Chad Arrington | As a store owner, customer service is key to increasing sales and retention. Studies show that 89% of shoppers have stopped buying from online stores after they’ve experienced poor E-Commerce Customer Service. This is even more important online because there’s more competition. How? You can purchase an e-commerce hosting plan and start uploading products within an hour. Your e-commerce store can be customized to offer discounts and rewards to shoppers. So, if potential customers can’t find the help they need, they’ll browse over and purchase from your competitor—it’s that simple! Ultimately, you’ll lose sales, which will have a negative impact on your bottom line.
As the owner of an e-commerce store, it’s tough giving people the “wow” experience because you’re disconnected from them physically; it’s hard to answer their questions in detail and with precision. Buyers usually wait 24-48 hours to get an answer to their question, however, this doesn’t guarantee they’ll come back to buy from you. Which is why real-time live chat software is so instrumental.
E-Commerce Customer Service
Real-time live chat gives you the ability to provide support quickly. All the customer needs to do is click a button to get connected directly to a customer service representative. It’s quick, easy, and very affordable. Here are four ways real-time chat will help you take charge of your customer service.
In e-commerce, it’s all about having a competitive edge. One way to have an edge is by focusing on the changing trends. With technology making it easier to connect with people, it’s important you take advantage of what’s available to you as a store owner. For example, live chat applications are becoming more common and affordable so start incorporating live chat into your business. Many online stores don’t focus on changing trends because they’ve been around so long and have repeat customers keeping them busy. That said, this is the right time for you to gain that competitive edge over everyone else.
When new online shoppers are comparing e-commerce stores, your store’s ability to provide exceptional E-Commerce Customer Service will stand out. In other words, they’ll select your store. So, it’s safe to say that quality customer service via real-time chat will help you close the sale and gain more longtime customers.
Safety and Security
The one downfall with e-commerce is you lose the one-on-one experience with the customer. When you head to a physical store, you feel safe seeing the product before purchasing it, right? You also feel safe knowing you’ll pay and get the product right away. With e-commerce, it’s all about building trust so the customer feels safe giving their credit card information.
Imagine how nerve-racking it is to purchase a product from a store without knowing who they are or if they exist. Live chat is a great way to build validity and answer concerns the buyer has your credibility. It’s a great way to connect with the customer and make them feel safe about completing a transaction with your store.
Here’s a study by emarketer.com that shows you what we’re talking about:
“The study found that online buyers who had used live chat were more likely to make online purchases at least once a week (40%) than buyers who had never chatted (22%). Respondents who hadn’t used live chat were likely to be infrequent online buyers, with 36% making a purchase less than once per month compared with 18% of chatters.”
While it is convenient at times, the Internet has made people’s lives a lot busier. You’re checking emails more regularly, browsing the Internet, and taking work calls…all at once. With such a busy life, you’re attracted to anything which makes your life easier because it’s less work for you. Implementing live chat is a great way to offer shoppers convenience and access to help immediately. Live chat tends to have short wait times and, worst case, people can multi-task while waiting. Unlike dialing 1-800 numbers where you need to wait and press several buttons before being connected to a person, with online chat, you enter your name and your question…that’s all.
The less information your customer needs to fill out, the more likely they’ll fill it out. This is why I like to keep my contact forms very short asking only for first name and email address. The conversion rate has been much higher by E-Commerce Customer Service.
Create a Knowledge Bank
As a store owner, you’re always looking for ways to provide and improve your E-Commerce Customer Service experience. You want to create a system where information is readily available when people are on your website. If people can easily find information, they’ll feel comfortable completing a transaction through your store. Live chat is amazing because it keeps track of common questions asked by people. By studying these questions, you can create a support menu for customers when live chat is not available. For example, by studying live chat archives, you can start implementing an F.A.Q section on your website, which answers the most common questions. This will serve as an alternative to live chat. Plus, you’ll be surprised how many potential buyers are happy finding support through your store’s F.A.Q section.
By studying the pattern of questions being asked by those through live chat, you’ll get a better understanding of shoppers’ buying decisions, which will help you improve your store’s user experience.
Faster Problem Resolution
So far, we’ve been looking at how live chat will improve your customer’s shopping experience, but let’s now explore how it can help issues with the product. In other words, let’s look at how live chat can help you solve problems coming to a faster resolution with the customer. For example, the normal process is to contact the e-commerce store, fill out an RMA form, and then wait for them to respond to you. All of this takes place through email and can be a very nerve reckoning time for the shopper. Think about it,
You’ve just spent your time and money purchasing a product which arrived at your door and doesn’t work. Now what? You need to go through the entire refund process and it’s difficult especially when all this is happening online…right? The last thing you want to do is spend money on a defective product and then find out the return process is lengthy with no end in sight. But, live chat has provided an awesome solution to the entire process.
By having alive chat present, you can connect the customer to a representative who can start the refund process right away. They’ll issue you a number and every time you would like an update, all you need to do is connect to a live chat agent with your RMA number handy. This process is awesome because you are speaking with a live agent and it gives you more of a piece of mind then having to write emails back and forth.
Live chat shortens the resolution process while making sure the customer needs are met. This increases E-Commerce Customer Service loyalty and will add a brighter light to your overall brand image.
Affordable, but Effective
Here’s the thing,
Implementing live chat to your e-commerce store will not only increase conversions but is a very affordable way to get it done. For example, if you were going to implement this technology years ago, then it would cost you hundreds of dollars. However, technology advance and implementation of such a model can do on a monthly subscription. Visit some of the e-commerce platforms and check out the 3rd party software they offer to everyone using their platform. From the top of my head – Volusion, Shopify, and BigCommerce all provide both free and subscription-based versions of this technology.
I believe just because this technology is so cheap, it’s worth checking out and implementing your e-commerce platform. Live chat is so important because it connects you with shoppers online and now can implement for a fraction of the price.
With the Internet becoming more affordable and readily available, you have a lot more competition than before. In e-commerce, the difference between a successful customer conversion or not comes down to customer service and how quickly the buyer can find the solution they need. I encourage you to find ways to quickly and effectively incorporate live chat into your e-commerce user experience. The online shopping trends are all pointing to the benefit of having efficient help available right away when a customer needs it:
“83% of the more than 5,000 consumers said they consistently needed some type of support during their online shopping. 31% of them need online support immediately while 40% of them require assistance within five minutes.”
Incorporating real-time live chat is an affordable way to take charge of your E-Commerce Customer Service experience. As a store owner, a live chat application will allow you to keep costs down while increasing your sales.
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