Online shopping has a lot of consumer benefits: wider product range, quick retail convenience, delivery to your door (often complimentary) – to name a few. However, there are aspects where U.S. shoppers feel retailers could improve digital experiences.
Customer service is the number one area in which ecommerce retailers should be focusing greater resources, America’s online shoppers believe.
According to a recent study, many consumers feel brands aren’t reaching out to them online in the same personal manner that they would in a store. Almost three quarters (72%) of shoppers in the USA would like greater levels of customer service, particularly when they’re struggling to navigate a complex ecommerce website.
What help would this format take? 4 in 10 shoppers claim that a live chat function would assist them, and video links to customer service associates were also popular. Within this, consumers expressed an interest in sharing screens with the support team, so they can see the issues being encountered, rather than having to describe them.
From a retailer perspective, one-to-one live customer service is a great opportunity to make personal customer connections online – but only if the function is managed efficiently, so that shoppers can always get access to the support they require during peak trading hours.
Thinking about adding live chat to your website? Make sure you read our blog first: could you reach new audiences through live chat?
Even if you feel live chat is too much of a commitment for your business, there are other ways in which retailers can improve online customer service. Here are some top tips for nurturing ecommerce shopper relationships:
- Strip away any unnecessary detail in your website navigation. The aim is to get your customers seamlessly from the point where they enter your site to the checkout, with the fewest number of clicks in between.
- Ensure product information is clear and comprehensive, so customers feel satisfied with the item’s look and functionality.
- Create a comprehensive FAQ section for your website, which addresses the most common issues your customers face.
- Give customers the option to email you with feedback – and respond to every message.
- Increase customer staff during peak trading periods such as the holiday season, when you’re more likely to be receiving higher volumes of customer inquiries.
- Always personalize responses to customers, even if you have standard instructions on particular online issues. The directive might be the same, but the consumer is always individual.
- If a customer does have a complaint, listen to their feedback and question whether you can make improvements based on their comments. After all, they are the target user for your site, so they are your most powerful source of growth.
Improving ecommerce customer service not only has the potential to create happier shoppers, it could grow your business online; 2 in every 3 consumers surveyed claim they would be more inclined to shop online if they felt there was a personalized support network to turn to should they run into problems.