Deep within the customer lifecycle lies a critical point of their journey: customer service. It’s something so crucial to your online business that if a shopper has a positive experience, they’ll tell a friend and you’re online store may very well win a new customer. If that same customer has a negative experience, however, they’re likely to take to social media and tell hundreds if not thousands of friends and followers about their frustration –– and lose your business some potential sales.
In fact, the data on the potential benefits and pitfalls of customer service quality is stark.
- 78% of consumers have bailed on a transaction or not made an intended purchase because of a poor service experience
- The revenue impact from a 10% improvement in a company’s customer experience score can translate into more than $1 billion
- Americans tell an average of nine people about good experiences, and tell 16 (nearly two times more) people about poor experiences
- It takes 12 positive reviews to make up for one unresolved negative experience
- For every customer who bothers to complain, 26 other customers remain silent
- 3 in 5 Americans (59%) would try a new brand or company for a better service experience
- 7 in 10 Americans said they were willing to spend more with companies they believe provide excellent customer service
- According to consumers, customer service agents failed to answer their questions 50% of the time
- 75% of customers believe it takes too long to reach a live agent
- In the last year, 67% of customers have hung up the phone out of frustration they could not talk to a real person
- 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated
- Resolve a complaint in the customer’s favor and they will do business with you again 70% of the time
Taking good care of your customer doesn’t have to consume a large amount of your time. There are plenty of app solutions and integrations that can aid in processing customer inquiries in a timely manner, and let you get back to everything else.
Here are my favorite ecommerce apps and integrations that help me to deliver top-notch service and sell more online.
Leading the pack in help desk software, Zendesk makes it easy to communicate with your customers on their terms. Beyond email, you can add a contact button that will follow your customers throughout their shopping journey, just in case they need support.
You can also connect your Twitter and Facebook pages within ZenDesk to ensure that no support inquiry slips through the cracks. This is particularly important given that 71% of those who experience a positive social care experience are likely to recommend that brand to others, compared to just 19% of customers that do not receive a response. ZenDesk helps to monitor your online mentions and respond to customer questions so you can increase your customer lifetime value.
What’s more, Zendesk has its own robust app store, which can help you integrate with your customer’s order history, email marketing preferences and more. This increases your ability to personalize each answer.
In all, ZenDesk puts all of your customer support queries on one dashboard, so you can make sure you answer everything as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Over the past few years, live chat has become more and more of a customer expectation in ecommerce. In fact, 63% of online consumers said they were more likely to return to a website that offers live chat. That statistic makes sense in combination with knowing that 75% of customers believe it takes too long to reach a live agent when purchasing online.
Give your customers an easy way to chat with a brand representative as often as possible. As a best practice, make it known to customers when they can expect the operators to be available for their questions.
Let’s face it, sometimes it’s hard to know exactly what customers want. Until Apple releases a crystal ball app that mimics Steve Jobs’ creative, forward thinking, Survey Monkey is the next best thing.
What’s more is that Survey Monkey doesn’t have a singular application or purpose. You can basically use it to ask your customers anything. How do you like our store layout? Were we missing something you were looking for? How do you like the product you purchased? Would you recommend us to a friend? The list goes on.
You can also implement the survey via email marketing or as a pop-up on your site. Offering an incentive to take the survey helps to generate more answers. Give a percentage discount or free shipping if you don’t already in exchange for taking the survey.
Also, remember to keep surveys short. A customer’s online attention span is extremely limited. Ask the most pressing questions with multiple choice, and an optional fill-in-the-blank for those customers that want to give additional feedback.
You can then use that survey data not only to inform your customer experience on-site, but also to bolster your marketing efforts. Write a blog post about what you’ve found via the study, share it on Twitter and Facebook, and ask for feedback. This will increase your SEO, market credibility and site pageviews.
When live chat just isn’t enough, Grasshopper is a virtual phone service that helps to alleviate issues that may be easier to talk through, rather than type out. This helps to alleviate the fact that 75% of customers believe it takes too long to reach a live agent, and that 67% have hung up the phone out of frustration.
Grasshopper allows customer calls to come through and be directed to the correct people at the correct time. In essence, this app gives your customers the 24/7 support they want, without requiring you to staff your office around the clock.
Refining your customer service channels for ease and efficiency will benefit both you and the customer in the long run. At the very least, it will increase your customer lifetime value, average order value and decrease your abandoned cart rate.
Do you use other ecommerce apps and integrations to better serve your customers? Let me know in the comments below, or find even more tools for streamlining your customer interactions.
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