Waiting in a line to receive a service from a customer service representative has been the norm for impulse buying since the advent of bricks and mortar retail stores. With the emergence of e-commerce, customers no longer have to physically visit a store location in order to purchase products or services. In fact, many customers don't even need to leave their homes in order to do their shopping.
However, the emergence of digital sales channels has created a new set of problems for customers and businesses: getting all of the information needed to finish the purchase and waiting on hold with customer service if an issue arises after the sale.
As e-commerce continues to grow, so will the number of online customer service inquiries. With this growth it’s imperative that companies not only invest in technologies that streamline the digital customer service process, but they should also find ways to train their customer service teams to be able to respond in a quick and efficient manner. Not only will speed become even more imperative, but the medium in which the service teams respond will play a large role in what e-commerce considers a success.
There's no doubt that e-commerce has revolutionized how consumers purchase products and services, but what also needs to be recognized is that e-commerce has created a whole new set of problems for customers who purchase products online. The most common problem, especially amongst impulse buyers, is having their order go awry after the purchase. Maybe you bought the wrong product or maybe your product broke down after a few days or weeks of use.
As an e-commerce consumer, you're not only concerned about the product you purchased but how quickly a customer service representative will respond. The longer it takes to get in touch with a representative, the more frustrated and anxious you become.
In today's world of instant communication via social media platforms, consumers have an expectation that they can reach a business when an issue arises. They don't expect to wait in a queue, listening to elevator music for hours on end before speaking with a representative.
For businesses who want to successfully respond to customer inquiries via social media, they need to invest in technologies that can facilitate digital communication between them and their customers. Digital communication is the most efficient way for businesses to address customer concerns and questions both pre and post purchase.
1. Review Your E-commerce Platform to Find Ways to Improve the Digital Customer Experience
There are two ways that your virtual ecommerce store can be improved: self-service and assisted service.
Self-service refers to technology that can facilitate and support digital customer service through channels such as email and text messaging. Assisted service, on the other hand, entails technologies that can expedite how customers communicate with your business. Think of it as a menu board placed outside of a fast food restaurant (e.g., order here). The menu board offers customers an array of choices to get in touch with the restaurant.
Companies should invest in technologies that can support both forms of customer service. Everyone has experienced the convenience of self-service when completing a banking transaction, or accessing their airline account online. It's time for businesses to provide similar conveniences for their digital customer service solutions.
2. Invest in a Back Office Customer Service Software that Can Facilitate Digital Communication
What's the purpose of "back office" customer service software? It provides businesses with the technology to handle digital communication in a centralized manner.
This type of software enables companies to monitor how customers are communicating with them through channels such as social media. It also provides analytics about which channels are most effective for delivering your message.
In addition, it can manage other customer service activities such as ticketing, email, social media messaging and text messaging. This will help you to cut down on the time that is required to address customer inquiries since all of these channels are being managed through a single software interface.
3. Better Customer Service through Better Communication
Digital communication with customers should be viewed as an opportunity. It provides businesses with the chance to enhance relationships with their customers by better understanding their needs and ensuring that those needs are being met.
Proactively addressing customer inquiries is critical to creating a positive customer experience. This can be accomplished by leveraging software that supports agent assisted automation, which will provide you with the opportunity to address customers' issues more quickly and efficiently than ever before.
Businesses must make digital customer service communications with customers an integral part of their overall customer experience strategy. By implementing technologies that can support your company's digital messaging services, you will enhance the customer experience along with your business.