Delighting e-commerce customers at a reasonable expense that preserves your margins is a tough balancing act. Here are are several ideas you can easily implement in your customer experience (CX) planning to get the most bang for your buck.
1. Put the right tools in customers’ hands
At Rush Order, we’ve found customers are more likely to continue doing business with you and become advocates for your brand if you make it easy for them to answer their own questions (aka “self service”).
Customers want answers without the need for a customer service agent to intervene. Allowing customers to self-service carries the added benefit of freeing up more of your agents’ time focusing on more complicated situations and increasing their overall productivity.
Possible solutions include:
- Create an easily understood frequently asked questions (FAQ) and knowledge base section on your website.
- Deploy a multilingual knowledge base and FAQ so customers can easily find and understand the information they need.
- Updated your FAQs and knowledge base every time you launch new products or features, as well as anytime you notice trends in customer feedback. Again, the point is to pre-empt questions from customers.
- Make sure your knowledge base content is accessible across all typical engagement points, including your mobile and desktop website, mobile app, and possibly other channels.
- Leverage your knowledge base content automatically (i.e. chatbot functionality) in your customer chat tool to reduce customer service agent involvement (and expense).
- Give customers confidence in their purchase and helo them self service via cost effective buyer protection tools like Route.
2. Reduce customer wait times
Of course, no one likes to wait for help. In addition to providing high-quality self-service tools, consider implementing the following:
- Set realistic expectations for your customers by underlining response time in all your support, contact, and FAQ information. In fact, under-promise and over-deliver slightly if you can.
- Use intelligent customer service software to keep track of incoming customer inquiries, prioritize issues, and automatically assign inquiries based on agent expertise and real-time workload.
- Create pre-templated responses to make it easier for customer service agents to respond quickly and effectively. A nice additional touch is to train your customer support agents to include a warm greeting, some empathy, and a tiny bit of personalization in their responses. An extra 10-20 seconds of effort to personalize a canned response goes a long way in earning trust with your customers at very little expense.
- Deliver quickly. At Rush Order, we pride ourselves on fast-turn fulfillment and providing multiple warehouse locations in the US and around the world to improve shipping transit times. Whether you leverage an outsourced fulfillment operation like Rush Order or fulfill on your own, 2 – 3 day delivery is the new norm, accomplishing this feat is critical to building your brand and retaining repeat customers and/or referrers.
3. Don’t make customers repeat themselves
We all know the feeling. Customers get frustrated when they are forced to repeat their information again and again. This may happen when multiple agents are engaged in solving the same ticket or when a particular agent is unable to access customer specific information for complete context on the issue.
- Deploy help desk software that allows agents to easily hand tickets back and forth.
- Leverage software and reporting features that allow you to track the average number of responses by topic, by agent, and by customer. Too many touchpoints with a given customer can be a red flag your content is not up to the task or a particular customer service agent needs some additional help.
- Give customers an outlet. Collect customer feedback via your support channels and via customer satisfaction surveys. Make sure you have sufficient visibility if customers are complaining about having to repeat themselves or complaining about other issues.
4. Lack of customer support channels
With the help of easily implemented modern technology, there’s no reason why you can’t meet and greet your customers in the channels they prefer.
- Deploy help desk software that enables all or most of the channels customers prefer. Communication channels such as email, chat (automated and live agent when necessary), and social media (especially Facebook & Twitter) are all standard these days. Telephone support may or may not be a wise choice, depending on your product, customer base, and the economics of your business.
- Along the lines of the previous bullet, being able to respond to Amazon customers (within your Amazon seller portal) quickly and effectively is also a necessity.
- Make your appropriate contact details easily accessible. Your email address, phone number (if applicable), social media accounts, chat tool, FAQs, and knowledge base should all be easy to locate on your website and in your app. Don’t make customers hunt for help. Make it easy, especially by leveraging self service tools.
- Automate order updates. Most commonly accomplished via email and SMS, give customers confidence their order is being handled with care. An order confirmation and shipment confirmation are the basics. Great software tools are available to automate delivery notifications and check in with customers after they’ve had your product in their hands for a few days. Don’t miss out on all the many touchpoints you can leverage to build a relationship with your customer, reduce the quantity (and expense) of live agent intervention, and inspire confidence in your brand.
It’s easy to fall into the traditional approach of customer support as a reactive solution to customer frustration. We hope this information is a starting point to help inspire proactive ways in which you can delight customers and avoid all the negative consequences that come with fielding unnecessary customer complaints.
For more insight or to learn how Rush Order can turnkey these solutions on your behalf, please contact us.