E-commerce is now a $1.4 trillion dollar a year business.
Yes, that’s “Trillion” with a T. If you have an e-commerce website, or if your website offers services, information on your products, or in any way is set up to provide answers for your customers, the sheer size of customers who prefer to go online should be a key component of your customer service strategy. It’s so important, in fact, that your company should dedicate specific resources focused solely on online customer service.
The quality of service you provide to your customers online is as essential as having online customer support. In fact, a Gartner survey found that by 2016, 89 percent of businesses plan to differentiate their companies primarily on the strength of their customer experience strategies. The competition, in other, words, will be tough. Here are three secrets to help your company stand out with your online customer service.
Online customer service secret #1: Offer live chat
When customers are already online shopping, they’re likely doing it because it’s convenient and it saves time. Help make the process as fluid as possible for them by offering live chat support to answer any questions they may have. It takes customers an extra step to have to call in for support – and takes more time – which in turn causes frustration and erases the quick, easy online experience they came to have. With live chat integration, customers can get quick answers to their questions with just a few strokes of the keyboard.
Online customer service secret #2: Offer specific training for live chat
Having an easy-to-use website, live chat integration, and an online customer service strategy are great steps to get your company on its way toward a better customer experience, but a second component is ensuring that your customer support staff is well trained for online support. Live chat help requires a slightly different skillset than phone support, so invest in training specific to live chat skills.
Online customer service secret #3: Understand your customers’ needs with market research
Finally, the third – and essential step – is to truly understand your customer demographics through market research. Invest in a combination of qualitative and quantitative research that will give you direct insight into your customers’ preferences, shopping habits, and even frustrations when they visit your site. An outside perspective provided by market research will uncover valuable insights that will inform your online customer service strategy and even guide your product development and marketing tactics.
The online customer market is tough – are you prepared?
Customers are turning in droves to online channels for everything from shopping to looking up support questions. If you’re able to capture customers’ attention quickly, answer their questions easily through live chat integrations, and understand their needs thoroughly, you’ll have a much better chance of capturing and retaining their online business.