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 shopping.
However, the emergence of digital sales channels has created a new set of problems for both customers and businesses. From customers feeling like they do not have the details needed to confidently purchase products on the spot, to store owners needing to be as streamlined as possible to not lose the sale - there is no shortage of opportunities for growth.
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 provide the best customer service experience. 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 problems, especially amongst impulse buyers, is having confidence that they are not only buying the correct product (size, solution, etc.), but also buying from a store that really cares and won't disappear post purchase if something goes wrong.
As an e-commerce consumer, you're not only concerned about the product you purchased but how quickly a customer service representative will respond if advice is needed pre & post purchase. 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 24/7. They often do not have the patience to jump through hoops to talk to a representative, and they may not even reach out if buying a product leads to more questions than its worth. For an online business, conversion is everything!
For businesses who want to successfully respond to customer inquiries and proactively make themselves available, they need to invest in technologies that can facilitate a positive customer service experience. 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, call, text, or direct messaging. The users that most capitalize on self-service applications and solutions tend to be those who are familiar with the brand and are sure of the solution offered.
Assisted service is a relatively newer concept that is taking off across online stores of all sizes. Platforms and plugins proactively get digital customer service reps in front of users to help close the deal, while educating users to make sure they are confident and looking at the best solution for them. Video chat capability is one example of the innovations coming to assisted service technologies. Platforms like Uptok will give your reps the chance to both stream to browsing customers, and live chat with video call directly from the site to offer the most personalized and unique experience currently available online.
Companies should invest in technologies that can support both forms of customer service. By investing a mix of self-service & assisted service it's inevitable that they will see both conversion rates increase along with customer satisfaction scores. It's time that online shoppers feel as supported, if not more, than in-store visitors.
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. While 24/7 is the expectation for a lot of consumers, it's simply not the reality yet.
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.