Customer service: How to have a good strategy
A good customer service strategy involves balancing two seemingly opposite aspects that shouldn’t be: sales and customer support.
Many times, you tend to see both aspects as two independent entities, but the relationship between them is far more than direct and when customer service fails, sales suffer.
A BALANCED CUSTOMER SERVICE STRATEGY
In this post, we’re going to delve into the strategic use of customer service and how it can become a conversion factor.
To do this, first of all, we’ll reflect briefly on the “shopping experience” concept. If we simplify it completely, we can get it down to the perception the client is left with once the transaction is done and the order received. Are they satisfied or not?
But if we look at it this way, we’re leaving out a lot of subtleties.
The shopping experience is much more than going to a website, choosing a product, entering in credit card details and waiting for it to arrive. It’s how e-commerce makes us feel, if it has a logical structure that helps us find what we are looking for, works well, is secure, reliable and persuasive, and answers the queries that come up.
When you read it like that, it almost seems simple, but if you’re accustomed to electronic business, you know all too well that it’s pretty complicated. Everything is related to each other and each aspect influences the rest in one way or another.
What is crystal clear is that we usually focus on attracting customers. Most of our strategic efforts and resources are directly dedicated to promotions and advertising on different platforms that look to increase the critical mass of buyers.
But are we allocating enough to customer service? Because we can come to a scenario where we are capturing a lot in terms of traffic, but the visits don’t get the appropriate experience, meaning:
- We lose sales opportunities that could be tended to by the customer service team.
- The number of dissatisfied customers increases, which leads to more expenses in reverse logistics due to returns, bad brand perception, complaints and criticism on social networks or specialized portals.
This makes us rethink how we distribute our budget and resources.
CUSTOMER SERVICE IN THE SHOPPING EXPERIENCE
The first thing we would recommend is that you don’t view customer service as and after-sale service, or as a livechat where questions are answered. These are, of course, a couple critically important fundamental duties in the shopper’s experience, but we want to go beyond the tool and get into how it’s used.
Used efficiently, customer service can be one way to help the sale along. Keep in mind that online stores characteristically require the shopper to have a certain level of autonomy. They have to locate the product, compare, evaluate and “convince” themselves to make the purchase, without a salesperson to advise them and make the sale.
Meanwhile, the only human contact that remains is a resource, that, in many cases is wasted. Many e-commerce stores have a chat operated by live agents, people who are focused on solving problems and queries.
What if we turn those agents into salespeople? That way, we can be more efficient and productive. Let them accompany the customer through the sale and answer questions in real-time to keep the user from leaving the page, looking for other references and end up buying from our competitors.
Additionally, technology can help immensely to enhance your customer service network with features like:
- Conversational robots or chatbots that answer technical and repetitive questions without your customer service team’s intervention (resources free to attend sales).
- Automation through triggers. Detect when and where an agent’s intervention is necessary and be proactive.
- Visual attention. This is one of Oct8ne’s outstanding features that is visually sharing the window in real-time so the user and agent can have a common experience. This helps greatly in clearing up any doubts.
- Cart integrated into the chat. The best thing you can do is let the client add the products you’re suggesting to the cart without having to abandon it at any time.
We believe that these four points, working together, are an authentic sales tool put in the hands of those who know the customers best: the team that works with them every day.
But let’s not forget about the role of after-sales service. Efficiently monitoring incidents, which unfortunately will always occur, allows us to change the experience of a disgruntled user, making their experience much more positive.
Actually, we could say that effective and personalized after-sales service has a direct influence on customer loyalty by improving the return rate in the purchase.