Most e-commerce businesses concentrate on their product or service and their sales and marketing techniques, but they overlook the most important factor: customer support.
While the other factors may have an adverse effect, poor customer service can be particularly off-putting to potential customers. In fact, 80% of customers say they would rather shift to a competitor after more than one bad experience.
We’ve covered the importance of customer service in e-commerce, the numerous channels you may use, and how it affects your growth in our previous blogs.
However, simply being available to customers is insufficient.
To win customers through great service, you must have a solid ecommerce customer support strategy in place.
If you’re wondering where to begin, this lesson is for you.
How to create your ecommerce customer support strategy?
A customer service strategy is a road map for your customer service reps to follow to improve customer interactions throughout their journey with your company. It’s difficult to know whether your company’s existing service strategy delights your customers without a plan.
Once you’ve developed a strategy, it’ll be easier to track your progress and compare it to predetermined standards to maintain a competitive advantage in the increasingly fast-moving ecommerce industry.
Let’s take a look at a few steps that can assist you in developing an effective customer support strategy.
Step 1: Get the whole company on board
It is not only the job of one department to provide the best customer service. Everyone in the company should be dedicated to achieving it. Customers will interact with numerous departments within your company during their journey.
This includes your sales and marketing department, accounting and finance department, and even your back-office department.
Customers may not interact with other departments at first. However, they may have questions about the product later on or have billing concerns.
As a result, each department must work together to provide a consistent experience for your customers.
To create a customer-centric culture, you must start from the inside. You must properly communicate the idea to everyone in the organisation and give the necessary training and support to ensure that all departments strive to achieve this common goal.
When customer service is prioritised across all departments, it leads to satisfied customers and increased revenue.
Step 2: Create a clear customer experience vision
Having a customer experience vision provides you with a direction and a sense of purpose. It acts as a guideline for everyone to follow to reach the common goal. It not only helps employees discover meaning but also encourages them to organise, focus, and collaborate to achieve the vision.
When employees are feeling lost or stressed, the customer experience vision serves as a reminder of why they started in the first place. This helps them stay focused on their aim of providing excellent customer service.
It’s also easier to outline your short and long-term goals once you’ve defined your customer experience vision.
For example, LimeChat’s vision is to build the most compelling customer experience on chat.
Step 3: Map your customers’ journey
Customer journey mapping is critical for all businesses, no matter how big or small. It allows you to examine things from the customer’s perspective and determine whether there is room for change.
Understanding your customers’ touchpoints is the first step in mapping their journey. These touchpoints can include your website, social media, or other interaction with your brand.
For example, a buyer may have discovered your product on social media, researched it on a website, and then purchased it via an app. It’s critical to make the customer experience a priority at every touchpoint.
The benefits of mapping the customer journey are many. One, it enables you to streamline your customer onboarding process, and the other, it enables you to overcome any differences in customer expectations and experiences.
The main goal of customer journey mapping is to understand your customers better. It becomes much easier to develop personalised and unique experiences for your customers if you understand them better. And today, 71% of customers expect personalised experiences from businesses.
Step 4: Set SMART customer support goals
Simply goal-setting for customer service isn’t enough. You must set SMART goals.
Your goals should be specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and time-bound. You won’t be able to attain your end goals if any of these five aspects are lacking.
- Your goals should not be vague; instead, they should be specific.
- Reduce your turnaround time by focusing on one thing at a time.
- Set reasonable targets that will benefit your employees’ productivity and effectiveness.
- Your goals should be challenging while also being attainable.
- Set a deadline for your customer service goals and share it with your team to know how long they have to meet them.
Here’s an example of SMART customer goals:
Over the next 2 years, we’ll reduce our average AHT by implementing additional communication channels and using an incentive program to motivate our employees.
Step 5: Establish ecommerce customer service KPIs to track
Setting goals is only the beginning of your customer service strategy. With your goals in place, you should be aware of key performance indicators (KPIs) that you’ll track and improve. Your objectives will be incomplete without them.
KPIs, or Key Performance Indicators, are metrics that you’ll use to determine whether or not your customer service strategy is working.
The following are some key customer service KPIs that we believe any e-commerce company should pay attention to:
- Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)
- Customer Effort Score (CES)
- Employee Satisfaction Score (ESAT)
- Total Tickets and Tickets Per Customer.
- Volume by Channel.
- First Response Time (FRT)
- Average Handle Time (AHT)
- First Contact Resolution
- Net Promoter Score (NPS)
We will be covering each of these ecommerce customer service metrics in our upcoming lesson.
Step 6: Select the appropriate channels
Customer service channels are how consumers try to contact you at various points along their journey.
Some of these channels, such as phone help and email, are already well-known. However, channels such as live chat, social media, and chatbots are gaining popularity nowadays because of their ease of use and interoperability across platforms.
It is important to identify the right channels to provide a consistent customer experience. When customers buy a product or service from you, they trust you.
If something goes wrong after they buy something, they expect you to help them on a platform they’re comfortable with. When you reach customers where they’re, you meet their expectations and enhance customer satisfaction.
Here are some recommended practices for providing good multi-channel customer service:
Today’s customers demand excellent customer service even when they’re on the go. As a result, make your customer service and support pages mobile-friendly to provide customers with that experience.
Customers want immediate solutions to their questions, so they resort to social media for support and complaints. Ensure that your social media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram, help you bridge the gap between you and your customers.
Most customers are impatient to have their minor issues resolved by support personnel. As a result, people seek self-service options. Hence, implement helpdesk automation that automatically answers basic, repeated questions without the involvement of your support team members.
The best way to know where to be present is to activate all the key channels your target market makes use of, using a helpdesk solution like LimeChat. Then over a period of time, track which of the channels is the most used and double down on it!
Step 7: Invest in helpdesk automation
The more consumer channels you use, the more you’ll need to remain on top of every discussion. Consider your customer service representatives switching between platforms to respond to questions.
This will not only keep your customers at bay, but it will also frustrate your employees. It’s here that an ecommerce help desk solution comes in handy.
It assists your customer service representatives to streamline their job by allowing them to receive all support tickets in one location.
This will enable them to provide more personalised and high-quality assistance. It also enables assistance automation by addressing the most common questions and saving up to 670 working hours per year for customer service representatives.
Customers nowadays expect immediate answers to their questions. Ecommerce helpdesk automation can speed up your response time, resulting in more satisfied customers.
Find a help desk automation technology, such as LimeChat, that provides a unified platform for your customer queries.
Limechat allows you to link numerous channels to one dashboard, such as Live Chat, Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. Your customer service representatives will be able to address all enquiries from a single dashboard.
Step 8: Set up important automation
Do you know? According to a McKinsey study, firms can save 20-40% on customer service costs using effective support automation software.
You must recognize recurring queries at various stages of the buyer’s journey to automate customer support. Customers, for example, may inquire about the order status after they have placed the order. You can use a customer service automation solution to respond to these queries without human intervention.
Automating customer service tasks have multiple benefits. Quick response time and increased customer satisfaction are just a few of them.
90% of customers consider an “instant” response vital for customer service. 60% of customers consider “instant” to be anything that takes less than 10 minutes. Thanks to the customer support automation tool, customers receive a first response in seconds, not minutes or days.
This also eliminates the need for a support team to spend time on minor issues. Instead, they concentrate on more complicated issues that are more likely to result in a negative customer experience.
Set up a customer support automation platform if you want your customer support team to avoid monotonous tasks and focus on higher-value accounts.
You can automate 70% of customer assistance with Limechat’s level 3 AI and make responses more conversational and natural. Learn more about it here.
Step 9: Build your ecommerce customer service team
A great customer support team is the lifeblood of any business. The team works to ensure that your customers have a great experience, leading to referrals and repeat business.
As a result, look for equally passionate candidates when hiring for your customer service team. To provide excellent customer service, they should have abilities such as empathy, adaptability, motivation, and self-awareness.
Your team should also be eager to learn about new trends and technology, as this will make their jobs easier. Regular training might also assist them in staying updated on new technologies.
Step 10: Make customer feedback regular
If there’s one thing that can set you apart from your competition, it’s providing a great customer experience. A whopping 86% of buyers are willing to spend more for a better customer experience.
Asking customers what they enjoy about your service and what may be improved is the most effective method to provide them with a great experience.
Obtaining feedback is one way to accomplish this. Feedback is used as a tool to help you improve. It allows you to track customer satisfaction and identify areas where you need to improve.
If you want to make customer support the centre of your business, treat feedback as the most reliable source of information. Customers feel valued when you work on their feedback, which leads to higher satisfaction.
And it’s not all that difficult either. If you’re making use of a helpdesk solution like LimeChat, you can set up an automation to collect customer feedback at different stages in their buying journey – for example, post-purchase and post-product-delivery. Explore more here.
Step 11: Analyse and optimise
Developing a great customer support strategy is not a one-time task. To develop a successful strategy, you need to regularly monitor your approach and automation.
Based on your end goals, you can always optimise your strategy. Limechat, an AI-based chatbot, allows you to analyse your performance closely and optimise your efforts to achieve the end goal.
Ecommerce help desk solutions like LimeChat come with powerful analytics dashboards to help you stay on top of your customer service and support performance. It also gives you insights into how automations are performing, including the resulting conversions and sales.
Fuel your customer support strategy with the right helpdesk
Now that you have an ecommerce customer service strategy in place, it’s time to get to work. However, you’ll need a more powerful and advanced tool to realise your customer service strategy in this multi-channel, competitive domain.
LimeChat is one such tool that provides you with the following features:
- Customer support automation with Level-3 AI
- Single ecommerce help desk to minimise resolution time
- Automatic ticket assignment
- Strong integration with Shopify apps
- 20+ customizable templates
LimeChat’s personalised Level-3 AI workflows allow you to respond to customer queries 10x faster.
Your customers will be more satisfied if you respond to their queries in less time and that’s exactly what it enables.
Time and again, studies have found that customers that feel valued and satisfied are more likely to do business with you again.
Having said that, it’s important to have a strong customer support strategy in place, but having the right workflows is what brings the strategy alive.
In our next lesson, we’re going to cover the important ecommerce customer service workflows to drive better customer experiences and more sales. Stay tuned!
Until then, explore LimeChat, a Level-3 AI Shopify customer care platform to take your ecommerce service strategy to the next level with automations!
Stay tuned for our next post in our series that will include- Customer support templates for different use cases in e-commerce!
This post is the fifth in our Masterclass series on Ecommerce Customer Support & Service, where we will go through an in-depth understanding of the current expectations and strategies some of the best D2C brands use and how to execute them in simple, actionable ways.