How do you keep your online retail business a step ahead of your competition in a crowded market? Customer service. Here, The Media Image looks at how your customer's journey is dependant on 24/7 support.
Unless you focus on a specific demographic of customers, it’s unlikely that you sell products that are completely one of a kind. With so many businesses offering similar products and services in the e-commerce sphere, customers are on a never-ending quest for the best options, best prices and best guarantees, and will always resort to comparison shopping. It’s up to your business to find other ways to change the game so that your brand can stand out in the market.
Regardless of the type of product you sell or the industry you belong to, it’s important to provide your customers with a satisfying experience. According to Gladly’s 2018 Customer Service Expectations Survey, 92 percent of participants cited customer service as a key influencer of their loyalty to a brand. Therein lies the opportunity. Since customer service can make or break the customer-brand relationship, entrepreneurs can use it as a foundation for a unique online business.
While most e-tailers have a dedicated contact centre in place, no two customer experiences are alike. How can you ensure that yours is the more superior?
Check out our three ways to enhance your customer service to boost revenue and customer retention.
Technology: It’s not enough to just have a phone number for customers to contact you. Sure, that’s how the original call centre started, but it has since become a more technologically advanced environment. You can have as many telephones as you want, but are you being responsive to customers who contact you on Facebook? Have you integrated chatbots into your e-commerce website to provide instant solutions? Are you giving customers the option of self-service or boosting your agents’ performances through automation? To stay competitive, e-tailer’s need to transform digitally and leverage the latest contact centre technology into their business operations.
Flexibility: Today’s customers expect service to run around the clock. Even if you excel at fast response times during normal business hours, the ultimate indication of high responsiveness is 24/7 customer support. Problems can arise at any time and customers want to feel that you are dedicated to their needs. When you show them you’re there for them at any hour, customers will likely stick with you for longer.
Personalisation: Personalised service is more than just being on first name speaking terms with your customers. The goal is to let the customer feel that their individual wants and needs have been met at a personal level. It’s one thing to solve customer queries according to a standard procedure. But, when your agents truly go above and beyond what is expected from them, your business creates a compelling experience that encourages customers to come back. Examples of personalised service include matching customers with appropriate agents, offering loyalty programs, special offers and discounts, and making tailored recommendations.
Entrepreneurs in every industry, including online retail, are finding it harder to set their business apart from the rest. Not only is competitive rivalry increasing between existing businesses, it seems every time someone comes up with a good idea for a new product or service, others are rushing to copy or rip off the idea. When the market becomes this saturated, the contact centre can be a business’ greatest differentiator. This is a belief we share with one of our partners, Merchants, who give a good overview of the topic in their post, How to differentiate on customer experience.
If you’re a startup, you may not have the money and resources to operate a contact centre. The good news is that you don’t need to invest too much in the necessary technology and human resources. Through business process outsourcing, you can get access to skilled expertise and the tools you need to deliver an outstanding customer service at a lower cost.
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