Customer service: hitting Amazon where it hurts the most

09/03/2018 - Jordi Ordoñez

Recently, we’ve seen how e-commerce is dealing with different marketplaces. As if the competition that exists in the current market wasn’t enough, we added a few giants to the equation. In this post we’re going to discuss how a customer service solution can be an advantage when you’re up against Amazon.

What does Amazon have that I don’t?

First of all, let’smake clear that we’re focusing on Amazon because it bragsthat it always focuses on the client and customer service. But, everything we’re going to discuss applies to any horizontal or vertical marketplace.

Basically, what Amazon has is millions of dollars, which is hard to overlook. This means they can invest huge amounts in technical and human resources annually. Of course, this is an advantage; but there are alternatives.

In addition to money, Amazon uses a customer-centric model, meaning it puts the customer above everything and everyone else. When you start working with them, you see it very clearly: the customer is always right andeven when they’re not, the company gives them the benefit of the doubt.

What do I have that Amazon doesn’t?

This is the important part of the post. I’m going to show you how you can stand out by hitting them where it hurts most: customer service. You do have something they don’t: customer service in real-time.

Have you ever wondered why they don’t have a chat? Honestly, it’s just a thought, but I think it’s a question of agility, or lack there of, to be more precise. Marketplaces of this size manage millions of orders going to millions of customers from millions of suppliers. Imagine the complexity of the issue and the problems that occur just withthesestatistics.

The staff has to deal simultaneously with the customer, the logistics company, their internal distribution processes, and in many cases with merchants that manage their own orders and stocks (which, in turn, have their own suppliers). It’s not only pure chaos, it also slows down problem solving.

This means that customer service has enough to do with putting out fires and finding out whyproblemsarose in the first place. In fact, it works almost blindly, for how polished the protocol and effectiveness are.

This is precisely where we have the advantage and where we can be more competitive than a monster of this size. To begin with, our agents are aware of everything that happens or at least they have fewer interactions, meaning a problem is resolved much more quickly, and in customer service, every second counts.

Secondly, and this is something that is included in our customer service vision, we can use this product, company, and customer knowledge to carry out sales tasks with our agents. This is absolutely unthinkable at the pace Amazon goes. They’d never be able to have the level of personalization that lets usassist witha sale, thanks to a well-trained team and advanced tools like the coviewer.

The reality is that, for questions about specific products, they’re comfortable with a passive, self-management model, like a question and answer module. Thanks to this knowledge management system, the brands / distributors and other users clear upissues that a potential customer might have.

This model isn’t exact and, above all, it depends completely on a reaction. With Oct8ne, we’re able to be proactive by using the customer’s behavior to anticipate their questions. Best of all, this competitive differential advantage isn’t easy to cancel out on its own. The cost of money and other resources, taking into account the number of transactions, as well as the traffic and depth of the catalog, wouldn’t be affordable even for Amazon.

Let’s be objective: we don’t have a ton of weapons to face big marketplaces so it seems reasonable to try to play all the cards in our hand, right?

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