Though ecommerce has both advantages and disadvantages, one of its major benefits is the extra accessibility and ease of use that it offers consumers. However, even with the added convenience, issues are bound to come up occasionally for shoppers.
Today’s online shoppers expect ecommerce businesses to have excellent customer service departments set up to help answer their questions and address concerns to their satisfaction.
Online shoppers also expect a customer service department to be easy to reach. Furthermore, they want the customer service reps to be empowered to quickly address routine questions and concerns.
As important as customer service and support are to the overall shopping experience, personalized assistance from a live professional isn’t always the best option to support shoppers.
Consider that many of your customers may prefer to use automated features that can meet their needs more conveniently and quickly.
From your business’s perspective, customer service automation can save time and money. At the same time, it can convey a professional image to your customers and deliver an improved experience through all stages of online shopping.
If your business isn’t currently using automated customer service strategies, now’s the perfect time to get more familiar with the many opportunities available.
These are some of the key ways that your store can improve customer service processes through ecommerce automation.
1. Use keywords to generate customer service emails
Advanced customer relationship management (CRM) software programs can be used to send emails to your customers when specific trigger events are detected.
For example, the program may scan emails received by the customer service department to identify keywords or phrases. When these words are detected, your system can dispatch tailored email messages to the customer to meet their needs.
For instance, with this data, the program might detect that the consumer is emailing your business for help with a damaged package. In this case, a pre-written response can immediately be sent to the customer.
This email message may include specific steps that the customer should take next, such as to print out a return mailing label.
2. Direct customer service questions according to their relevance
As you scale your ecommerce business, your customer service department may need to become more refined.
Specific individuals on your team that offers customer support may be trained to handle financial issues. Others may address concerns related to shipment deliveries, returns, password issues and more.
Customization can enhance the level of service that your team provides to your customers.
Through the CRM solution, tags can be applied to each inquiry your customer service department receives. These tags will then be analyzed by the system so that the inquiry is quickly dispatched to the appropriate person or sub-department in your business.
Through this focus on relevancy, your store can operate more efficiently. This way, your customers can receive faster and more helpful service, which may help bring about increased product sales for your business.
3. Make new requests a priority
Some customer issues are more time sensitive than others and require immediate attention for the best possible outcome. For instance, issues related to an order that’s pending may be resolved more easily and more satisfactorily if they’re addressed before the order ships.
Difficulties placing an order or paying for items in a shopping cart can impact sales and should therefore be prioritized.
In the same fashion, some correspondence may be earmarked as less urgent or, as mentioned earlier, intended for a different department. After your business gets bigger, a job application, for example, may arrive in the customer service department’s inbox.
Your automated system could then immediately dispatch it to the human resources department. By doing so, the customer service department can more efficiently address issues that require their immediate attention.
4. Offer live chatting
Many online shoppers prefer to use online chat functions to get quick answers to their questions. A live chat feature is particularly beneficial because it provides the consumer with a convenient and often immediate way to receive tailored assistance.
When the chat feature is designed properly, using an online chat function could be more direct than trying to reach a customer service agent by phone.
If customers have a simple question about a product, say regarding sizing, they may not want to waste time waiting on the phone for an answer. Furthermore, some of your customers may just be more comfortable chatting online than talking on the phone.
The CRM software program used by your ecommerce store may be linked to the chat function. The first interaction via the chat may be to assess the customer’s needs and to deliver preset solutions.
These preset solutions could be links to the FAQ page or to a forum. If customers’ needs are not met through these features, they might then be directed to the customer service department’s email address.
In addition, these customers could alternatively be directly connected to a representative for a live chat during business hours.
5. Publish an FAQ page
An FAQ page can answer many of the more common questions that your customers may have. Creating a detailed and accurate list of questions and answers therefore benefits the business and the customers.
When you give your customers a convenient way to get detailed answers to these questions, you’re saving them time and reducing frustration.
In addition, you’re reducing the number of calls that your customer service department must field. This saves your ecommerce business money and ensures that those customers who need personalized assistance for a concern can reach a live customer service agent more quickly.
By publishing an FAQ page, you can also get tailored information in front of your customers through the automated emails and chat functions mentioned previously. The customer can simply click a link provided in the chat response or email to find the details that address their specific concerns.
6. Avoid fulfilling canceled orders
Your customers may appreciate the fact that your business can process orders promptly most of the time. However, some customers might continue shopping around after placing an order.
They may find something that’s a better match for their needs or decide against buying the item altogether. When an order is canceled after it’s already been processed by your business, the customer might need to wait for the order to arrive before going through the return process.
A better way to serve customers in this type of situation, though, is to set these types of inquiries as urgent.
When you’re able to automatically escalate cancellations that are made within a specific period of time after the order was placed, your team could pull the item before it ships. This can save your business and your customers time, money, and stress.
7. Provide frustrated customers with extra care
Though some unhappy customers may never reach out to your customer service department for help rectifying their issue, many will.
Differentiating between routine issues and serious problems with frustrated customers is essential. This is because it enables your customer service department to pull out all the stops in order to address an unhappy customer’s needs.
A CRM system can identify trigger words or phrases in a chat or email that may indicate frustration from the customer. When trigger words are detected, the system can escalate or prioritize those concerns so that they’re handled promptly and with extra attention.
By successfully correcting negative situations, you can boost customer loyalty, which often also leads to an increase in product sales.
8. Identify damaged products quickly
Your ecommerce business has likely invested heavily in producing an excellent customer experience. Note that this experience can unfortunately be ruined in seconds when a customer eagerly opens a package only to find that the product is damaged.
To reduce the prevalence of this type of issue, create an automated system to screen products for quality before they’re packaged. If the data shows that specific products have a higher return rate for damages, consider taking extra steps to safeguard those items when shipping them.
Providing the best possible experience to each customer is a top priority for online businesses, and automation plays a part in improving this. Automation can be used to help enhance the ecommerce customer experience from the pre-purchase stage to the post-delivery stage.
However, your customers should also have a clear and easy way to reach a live professional when automated solutions are not sufficient.
As you incorporate automation into various aspects of your operations, ensure that your automation strategies improve the shopping experience rather than increase customer frustration.