How to Improve Customer Service in Your E-Commerce Business
Published by
James Rice Mcaulay

E-commerce has changed the game of retail and customer experiences. People expect the ability to shop online at their own convenience, and online shops must accommodate those consumer expectations through their websites, their products, and especially their service.

Customer service that’s personalized and as close to the traditional in-store shopping services of traditional retail are the “secret sauce” to successful online e-tail. Companies that make customer service and real-time support part of their strategy are the ones that flourish and grow communities of brand loyal customers. Those that fail to create 24/7 service, enable onsite interactions, or have slow site loading times will unfortunately struggle.

That’s why AI-powered technology has changed the name of the game in the online shopping space. Platforms like chatbots and virtual shopping assistants help bridge the gap between traditional retail and digital shopping, enabling immersive customer experiences built around the concept of conversational commerce.

How to improve customer service in e-commerce

Successful e-commerce customer service is based on availability. You need to make service and support available to shoppers so that they can find the products they need, improve their own experiences with your brand, and give you their money so you can achieve growth.

#1 Always be available

Technology has given people the means to achieve their goals instantaneously. As a result, people have very high expectations when it comes to shopping for products or consuming content on a digital platform. They expect instant gratification or they’ll abandon the site.

That means you need a customer service strategy that allows for 24/7 availability. Your customers could be anywhere in the world, which means that sticking to normal business hours will prove ineffective if people from another time zone are trying to get information about a product or service they need.

But that doesn’t mean you have to hire more people. Chatbots and other AI-powered tools help you provide always-on customer service. This also allows you to keep your staff available for higher-level decision-making and problem-solving by delegating repetitive questions and tasks to the chatbots.

#2 Use a scalable and sustainable solution

Long-term planning is the key to success for any business, and that’s what you can achieve by automating repetitive tasks. Instead of constantly putting out fires, or addressing problems as they come to your door, why not use conversational technology to improve customer service in e-commerce and shift your own team’s resources towards big picture ideas.

For example, instead of hiring an increasing number of customer support staff, train and empower the ones you already have to address complex customer needs. You can augment their natural skills with tools like AI-powered chatbots to handle the repetitive questions while your team handles enquiries from your larger clients.

#3 Build a knowledge base for your company

One of the best ways to address repeat customer questions is by using a knowledge base to host the answers. If you don’t have a knowledge base for your company yet, chances are your employees are answering the same questions and solving the same problems again and again.

The knowledge base hosts collections of all issues that have come up and how they’ve been solved. The chatbot or virtual assistant can easily refer people asking similar questions to that knowledge base for a whole library worth of answers, which saves everyone time and maintains the level of service that shoppers expect.

#4 Empower and educate your customers

A great way to nurture brand loyalty and streamline your customer service processes at the same time is by actively educating your shoppers. Thought leadership content is what helps brands become trusted and credible, allowing consumers to interact with content that addresses their interests or concerns as they see fit.

Have an organized blog or resource pages that cover as much of your customers’ needs as possible. It will help you become a trusted authority, build an organic following of engaged readers, and it will also free up time and resources for your customer support staff.

#5 Align your marketing, sales, and customer service departments

Part of fulfilling the consumer journey is ensuring that a consistent narrative is delivered at all stages of that journey. Whether pre-sale, during the sale, or post-sale, the message on values, benefits, recommendations, and support enquiries must be consistent to earn and maintain that coveted customer trust.

Your marketing, sales, and customer service departments should not be working separately because they are all dealing with the same customers. They have a lot to learn from each other and plenty of resources to empower each department to deliver exceptional support.

#6 Automate and streamline your processes

Time, money, and resources are three valuable commodities with very limited supply. Why not squeeze the most value you can out of all three commodities by automating as much of the repetitive tasks in the job as possible?

Reserve your human resources for complex issues, process improvements, and strategy development. Automate as much as you can using solutions like AI-powered chatbots to guide your customers through FAQs and help them choose the right products and services to support their pressing needs.

e-commerce customer service tools help you scale your business

The goal with using ecommerce customer service tools like chatbots and other AI-powered tools is to build brand loyalty. Prove to your shoppers that your brand is not only a provider of great products, but that you have proven industry leadership and outstanding customer service to deliver memorable experiences people can’t help but want to experience again.

In the end, as e-commerce providers, it’s your job to give customers the attention and service they deserve. Technology can help you fulfill that pledge and earn that valuable brand reputation that helps you scale your business to new heights.

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