How to Improve Customer Service In Ecommerce
Ecommerce platforms can now offer a more personalized experience than ever before, but in order to maximize lifetime value (LTV) of your customers, your customer service needs to be on point.
Ecommerce customer service has evolved in recent years to become far more powerful and convenient than ever before.
Rapid advancements in AI chatbots as well as more streamlined checkout tracking tools have allowed ecommerce platforms to begin to rival the convenience of Amazon.
And while no one can argue that the ecommerce juggernaut is still the big kid on the block, the divide has narrowed especially as platforms like TikTok and Instagram have unveiled their own shopping integrations.
Ecommerce platforms can now offer a more personalized experience than ever before, but in order to maximize lifetime value (LTV) of your customers, your customer service needs to be on point. Revenue from ecommerce and customer service levels are directly related.
When it comes to improving customer service ecommerce companies can follow these helpful tips.
How to Improve Ecommerce Customer Service: 7 Tips
How can ecommerce companies improve customer service levels?
According to a study by MIT, companies that invest most heavily in digital transformation (referred to as “Digirati in the study– top right quadrant) are 26% more profitable than their competitors:
What does this mean? To put it simply: investing in new tech– especially AI– equals big wins for ecommerce brands.
That’s not all you can do, however, to improve the quality of your customer service. Plus, there isn’t one but several ways you can implement AI as you’ll see below.
Here are seven tips for improving customer service for ecommerce.
1. Analyze your customer experience
Customer service is a vital piece of customer experience, but it’s just one part.
If you want to improve your customer service, the first and best place to start is by looking at your customer experience as a whole.
Your customer experience largely prompts customer support inquiries, based on how effectively it:
- Leads your customer through their journey (or not)
- Teaches your customer about your product
- The value they can expect to receive
- How to maximize that value
- And how to overcome potential issues
There’s a good chance that any issue your customer contacts you about could have been prevented at some point earlier in their journey.
Here are some ways to start thinking about how to improve your customer service through the lens of your overall customer experience:
- Ask the right questions: Questions like, “Is your website successful?” and, “If a customer is looking for a particular product, how easy have I made it for them to find it?” are relevant to customer service because they can help you uncover clues about potential issues in your process.
- How easy can your customers get through checkout? Are they able to add what they want to order, modify their cart, find a payment method that works for them no matter where they’re located, and checkout in a matter of 2-3 minutes?
- What is your aftersale experience like? Have you walked through it yourself recently? Is it easy to checkout, track, and receive shipments in a timely manner? If not, do so and note down how you felt throughout the process.
2. Provide self-service options
According to a study by Emplifi’s Consumer Expectations Report, 35% of consumer respondents said that they consider it very important for ecommerce businesses to offer self-service options.
Self-service is the future. Younger generations up to Millennials prefer self-service as they find it easier to solve issues online on their own.
Consider offering these self-service options include:
- A custom AI chatbot like Gleen AI allows your customers to get answers to their questions 24/7 and on all leading help desk platforms
- Convenient size charts and/or product guides that answer your customer's most common questions
- Knowledge base with content on your product(s) features and tutorials
- User forum where they can ask questions and find answers
3. User personalization
Personalization is the name of the game when it comes to optimizing customer experience, and that extends to customer service.
Users are more than delighted when they see their name used in emails, on support calls, and on product offers– they expect it.
More than that, however, you can do things like:
- Auto-detect their address at checkout
- Allow payment fields to work with both Chrome extensions like LastPass and Apple Keychain, to autofill payment information
- Offer personalized recommendations upon return shopping
- As well as personalized emails recommending new and current products based on previous purchases
Also, if you offer a specialty brand, you can consider having in-house experts (i.e. customer service reps who are experts in how to use your product– how it fits, what it’s best used or paired with, etc.) that can give relevant recommendations over chat or other support interactions.
4. Gather feedback automatically with AI
Gathering feedback can be a real headache, but it’s one of the best ways to find out if what you’re doing is working.
Are you delighting your customers, or are they ending the call or chat with customer service feeling like the agent didn’t really care about them (or worse, their problem was never solved)?
Gathering feedback from customers can help you uncover these insights and much more.
The only problem? It can take a lot of work to gather feedback and inconvenience your customers by sending them a survey at a later date.
5. Reduce your response time
Response time is a critical aspect of customer service, and that’s no different in ecommerce.
For most brands, you’re often not sure why the customer is ordering what they are and for whom.
It could be a personal purchase or a last-minute buy for a close friend or family member’s birthday.
If the customer needs to reach out about their order for whatever reason, a slow response time can be absolutely killer.
Regardless of that, customers today expect a quick response and a high level of customer service.
According to a survey by Statista, 12% of Americans say that slow response speed is their primary source of customer service frustration.
Learn more about how to improve your response times here: How to Improve Response Time to Customers.
6. Measure the right KPIs
All of this would be incomplete without the right metrics to back it up.
If you’re not tracking progress, there’s no way to know if what you’re doing is working or not. That’s where KPIs come in– but which?
When it comes to customer service, there are a few in particular you’ll want to consider:
- Net Promoter Score (NPS)
- Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)
- Mean Time to Resolution (MTTR)
- First Response Time (FRT) and Average Response Time (ART)
Net Promoter Score (or NPS) is great for finding out if your customers would recommend you to those in their social circle, which is arguably the highest form of praise your customer service could receive.
CSAT is a simple survey methodology that gauges how satisfied your customers feel after interacting with your brand. It’s similar to NPS but offers unique insights you wouldn’t get otherwise.
Tracking MTTR will tell you how effective your CS operation is at actually resolving tickets and finding resolutions for your customers.
Going into detail on each of these metrics is beyond the scope of this point, but check out the links above to dive into each KPI, including how to calculate, measure, and improve them.
7. Offer a variety of support options
One last but still important point: more than ever, you need to offer a variety of options for your customers to contact you.
Older generations are more patient and likely to get on the phone, while younger generations prefer chat as well as self-service options in general when possible.
It extends beyond just phone and email now, though. According to a study by JD Power and Associates, 67% of consumers have used Facebook or Twitter for customer service.
Taking that one step further, according to another study by Nielson, 33% of customers prefer to contact brands via social media rather than over the phone.
However, chat is king.
According to a study by Kayako, 41% of customers prefer live chat over phone, email, or social media for customer support.
In fact, the same report found that 42% of businesses believe consumers prefer phone support, suggesting a disconnect in what works best for customers.
An opportunity exists for brands who realize the power of modern support channels such as social and chat and who diversify their support options in general.
Don’t Settle for Any Chatbot– Surprise and Delight with Gleen AI
The power of chat for eCommerce customer service is undeniable. But not every chatbot is created equal.
You may already be using a chatbot on your platform, but is yours powered using the latest in generative AI?
Gleen AI’s custom chatbot uses generative AI to deliver a smarter and more personalized experience for each customer.
What does that mean for you?
- Easy ingestion of your proprietary knowledge base from multiple sources
- Higher comprehension of complex questions
- Highly relevant and accurate answers
- No hallucination
- 24/7/365 uptime
- Embed across multiple support channels, including email support, live chat, Slack support, text and SMS support, Discord support, and more
- Ability to detect and respond in 100 languages and overcome language barriers
- Ability to take actions on behalf of customers
- Faster response times
- Faster resolution times
- Seamless integration with help desk solutions and hand-offs to live agents
- More satisfied customers
A single solution that can help reduce response times, offer self-service, and take actions on behalf of customers? Check, check, and check.