Ecommerce customer service is a vital part of creating a healthy customer base for your online shop. It entails assisting customers (both old and new) as they encounter challenges along the customer journey.
Today’s customers enjoy instant connections across the globe 24/7. That’s why keeping them happy is less and less about the transactional service you provide and more about the experience.
Why should a customer stick with your brand when another can offer live chat around the clock? Or a call back within 5 minutes, anytime? Or a fully tracked history of their interactions with the brand?
The competition for best customer experience is tough — especially as customers will not only compare your offer with that of direct competitors, but with the best CX they’ve had anywhere from anyone, ever.
Whether your customer service strategy is in need of a quick facelift or you’re starting with an entirely blank canvas, in this article we’ll explore the myriad ways that ecommerce brands can increase customer retention and boost their CSAT (customer satisfaction) score.
What Is a Great Ecommerce Customer Service Strategy?
First things first, you need to pin down your customer service strategy. This is a detailed, step-by-step plan that allows a business to tackle any potential eventuality. Any customer interaction, at any stage of the funnel — including after-sale support — should be planned for, scoped out, and documented. In this way, customer service agents find themselves with fewer surprises, and customers experience as little friction as possible.
That’s a winning combination!
But what are the building blocks of an ecommerce customer service strategy that checks all these boxes and more?
We’re glad you asked.
5 Tips to Take Your Ecommerce Customer Service to the Next Level
The success of any customer service strategy isn’t marked by one single metric, but a collection of them. Among these, two stand out in particular: CSAT (Customer Satisfaction Score) and customer retention levels.
Here are 5 tips you can use to amplify your success in these key areas:
#1: Make Space for Mobile
2022 is set to be something of a landmark year for customer service. Why? Because both live chat and messaging apps are expected to outpace traditional communication channels. With 73% of all transactions expected to be generated via mobile over the next 12 months, it’s not difficult to see why mobile would be a key focus for any ecommerce brand.
Meeting your customers where they are now means conversational mobile interactions in real-time with next to no friction. This means offering flawless in-app and mobile chat options.
But does this mean you should double down on mobile and forgo everything else? No. After all, the phone is still the primary support channel preference for many customers — probably due to the instant, synchronous feedback they receive. The aim for your team this year, then, should be to strengthen your digital channels, ensuring each of them is equally strong. Your live chat should offer agents all the context-building features as your other, more established channels, for example.
Whichever mix of channels you’re offering, neutrality is the aim: an equal customer service experience regardless of the chosen method of contact. You should also ensure your customer service software provides one unified view of your channels and access to context-builders like customer interaction and purchase history. I’m just going to come out and say it: No customer should have to repeat themselves in 2022!
#2: 2X Your Knowledge Base
If your ecommerce customer service team is dealing with customer queries in 2022 without a centralized knowledge base, it’s a bit like taking a road trip without a map or GPS. You’ll get there eventually, but there’ll be lots of time spent going in circles — and feelings of impatience and frustration will surely follow.
And yet, too many agents waste time searching through disorganized internal folders and even Googling answers on a customer’s behalf! With information available in seconds via a central knowledge base, everyone can benefit.
And customers deserve a similar treatment too. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that DIY self-service solutions can be powerful in CX. Answer common queries with a customer-facing knowledge base, giving your customers the freedom to help themselves on their own terms through customer-facing FAQs. All of the above save your agents time and make for happier customers — boosting customer loyalty in the process.
#3: The Bots Are Coming!
Customer service teams often deal with repetitive low-level queries; ones that can be easily dealt with using automation, given the right tools. These low-level queries might form the bedrock of an ecommerce customer service team’s workload, but could their time be better spent elsewhere? If so, you should consider automating these with an AI-based chatbot. When properly deployed, AI can improve deflection rates and amplify your customer service team’s results.
To better your chances of delivering on those results, consider the following ideas when planning for your chatbot:
- Identify the most common ‘low hanging fruit’ issues your team is facing, then equip the chatbot with solutions.
- Monitor which questions are cropping up most frequently, assess how well the chatbot is addressing them, then rinse and repeat.
- Allow your chatbot to suggest self-serve articles from your knowledge base. People love to feel they’ve discovered a solution themselves, and this is a great way to make that happen.
#4: Build Trust by Offering Personalized Customer Support
There’s no single quality that reigns supreme when it comes to great customer service. Sometimes it’s a matter of empathy and understanding; for others, it’s simply about getting an answer fast.
Whatever the case, the common theme here is trust. If a customer trusts that your service will be reliable, fast, responsive, or any other key attribute, they’re more likely to shop with you again.
So how do you begin to create this trust? The first step is establishing a sense of familiarity. Provide your agents with an easy-to-access overview of a customer’s past questions, shopping history, even their returns, so they can provide customers with service personalized to their needs.
#5: Listen to Customer Feedback and Incorporate It
There’s a lot to be said for empirical data, and it doesn’t get much more empirical than direct customer feedback.
Whether this comes in the form of existing customer reviews or via your own efforts with feedback tools like NPS and CSAT, the end result is something you simply can’t buy. Even better, one of the smartest things to do with customer feedback is to create a positive feedback loop whereby you let customers know which of their suggestions actually resulted in real-world change.
There are few better ways to improve retention and customer satisfaction than to make them feel like they had a real impact on your business. And hey — we all love being told our ideas are worthwhile, right?
Want to Empower Your Team and Supercharge Your Ecommerce Customer Service Strategy in ‘22?
Customer service in 2022 is more customer-centric than ever before.
Follow these quick tips and you’ll have a team that’s firing on all cylinders, keeping CSATs consistently high, and boosting your customer retention. But these are really just the start. There’s so much more you can do to round out your customer strategy this year, so why not spend some time familiarizing yourself with Dixa? With our human-centered approach to customer service, you’ll quickly discover why we believe the terms ‘customer’ and ‘friendship’ are never mutually exclusive.