3 Secrets to Improve Online Customer Service

E-commerce is now a $1.4 trillion dollar a year business. Yes, that’s “Trillion” with a T.

Live chat is the fastest means of providing online customer service.
Live chat is the fastest means of providing online customer service.

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.

Why Customers Love Live Chat

There are plenty of reasons why your business should love live chat. But what about your customers? How your customers respond to their interactions with your business dramatically affect whether they’ll return to buy from you again. If live chat isn’t a hit with your audience, is it really worth the investment?

There are plenty of reasons why your business should love live chat. But what about your customers? How your customers respond to their interactions with your business dramatically affect whether they’ll return to buy from you again. If live chat isn’t a hit with your audience, is it really worth the investment?

Fortunately, customers love live chat as much as businesses (maybe even more). Here’s why your customers will love live help chats from your business.

It’s Convenient

Which sounds easier: clicking a box that says “chat now” or walking to your phone, dialing a customer service number, and waiting on hold?

That question was clearly biased towards live chat, but you get the point. Research shows customers like live chat much more than phone or email support. Econsultancy reports73% of customers are satisfied with live chat (customer satisfaction for phone support and email support are only at 44% and 61%, respectively).

Part of what makes live help software so convenient is how it exists in the same technological ecosystem as your customers. Your customers don’t need to use any other programs (such as email) or devices (such as phones) to get help. They can simply begin a chat session in their existing browser. Finding solutions is fast, too, especially for quick questions. Customers can jump into a chat, get a solution, and jump back to their normal browsing.

It Surprises and Delights Your Customers

“Surprise and delight” are a traditional marketing combination guaranteed to make customers fondly remember your business. According to the Harvard Business Review,surprise is still one of the most effective tools to win customers.

How does this relate to live help software? If your customers are stuck on your page, you can use proactive live chat to immediately engage your customers. This brings the surprise: your customer was looking for a solution, and your business offered to deliver one right into his or her lap. When your customer service agent resolves the customer’s problem, he or she will be delighted.

Your customers will also be surprised at how easy it is. When customers experience the convenience of live chat for the first time, they’ll be converted. In this way, a good live chat experience is an investment into future cost savings by your organization.

It’s On Their Terms

One important element of live help psychology is making customers feel they are being treated fairly. It’s very hard to deliver this through phone help. Customers have to navigate a limited phone menu. Then they have to wait for their turn in line, then they have to wait for the customer support rep to find a solution. Everything is on the business’s terms.

However, with live chat, the customer support experience is on the customer’s terms. They are the ones who call the shots. Even waiting periods don’t feel as long because customers can browse their favorite social network while they wait. This makes customers feel more satisfied and positive about your business, likely turning them into repeat customers.

Benefits for Both Businesses and Customers

Live chat isn’t just great for your business. It’s also great for your customers. Take a tour of Velaro’s live help software to see how it can help you surprise and delight your audience.