The most important factor for loyalty in e-commerce is good, easy to reach customer service, as countless studies have shown. However, many online retailers take the wrong approach: According to an Adobe study, 80% of them focus on outstanding customer experiences in service. What really counts, however, is the rapid, hurdle-free and successful solution of individual problems. In this blog article we provide 5 tips to help you tailor your support to these needs: Offer your customers the solutions they need and ensure their loyalty.
Efficient service experiences as a competitive factor
Good customer service is the be-all and end-all of every online shop. Although this insight has prevailed among shop operators, very few of them manage to successfully meet their customers' expectations. There is a huge gap between the solutions required by customers and the tools provided by companies for this purpose. 84% of the customers of a brand have already turned their backs on bad experiences, as a large-scale survey of contact center managers and customers by Ovum Consulting shows.
The KISS principle: Keep it short and simple! - This is the only way to ensure the eternal loyalty of your customers.
Tip 1: Keep it simple - simplicity instead of "wow!" experiences
This is because shop operators are desperately trying to achieve the "wow! factor": They want to impress their customers with a variety of innovative support options - from comprehensive self-service and social media support to live chat and chat bots to classic contact centers. The problem: The individual service channels are often not fully developed and customers cannot solve their problems with the digitally provided information. This is, for example, the reason why the demand for social media support is already ebbing after a short peak: The channels are too confusing, enquiries can hardly be structured and ultimately target-oriented answers are long in coming. Instead of wanting to inspire the visitors, you as a shop operator should focus on simplicity and efficiency. The best way to convince your visitors is to reduce the effort and time for problem solving as much as possible.
Tip 2: Strategy is king - establish clever multichannel support
Of course you should still offer different service channels to pick up your visitors where they are at the moment. Strategically select the right channels: Limit yourself to those that really make sense for his and your community, and file out their functionality carefully. An Online Helpdesk Center, for example, makes sense. Design this as an interactive self-service portal that acts as a forum, FAQ page and contact area to minimize your costs and actively engage your visitors. Popular tools are for example Zendesk, Kayako or Groove HQ. Also, develop a suitable support format for mobile devices that, according to the Ovum study, 83% of all customers use for support purposes: At best, you offer a mobile app that seamlessly integrates integrated self-service, live chat and voice dialog systems.
Calculation instead of channel chaos: Strategic selection and targeted networking of the individual channels are the motto for light-footed customer service.
Tip 3: Knowledge is power - rely on data-drivenness
Even if the digital support channels are well established and integrated, switching back and forth between channels is often unavoidable, as the typical Customer Journey shows. This channel change often involves major hurdles: For example, 13% of all respondents in the Ovum study said that the most frustrating aspect is having to repeat information several times. The solution: Online providers need to better monitor and understand their customers' behavior and offer holistic support solutions that integrate this knowledge. Visual Interactive Voice Response (Visual IVR) systems are very useful for this: If the customer searches for a problem solution in the self-service area of a website, he enters his customer information directly at the beginning. Then he is led proactively to his individual problem case, where the question is solved directly at best. Alternatively he will be put through to the chat bot (for minor problems), or directly to the right customer advisor. Both channels are fed with information about the customer and his previous journey. This allows the problem to be solved right where the customer is.
Tip 4: Play crystal ball - solve problems proactively
The biggest cause of high expenditure on the part of the customer is the necessity to contact a company several times. Many shop owners do not even know this problem because their first contact resolution (FCR) values are very good. But even if a customer first thinks his problem has been solved, at a later point in time other questions often arise that are related to it. The art lies in anticipating these questions and solving them directly.
Everything but hocus pocus: Data-driven support that solves customer problems in a foresighted and clever way.
Telecommunications provider Bell Canada is addressing this challenge through data mining: Thus he understands the relationship between different questions and problems and divides them into "event clusters". The service employees are trained accordingly: For example, when a customer requests a certain feature, they give them a brief introduction to the basic features of the feature before they hang up. For more complex issues, they send Follow Up e-mails. With this proactive solution, Bell Canada was able to reduce "calls per event" by 16% and customer churn by 6%.
Tip 5: Generate revenue from mistakes - use support insights for shop optimization
Attentive readers already know it: Excellent support relies on data-drivenness by analyzing every user contact and linking the data across channels. Enriched with further insights, e.g. from surveys or tracking, you can identify all areas where questions or problems arise. If prescriptive analyses that intervene automatically are used, such weak points can often be corrected directly. With closed loop systems, you track customer reactions to shop adjustments directly, so that they are optimized in a self-learning way. This is possible, for example, with an operational intelligence platform like the CEP of ODOSCOPE. This way you not only solve the problems of your customers, but at the same time drive shop optimization effortlessly and fully automatically.