How to increase sales using online customer service
The online market offers one of the most competitive scenarios and is constantly growing and evolving. To achieve success, you must be willing to walk the extra mile to win customers and hold your ground against competitors within your niche. It is true that great digital marketing campaigns can direct traffic to your page, but special offers and discounts alone will not be able to help you acquire and convert visitors.
To do so, you’ll need to focus on providing the best shopping experience to each and every single one of your potential buyers. In order to help your brand stand out, follow our tips on how to increase sales using online customer service and why you need to adhere to new technologies and solutions to keep up with customer expectations.
In summary, we’ll cover the most critical factors to deliver high-quality customer service, breaking it down to five main areas:
- Improve your response time and reply quickly
- Deliver customer success and don’t just sell your products
- Follow up and listen to what your customers have to say
- Be available on mobile devices
- Implement an omnichannel online customer service strategy
Are you ready to walk the extra mile and turn visitors into paying customers? Then let’s get it on.
Optimize your customer service channels
Today, customers expect to find a wide range of options when in need to contact your business, such as phone, email, live chat, and social media. Taking that into consideration, be sure to optimize each channel to provide an exclusive, customer-centric experience. Here is how.
Improve your response time
Response time is one of the most crucial customer service metrics for any business. Whether you run an ecommerce or a brick and mortar store, you need to be able to reply to your customers as quickly as possible, not giving them the chance to give up and seek answers from your competitors.
According to the research done by Super Office, with one thousand companies, the average response time for any given support request is 12 hours and 10 minutes, which of course, is way longer than what customers expect from any given channel. Moreover, 62% of companies completely ignore customer service emails.
To keep customers happy and satisfied with your services, you need to employ technologies that can help you to avoid missing out on opportunities, such as email autoresponders from CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems, as well as solutions that allow you to communicate with customers in real time and decrease phone wait times, such as live chats on your website or callback solutions.
In fact, when it comes to replying quickly, live chats offer the fastest way to communicate with a customer. With an average first response time of 2 minutes and 40 seconds, live chat is considered the best online customer service channel, satisfying at least 73% of customers, according to the same research.
Focus on delivering customer success
You must work towards delivering customer success, making each and every single one of your visitors and potential customers feel valued and transform what would be a generalized online shopping session into a satisfying, positive and personalized experience.
Consider your brand persona and make sure your representatives are well trained and ready to listen to customer demands, find pain points, and offer tailored solutions to meet their needs. Being able to listen is one of the most critical factors to increase sales using online customer service.
Up-selling and cross-selling definitely work in your favor when looking to increase your average ticket size, but any customer can tell when you are just trying to sell, and this will absolutely create a negative experience, which gets shared on social media by at least 30% of customers online. You don’t want that.
Follow up and request feedback
To increase sales using online customer service, you must request feedback from your customers. After all, who’s better to judge your efforts than the people you’re trying to impress and sell to? Consider collecting critical information to your business, such as:
- Was the customer support representative knowledgeable?
- Were the solutions provided satisfactory?
- Did the customer have to contact your company multiple times to solve an issue?
- Is the customer happy with their product or service?
- Would the customer recommend your business to their peers?
Also, ask general suggestions on how to improve your processes, services, products, offers, website usability, and other aspects of your business. Use all this data to keep track of your performance and apply quick corrections as necessary before it can negatively affect the general shopping experience of multiple customers.
Consider requesting feedback as part of your post-sales and follow-up strategy. This way, you’ll have an excuse to contact a customer and remind him of your company. Leverage the opportunity to present special offers and try to reactivate the interaction.
When it comes to following up with customers, email marketing has two times higher return rates than cold calling, as spotted by Hubspot in their 2019 sales statistics. In order to further increase your conversion rates, remember to segment and qualify your leads based on their preferences, needs, pain points, and interests.
Be available on mobile
In 2019, over 52% of the online traffic happens through mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, as shown by Statista – one of the most reliable and comprehensive statistics service available. Over the past decade, using mobile to browse social media, interact and communicate with friends and family, and of course, to shop online is an increasing trend.
In fact, 82% of shoppers use their smartphones as shopping assistants while shopping inside brick and mortar stores. Also, considering the popularity of messaging apps, such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Viber, amongst many others, it is evident how chatting through text messages has become one of the most used and widely accepted communication methods.
Thus, unless you want to miss out on sales opportunities and not reach customers on these devices, you must offer a mobile-friendly website, as well as online customer service channels committed to providing extra convenience and meeting their expectations.
Mobile consumers do not want to keep switching between browser tabs to find the answers to their questions, nor do they want to alternate between various applications while browsing your offers or “call to wait” until one of your representatives is available.
To ensure your mobile consumers are satisfied, be sure to offer a professional live chat solution on your page. After all, 73% of customers find live chat to be the most satisfying way to contact a business, and 77% of customers won’t make a purchase if there’s no live chat support available on a website, as presented on Invesp’s infographic about customer support statistics and trends.
Today, 73% of customers use multiple channels during their shopping journey, while only 7% shopped exclusively online and only 20% shopped exclusively in store, as shown in Veeqo’s research – an omnichannel solution for retailers. Henceforth, to ace your efforts and provide seamless customer experience, it’s no longer enough to offer multiple communication points. Instead, you must integrate and unite all customer service channels and go omnichannel. But what exactly does that mean?
Hubspot defines omnichannel as “the ability to deliver a seamless and consistent experience across channels, while factoring in the different devices that consumers are using to interact with your business.”
For example, in an omnichannel business, a customer can start a customer service conversation on your social media page, follow through to the live chat on your website, order a product for take out, get a notification on mobile when it arrives at the store and be immediately recognized by your representatives when picking it up on site.
Here, your customer will never need to repeat their issues, demands, or start all over while navigating across your channels, because all information is gathered in a single place and made accessible to the whole team.
Whereas, in a multichannel customer service approach, each of these steps would require additional identification and create multiple interruptions throughout the shopping experience, frustrating customers and undermining your team’s efficiency.
To go omnichannel, you’ll need to make technology work in your favor and use online customer service solutions that can assist you, such as platforms that can integrate all available channels, including social media messenger, live chat, email, phone, callback, as well as other tools, like CRM systems. Want to know more? Find out why you should go omnichannel right now.
This concludes all of our tips to help you improve your online support. Consider each of these strategies and assess your current services to find exactly which actions you must take to start meeting customer expectations and grow your business. It’s time to catch up to all the ecommerce trends and turn your customer service into one of your major competitive advantages in this highly competitive market.