’t know how to handle the situation. Customers should get the info they need ASAP if you wish to have them come back.
- Not being able to reach a human – If your idea of how to prevent burnout was to get automated customer support, you might encounter an issue with angry customers that can’t get to a real person to solve their issue.
- Lack of empathy when the client is upset – This can include apologies that don’t sound genuine, answers that don’t solve the problem, or simply a tone of voice that isn’t pleasant. Empathy is crucial for you customers to feel seen and heard, even without an issue happening.
What Can Be the Consequences of Having Customer Service That’s Not Good Enough?
As you know, it’s not enough to have a great product or sales if you don’t build loyalty. And rock-solid loyalty comes from customer support in e-commerce, not from a good company’s corporate culture.
In today’s digitally intertwined world, a business with a growing conversion rate can’t afford to have a customer complain. One bad experience can affect the business severely – they can turn to the competition, tell their friends and family of the incident, or leave a bad review. All of this causes damage to the brand’s reputation and future growth. Losing buyers is usually unaffordable for e-commerce companies. According to a survey from 2020, around 80% of buyers say they would do business with a competitor instead after more than one bad experience. Imagine losing that considerable percentage of your current customers. That wouldn’t be a pleasant scenario now, would it?
Best Practices in Customer Support That Make Every Business Step Up
How to get the ideal or closest to ideal customer support? There are some practices of customer support in e-commerce that you can implement, and just enjoy watching the charts with results.
Just like with any other business practice, organizing is half the work. If you have a team where everyone knows their tasks and duties and the level of customer service is constant across eCommerce business roles, clients will gladly come back.
2. Collecting data
Creating a database and using CRM tools is the best practice. This will allow you to be informed of your weakest and strongest points, what you should work on, and what your customers love about doing business with you.
A personalized approach is something that every customer appreciates. This turns your agents into dedicated representatives that care and focus on each customer. Also, after collecting data, you’ll be able to better understand the needs of your customers and to personalize your approach even more.
4. Using more channels for communication
Suppose a person with a question or a problem has only one way to contact your customer support. That makes it harder for both of you. Also, if your business has several communication channels but uses only one for customer support, you might get in a situation where somebody’s trying to get to you, but there’s no one to respond. Keep several doors open for your customers to approach you. That way, you’ll always have the higher ground against any Karen that threatens with a one-star on Yelp.
Is AI Customer Support a Solution?
Some may think that customer service automation is the magic quick fix. And, depending on the type of product you’re selling, it can be. Maybe there are only FAQs that should be answered by robot support. And maybe, there are more complex issues and questions to be solved, and you need a human agent. Also, some customers may resent chatting with a robot, feeling that AI support can’t solve their problem or that it’s a waste of time. That brings your customer support in e-commerce to an unsatisfactory level.
AI support sure is cheaper, always available, and eliminates human errors, but having a real person solve a ticket is sometimes irreplaceable. However, AI will be of immense help if you have too many queries to handle and you want to increase customer satisfaction.
How Outsourcing Customer Support Benefits a Company
If you can afford it, you should definitely consider not losing the human touch in customer support. But if you can’t, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t have a team of experts taking care of all questions and complaints coming from your clients. BPO outsourcing companies that offer customer support as a service can save you all your troubles. The main difference between outsourcing and hiring is that you won’t have to spend time and resources recruiting and training agents to become pros. Instead, you can get the complete package – an already set team with a manager with all the industry knowledge.
Outsourcing Customer Service Gives You a Competitive Advantage
Outsourcing your support team can be a solution for many things, starting with underperforming sales reps who might cause bad customer reactions. There are, of course, more reasons to outsource customer service:
- You get to save money,
- Your staff has less pressure and can focus on other things,
- You’ll improve customer experience,
- You’ll get more control over your business.
Good customer service isn’t exactly an innovation trend in eCommerce, but if you implement it, a business can get an advantage over competitors and make it much easier to climb the ladder. Treating your customers well is definitely a must for a bright future of your eCommerce.
Maybe We’re the Perfect Fit for Your Business?
We know it’s not easy to find the right outsourcing company with so many options for e-commerce outsourcing surrounding you, but once you do your research, you might get an idea of what you’re looking for and which businesses fit your scope. If what you’ve read about outsourcing sounds tempting, contact us, and we’ll create a unique offer for you. Professional customer service agents, as well as inbound sales representatives, are at your fingertips. With a strong team of customer care agents under your belt, your business will easily conquer any obstacles.
(intentionally sounding like a TV commercial) – the right time to outsource is right now!