Essential Tools for a Flawless Customer Service Experience in 2019
Let us take an example to make you understand exactly what is required to be understood. You walk into a restaurant and get yourself seated, after more than 20 minutes the waiter comes to you with the menu, than you are waiting for another 60 minutes for the food to come, and whoa – the received food is not what you ordered. You complain about it politely and the waiter doesn’t seem interested to even listen to your issue. Is it the absence of quality food that made this scenario worst?
Let’s take another example. You walked into a supermarket and you are searching the aisles for what you wish to purchase. You are not able to find what you are looking for and now you are searching for the employees of the supermarket to assist. Finally, you find one after a long struggle and he himself not sure what you want. The struggle continues to find someone else to assist and after a long search, you still didn’t get any assistance for the product you were searching for. Is it the supermarket worst not having the products you want?
The real answer is no! The basic problem in both the scenario is bad customer service. In the restaurant, you received the menu as well as food wrong and upon complaint, there was no action. Similarly, in the supermarket, you had to search for someone to help you yourself and upon reaching to anyone, the staff was not able to assist you. This is all about bad customer service.
What is Customer Service?
Customer service is technically the act of taking care of the needs and wants of the customers by providing assistance and delivering every professional help they can. Ensuring high-quality service accompanied with proper assistance before and later after the customer’s requirement is fulfilled is what makes the dynamics of customer service.
Customer service is once defined as making both the ends meet i.e. service delivery and customer service combined together to get the eternal essence of loyalty from the customers. A customer becomes loyal if he gets prompt response upon his query or time of concerns, a polite interaction throughout, an essence of professionalism during the course of time and finally personalized service and care. If these customer services are ensured, there are maximum chances that the customer will become loyal to your product forever.
What is Customer Experience?
Customer experience (CX) is the customer’s perception of the overall interaction with the company. It is the complete quality of all the interactions they would be having with the company in reference to its products and services. It is evident that with the increase of challenges in the e-commerce business, the customer expectations are increasing higher and have now become the major key for the retention or acquisition of customers.
Creating a perfect customer experience is more than just giving customer service. Ensuring a proper service to the customer is not just the need, it is also important to create a perfect experience for them with enhanced facilities for them likely timely interactions and listening to their problems and sorting them out with perfection. For creating a dynamic customer experience, the company needs to be completely aware of the customers’ needs and wants and the demands they have.
There are some essential tools that can enhance your customer service experience on your e-commerce store. When your web is being designed by your e-commerce website development agency, make sure to ask them to add the following tools for faultless customer engagement and experience on your site.
Mobile Friendly Customer Support
The usage of mobile phones has increased to a drastic number. As per a survey, an average person checks their phone at least 80 times a day or once on every 12 minutes. For any information, the first choice a customer has is their smartphone. Today, the smartphone is used not just for getting information, but for online shopping too. It is predicted that by the end of 2021, online shopping via a smartphone will outpace desktop shopping by a huge difference, where mobile shopping will capture around 72.9% of the e-commerce market share. This is nearly 3.56 trillion dollar shopping via mobile phones.
This is evident that mobile users are now expecting better to best shopping experience through their phones rather than sitting next to a desktop. As per the recent report of 2018, more users prefer shopping through their smartphones due to the convenience of its usage, as compared to the desktop setting shopping experience. Therefore it is important to enhance customer service and experience on a mobile device too. There are a few things you can do to improve your mobile experience.
Mobile Friendly Live Chat
Just like your whole e-commerce store is responsive across every smartphone available, similarly, the option of live chat should be there on the mobile version of the site too. If you have a tiny and unobtrusive chat icon on your desktop version than there must be a bigger and easily noticeable chat icon in your mobile version. Before applying any live chat option on your site with icons, always take a brief look that how it looks over there before making it live. If the icon is too big, spoiling the overall layout of the website, then that is also painful to stand to your customer’s eyes.
There is ever growing increase in SMS demand than a call. Via an SMS, you can send to the point information, whereas in a call you have to talk a bit before getting to the point. Through an SMS, you will also not disturb someone, instead of by a call you need attention to answer it immediately. Therefore the need for SMS help is increasing in every sector and using it in e-commerce business is no exception at all. Instead of using a live chat option, through an SMS they can interact with the representatives to know the solutions of their problem. Through an SMS service, when a customer has placed an order if they are getting a personalized SMS of thanking for purchasing or brief information of what they have purchased helps the customers be more engaged with the online store.
If you can afford a dedicated mobile application of your e-commerce store then nothing can beat the perfection. Through a seamless integrated mobile application that is compatible on both Android as well as iOS devices, then this can easily leverage your business to heights of success. It is found out that mobile e-commerce apps are an eccentric way that does not only support but also guide and incentivize the overall shopping experience of your customers. Through a mobile app, you can easily access a complete user-friendly support system, providing built-in identity and history of each customer, precisely.
Though there are a lot of people who prefer SMS over phone calls, still there are some people who are extrovert and not an introvert when it comes to phone calls. It is believed that it is better to get assistance and solution to the problem via a phone call, rather playing a 20 question live chat support system. It is beneficial when you are in the middle of the complex problem, then talking over the phone is easy as compared to write your problem in detail. You can easily place a UX friendly phone number on your site where you have to click it to call the representative. It is that easy!
It is obvious that your goal for smooth and exceptional customer service should be creating such an experience where your customers don’t feel the urge of using live chat option at the first place. Using a self-service support system can be beneficial where, self-service resources are technically the support information that is available and posted online for the ease of customers for finding the solutions themselves, like knowledge bases solutions and FAQ (frequently asked questions) pages. It is observed that majority of the customers prefer a self-service module more.
There are certain ways to ensure a proper self-service management system, where customers can easily search for the solutions of their problems and don’t feel the need to interact with any representation either online or SMS or through a phone call.
It is researched that more than 30% of the visitors to any site will prefer a site search actively during their visit. Internal search is actually a search bar that can be easily found on the upper corner of the site where a customer can type what they are searching for and get filtered search results. It is the quickest way a customer uses to find out exactly what he is looking for. Never think to disable the option of internal search on your site as every customer expect to find it for their convenience. If you are violating the expectations of the customers, you are getting into a forbidden territory where the customer might switch from your site to look for another site with this suitability.
It is found out that if a visitor is able to search for the desired product instantly, there are enough chances that he will become a customer. Visitors don’t like to keep on searching for the product they want. You can provide following facilities to your customers to ensure convenience and ease in searching. A visible search bar can help customers in quickly clicking on it to get to the main search they are looking for. Returning with relevant results so that the customer feels confident that the website understands his needs. Proper presentation of the searched results that your customer can easily find the product he is looking for. Query triggering help allows the customers to type ‘how to’ and ‘help’ keywords where the customer can easily get access to live chat or another support system. This is beneficial even when the required keywords don’t match your products.
Other Self-Service Options
Internal search isn’t the only self-service management tool a customer needs, there are several other options that are also required by the customer. Such as, calculators to calculate the amount of shopping you have already done, estimators to estimate the price range if you are converting the currency, useful reviews of previous customers to trigger motivation and confidence in purchasing, dedicated FAQ section where the customer can get easy and quick access to some solution to the problem, instead of going to another page to get the results.
Sometimes sending an email and then waiting for the response is acceptable by some of the customers. Whereas if the problem is not big at all then waiting for the email response seems frustrating. Even if you have a complex problem, solving it via an email is not the best choice. Therefore more than 30% of customers expect live chat option, where they can directly interact with a representative and solve their problems.
More than 53% of customers prefer live chat option as compared to phone calls if the problem is not too complex that it needs voice solution. There are certain things that are needed to be in mind when you are integrating a live chat support system to your website. Try to be more helpful to your customers, instead of being confusing for them.
Be Visible – Not Distracting
Make sure your live chat icon is easily visible, neither covering most of the space of the website nor too tiny to be noticed. Notify your customer with a simple ‘ding’ or a ‘hi’ or ‘how may I help you?’ response to make them notice there is a live chat option too. But this has to be done the moment the visitor lands on your page, but don’t do it again and again when the customer is switching to pages; this is distracting and too irritating. Make it simple and elegant with simple notifications, prompting a response.
State Your Availability
It would be great that if your live chat icon can show up as a pop-up window or teeter for a few seconds when the visitor lands on your web page. Through this, the visitor will easily notice a live chat support presence. Don’t make it a 24/7 support system and hire resources for that, state your hours of availability and show an offline blip when you are not available. Ask your customers to leave a message so that as soon as you are live again, the support system can respond back to them.
Artificial Intelligence Integration Chatbots
There are many online stores who are using artificial intelligence in their live chat support system. After feeding the response of the problems that might occur for a customer during his shopping experience, the AI chatbot is set to answer the queries even 24/7. Through an AI integration, you can enhance the customer experience in no time.
Social Media Support
It is the time that not just your customers are available on social media, but you also become part of social media soon. Business pages, relevant photos and videos are creating a massive experience for the e-commerce business. Hit the famous social media platforms and interact with your customers to either promote your business and products or engage with them closely and monitor their needs and preferences to reshape and redesign your online store as per their demands.
Since Twitter and Facebook are famous and there is the database of millions of users available, the majority of the users might turn to like your customers if you are able to do competitive marketing over the social media. Interact either through posts, videos or photos or go live and have one-on-one sessions to know more.
One of the most unique things of social media is that the content is visible publically and you can target massive audience through this. If a customer inquires about any product on your social media page and you respond quickly in a helpful, friendly, full of energetic way, you are directly creating a customer service experience through the social site. You can find angry customers on your page too and through social media, you can immediately take them to a private chat and try to solve their problems. Through this, you can minimize bad verdict for your business and increase customer loyalty in no time.
The response time on social media plays a pivotal role in the progress of your business. Try to be as responsive as you can. If you are taking typically days to respond, your customers might feel they are not welcomed to your website, thus leave it behind forever. But if your response time is within hours, the customers will feel that the business values them and would likely to remain loyal to your brand. Continue to check your social media business account every once in a while to make sure all the queries are answered on time.
Response Content and Tone
Even if you are responding earlier, if the content is not fine, you are losing in the competition. For example, a customer is asking related to his login issues on your website or not able to add items to his cart and instead of coming to a solution you ask a question instead of like how old is your account or why you want it to be fixed so soon etc. The response content is not just irrelevant but also going to frustrate the customer. Even, there will be times when a customer might get aggressive and talk to you in worst manner, but this is the time to show patience and keep your tone simple and sweet, through this you will increase your customer service and experience to a next level.
Omnichannel Customer Experience
Omnichannel is all about individual customers and consumers. It is a seamless and well-integrated customer experience across many devices and channels, such as mobile phone, social media platforms, brick and mortar, the targeted ads, desktop browsing etc. It is typically having consistent customer experience across all the channels with perfection.
One of the prime benefits of omnichannel support system is that it enables the customers to pick up a conversation from where they left off on any different channel. Let it be a social media interaction one day and the phone conversation the next day and later the live chat support, the agents can have complete and exclusive access to all of the interaction history of the customer, at one single place. Through this, the agent can provide services in a perfectly informed manner.
As per a survey by Aspect, every year there is more than 91% retention in e-commerce business if you are using omnichannel strategies. Today, customers change their devices every time to interact with the business. According to Google research, more than 98% of the Americans switch their devices many times a day. Therefore there is a need for an omnichannel strategy to ensure seamless customer service and customer experience, helping in their retention and acquisition.