Customer Service in the New Age of eCommerce

As more of the retail shopping experience shifts to the internet, it’s critical to keep digital customer service at the forefront.

You’re in a store shopping for computers.  You’re not as knowledgeable about the product as you would like so you ask a salesperson for help.  After discussing needs and comparing features of various computers, you are walking out the door with your brand new computer.

This kind of customer service is easy to find and at times even difficult to evade at brick-and-mortar stores, but many retailers expanded to click-and-mortar operations years ago, offering online and in-person transactions.  Saving customers time and money became the sole focus of business and the pan of customer service was shifted to the back burner and put on low heat.  Customers were satisfied with saving money and time, they did not need to be warmed by the metaphorical stove.

The customers are too cold!

New Age of eCommerce

According to an article from HelpScout, 42% of people who shopped online in the last six months needed to ask customer service a question before buying.  As technology continues to advance, consumers now need to know what they’re buying.  It is difficult to beat the speed and accuracy many customer service reps achieve, and it usually makes the difference between buying and crying.

Customer loyalty is virtually nonexistent for many products. Brands simply cannot hold on to customers without sufficient customer service. In ecommerce, customers do not even have to walk across the street to access your competitor. “Personal touch” is often lost in ecommerce, thus many stores now integrate live chat into their customer experience. With near instantaneous response time and quality answers, live chat is bringing “personal touch” back into our eLexicon.

A Smoother Shopping Experience

A remote personal touch is not the only way to keep customers satisfied and coming back. A smoother shopping experience through a friendly interface welcomes customers and facilitates their browsing through the shopping cart.

Often sites with poor navigation and layout are overlooked and quickly exited for the next link on Google. Providing answers to customer questions while browsing also is a great way to retain online shoppers. Many customers will browse a site before calling to answer questions, so if they leave your site to answer their questions, they may not come back.

Social Media

We have all seen more retweets, reposts, and reblogs of bad customer service than good customer service. Why? WE LIVE FOR THE DRAMA. LIVE FOR IT.

So, bad news is going to travel much faster than good news.  It is important to address insufficient customer experience in a timely and personal manner rather than sending out incomplete template letters to grievances. Keep the customer happy in whatever medium they want to be happy, and keep track of it in your company’s customer experience management software. Make sure your company has a positive personal social presence to everyone, not just to the deepest pockets.

Be sure to remember these when evaluating digital customer experience.  Learn how retailers are training their customer service teams here!

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