Last week, E-Commerce Times shared the most recent stats from the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ASCI). In short, e-commerce continues to grow, specifically for smaller online retailers. According to the ASCI, satisfaction increased 8% to 81 for these smaller businesses. David Johnson, CEO of Strategic Vision, attributes this to communication channels like real time chat: “For smaller online retailers, the ability to provide highly customized service and communications is how they are able to compete with the Amazons.”
How Real Time Chat Impacts E-Commerce
How does real time chat allow for highly customized service and communications? And why does that translate into e-commerce growth? The answer is exceptional customer service provided by real people.
We know that customer service is a major differentiator for online shoppers. When it’s as easy as a swipe and/or click to go to a competitor’s website, the company providing the best customer experience wins. But why must it be provided by live representatives? Highly customized service and communications requires a human component, and a well-trained one at that.
At its core, customer service needs to satisfy three demands: 1) address the issue the customer came to your company for help with (obviously) 2) be fast and convenient 3) be respectful (at a minimum but ideally be pleasant and engaging).
Real Time Chat Enables Exceptional Customer Service
Real time chat provides customers with an immediate means of communication, usually as simple to initiate as clicking a button. This level of speed and convenience cannot reliably be surpassed by other communication channels.
To support being respectful in conversations with customers, chat agents can be equipped with premade messages that balance professionalism with customer engagement. More experienced agents may be given the liberty to tailor their messages with customers as well. While establishing a personal connection is undoubtedly valuable for customer engagement, professionalism is key.
Premade messages can also support addressing the issue that brought the customer to your customer service team. However, if your real time chat software can integrate with your knowledgebase software, your help desk ticket software, and/or your CRM, that’s actually even better. This puts any number of solutions right at your live representative’s fingertips, as well as provides the comprehensive history of interactions with this particular customer (both at the contact level and the organization level).
Real Time Chat and Omnichannel Customer Experience
This latter capability (integrating real time chat software with help desk ticket software and/or CRM software) is an essential precondition of omnichannel customer experience. The idea of omnichannel customer experience offers that no matter what method a customer uses to contact your company, your staff should be able to provide consistent information, and have access to the same, full history of the customer as context for the conversation. This has come to be an expectation of many customers, and increasingly, many believe, will become just as important as being fast, convenient and respectful to customer service.
Learn more about real time chat software here.