Article

Barbara Gagnon
Barbara Gagnon 2 December 2016
Categories Ecommerce

Emerging Trends in E-commerce Customer Support

The starting point of success for any business comes with exceptional customer service. In the E-commerce industry it's important to build a long term relationship with customers as it leads to retention and profit maximization.

In the retail industry, many companies tend to lose touch of good client service and hence, potential customers. Managing customer support in the E-commerce requires utmost professionalism and efficiency.

A study by Gartner reveals that more than 85% of companies will compete on the basis of customer service. This means the future of businesses will mostly rely on offering remarkable service to customers.

Companies like Amazon.com have made it to the top when it comes to dealing with buyers in a manner that leaves them satisfied. Every two years, Amazon employees, including the CEO, spend two days working the support desk. This sets a good example for everyone by showing how it is important to involve every staff member in the company and understanding the significance of customer support.

Since the inception of E-commerce, different tools have been used to cater the needs of clients. The advent of more efficient and technical systems have somewhat replaced the traditional methods of support in E-commerce.

Below are the latest trends in customer support and service that will be the hallmark of most E-commerce businesses in future.

Self-Service

Keeping up with the ongoing changes in consumer behavior has become a necessity for marketers as well as the E-commerce retailers.  Nowadays, diversified social media has given consumers full control over what and how to buy. Moreover, the dilemma of experiencing anything first hand has changed the way they think. Hence, people expect that they be given full control when making a purchase.

Self-service is taking E-commerce customer support to a whole new level and in fact, people prefer that they are given self- service tools when visiting a website. Some of the self-service tools used in E-commerce are FAQs, virtual assistant and a help desk center.

When a business is offering self-service it is important that the visitors are given proper resources with convenience. Whether they are looking for answers, product/service reviews or even filing a complaint, customers prefer doing it on their own. Forrester study indicates that the self-service usage increased from 67% in 2012 to 76% in 2014.

Live Chat Service

Adding live chat service to a company’s website can be a source of building rapport with customers. Adding the functionality of live chat on website means providing real-time support.

According to an Econsultancy study, live chat has the highest satisfaction levels for any customer service channel, with 73%, compared with 61% for email and 44% for phone. 

The nature of online consumers differs from that of regular customers and in this regard, this tool offers proactive engagement with agents and potential buyers. Live chat service has set the bar high when it comes to interactive sessions between visitors and agents. It offers prompt service with no delays that online customers regularly face.

Use of Social Media

Recently, social media has been gaining prominence in providing online customer support. Social media is not only confined to promotion of a product or service but it is transforming itself in a way that lets customers connect and engage with the company. A study by the joint Nielsen-McKinsey venture NM Incite stated that customers who encounter positive social customer care experiences are nearly 3 times more likely to recommend a brand. This means more conversions and a high level of satisfaction.

The image building of a brand on social media is no longer enough but it should be noted that being present on social media to reach out to consumers is essential too. In a survey was conducted by Oracle in 2012; it was asked what the most important thing on a company’s social media page is, 43 percent responded that they were looking for a direct response to their question, followed by 31 percent who expected direct access to customer service reps.

Omni Channel Customer Support

Lastly, the evolution of internet and emerging E-commerce stores have made it to the point that having omni channel is critical. Being available 24/7 to end users is crucial as this is not only what customers want, but also ‘demand’.  Hence, if a company is hoping to deliver an excellent client service but is present on just one medium then it’s time to rethink the business’ support strategy!

Every business wants a loyal customer base. The focus should be on efficient customer support and being available on every channel where contact can be made. Therefore, omni channel support in E-commerce is a leading factor towards higher customer satisfaction levels.

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