As the world continues to move towards more digitized services, ecommerce customer support is becoming increasingly important. This is no surprise as the e-commerce market has been constantly expanding over the years. Ecommerce sales exceeded $1 trillion 2022 and have been growing at an average of 16% annually since 2011 and 20.8% of retail purchases are expected to take place online in 2023 according to Forbes.
We can say that ecommerce has not only revolutionized the global shopping culture but has also become one of the most common types of online businesses.
Thanks to ecommerce websites, we no longer need to spend hours wandering in and out of department stores. Instead, with an electronic device and a decent internet connection, we can do all the shopping in one sitting.
However, the online shopping process does not go seamlessly at all times. Sometimes we face little obstacles or discrepancies in our purchase journey. The natural move at that point is to turn to ecommerce customer support of that particular retail website and ask for guidance. To understand how that process works and what its specifics are, keep on reading.
What is Ecommerce Customer Service?
Ecommerce customer service is the process of providing assistance, support, and advice to customers who purchase goods or services from an online store.
This can include helping customers with product selection, return and post-purchase inquiries, technical issues, and so on.
The key task of an ecommerce business is to make the customer journey flawless, i.e. customers should be able to go through the sales funnel like knife through butter.
In reality, though, glitches do happen in this process. That’s when the system of customer service should do its magic.
In order to build strong customer support for ecommerce businesses, online shops usually use omnichannel customer service - call centers, live chat, social networks, on-page support widgets, etc.
It’s crucial to understand that the quality of customer support services directly influences customers’ level of satisfaction and increase in sales. So, if you own a small business, you should definitely consider investing in small business customer service software to always be where your customers are. This suggests equally investing your resources in different communication channels and being available in all of them.
Best Customer Service Practices
Ecommerce customer support requires a variety of skills and strategies in order to be successful. This implies investing in the best customer service practices that make customers feel valued.
Small businesses may be at a disadvantage when it comes to customer service because they don't have the resources of larger businesses.
However, with the right financial strategy of investment distribution, they can still provide an excellent customer service experience.
The first step is to invest in the right technology. The right small business customer service software can help your business streamline operations, saving the budget. Ecommerce customer support tools are not only created to help you increase customer happiness, but to boost your sales and prolong lifetime value, as well.
Gathering customer feedback is also of high significance. It helps businesses understand how customers feel about their products and services. Once user insights are collected, it will be easier to identify areas for further improvements.
Finally, businesses should invest in customer service automation software. If implemented, ecommerce customer support automation can reduce the amount of manual work required to provide decent customer service.
Types of Customer Support Software
As businesses continue to compete for customers, providing a superior customer service experience is becoming more and more essential for remaining competitive. Companies must have a comprehensive understanding of their customers, their products, and the services being offered.
They must also have the ability to provide clear, helpful, and timely responses to customer inquiries. In addition, companies must ensure that their customer service representatives are knowledgeable, friendly, and able to resolve customer issues quickly and effectively.
Nevertheless, delivering all the previously mentioned points in an efficient manner demands a whole lot of resources and workforce.
A great solution to this challenge is taking up customer support software which is the future of customer service.
Now, take a look at these highly functioning customer service software types that we’ve separated for you and pick the one that best fits your needs.
Knowledge-based customer support software tools focus on internal databases of product-related information to respond to customers’ inquiries.
If years ago, the main source of such data came from customers themselves or customer support agents, today, knowledge-based tools rely on AI to accumulate the necessary information.
A great example of knowledge-based software is an AI-powered virtual assistant that serves as an ecommerce customer support automation tool for all kinds of businesses. It provides 24/7 customer support creating a top-notch user experience for any website.
The core of knowledge-based software is that it crawls your entire website, self-educates, and starts answering untrained questions about your business. It is like a live storage of frequently asked questions that updates itself constantly.
Another option is training the knowledge-based software to provide full-scale satisfactory answers while using your brand voice. This will allow you to avoid customer service mistakes.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Customer relationship management (CRM) is another common type of software that helps track information and interactions between your company and your customers. CRMs aim to increase website efficiency and productivity. They keep track of all customer contacts so that customer support representatives can come up with better solutions to interact with customers.
Each customer can be well-understood and cared for, with the help of the information recorded in a CRM. The stored data includes information about the issues, preferences, orders, and recommendations of each customer.
CRM software tools are used in a variety of business fields: ecommerce, sales, marketing, finance, customer support, etc.
Shared Inbox Software
A shared inbox is a collective inbox that employs widgets or email aliases like info@ or help@. It can be managed by multiple agents who have access to it.
The biggest advantage of shared inbox software is that it allows customer service teams to effectively conduct division of labor.
Overall, managing a shared inbox is quite simple and it works perfectly for businesses of all sizes. But as your business grows, the likelihood of misunderstandings between individuals and teams increases, since cross team collaboration may become a bit complicated.
Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
The system of IVR, short for interactive voice response, is another type of customer support for ecommerce. It directs customer calls to the relevant department of a call center.
An IVR system often plays a pre-recorded greeting for the caller, provides menu options, and either transfers the caller into a queue to connect with a customer service representative or immediately updates them on account balance details, business hours, or other piece of information the customer has asked for. IVR is a great customer support tool as it helps companies be more efficient in customer service and reduce labor costs.
Overall, acing customer service is not an easy task. But if you have an ecommerce business, it, most certainly, is a necessity.
In addition, by building a strong customer support system, you will immensely increase your brand loyalty and punch up the level of customer satisfaction.
By developing relationships and winning your customers’ trust, you will continuously enlarge the community of repeat customers.
In this “customer first” era, business owners must be ready to make investments in structuring solid customer service operations for their ecommerce website.
Adopting some of the best customer service practices and integrating customer support software are among the proven customer service strategies that will benefit any ecommerce business.
So it’s time to centralize your resources on real results instead of pulling the wool over your customers’ eyes with poor communication.
Communication is key, remember! Communicate smart!