E-commerce or shopping online means that there is no one-to-one interaction between the salesperson and the customers like it happens in retail customer support. The pitfall for E-commerce is that several customers may get frustrated in case they face issues related to their orders or websites. What can make matters even worse is that many online businesses do not succeed as far as offering customer support is concerned about providing delayed and slow responses. The worst part is there could be no response at all, which is very rare these days.
To put it simply, retail customer support refers to those little interactions when a salesperson waits for a shopper making the shopper get a feeling that they are probably the most valued customers in that store. Additionally, many retailers use the word customer experience and customer support interchangeably while they are not.
In the case of retail, customer support takes place between a salesperson and a customer on a one-on-one basis. On the other hand, customer experience can be described as the entire process of the customer’s shopping in a brick and mortar or a physical retail store. Customer experience starts from the time a customer enters a store until the time they move out of it. Customer experience does not necessarily have to constitute customer service.
As the popularity of E-commerce shows a massive surge every year, brick and mortar retail stores are realizing that their customer support and service have been on a decline over the last few years. As such, there has been a diminishing repeat business from customers who have not had a positive experience.
With online retail growing every year, retailers with physical stores are discovering that they have let their customer service decline over the years and, as a result, the entire shopping experience for their customers has kept them from coming back.
However, the retailers have an edge over the E-commerce customer support in a way that they have a beer control over their customer service.
Check out some of the special features of E-commerce customer support below:
1. There is a return policy, which is so easy to understand
An important concern that several online customers have that there will be hassles while trying to return a product. As about 15 to 30 percent of online purchases have been returned, many e-commerce businesses have started to realize that it is extremely crucial to have a proper return policy. More e-commerce organizations are now writing down detailed instructions that are being featured on their websites and in emails so that customers feel confident while purchasing the goods/services online. Many online businesses are also specifying whether they will provide store credit, a full refund, or partial refund. With more online business providing free and easy returns, about 68 percent of e-commerce purchases are getting influenced. These businesses have also understood the importance of keeping the return policy extremely simple for their customers.
2. Personalizing the buying experience
Many studies have proved time and again that online customers are constantly looking for an extremely personalized purchasing experience. The fact is that more than 70 percent of customers in America alone look for personalization from their online transactions.
Personalization may also incorporate offering customer support in the form of account logins for customers to do online shopping, which can record their earlier online purchases made on the site, shipping/delivery address, as well as, recommend related products for their subsequent order (s). E-commerce organizations are also offering customer support through personalization by sending out automated emails wherein special offers are mentioned that have been specifically customized based on the previous shopping behavior of an individual customer. When shopping experience is personalized, it can take care of the concerns of online customer shopping, in case they have any. Some e-commerce businesses will even send their personnel to a customer’s home.
This interesting initiative of “try before you buy” is a unique service in online businesses that can offer peace of mind to the customers who prefer to shop online.
3. Live-chat option
Many e-commerce businesses are including an option of live-chat to increase their customer support so that their customer experience can be maximized. Additionally, it is simple but effective. On the other hand, helpdesk software can be used for answering the routine queries of the online customers. Many e-commerce businesses today do not shirk when it is a question of procuring the best helpdesk software for their customer support. Customers are also satisfied as they get their responses instantly instead of waiting for days to get a revert on their emails. So, online customers can also get assistance instantly that also signifies less likelihood of them leaving that website without buying.
5. Offer customer support and service via social media
E-commerce customers’ of today can expect customer support via social networking sites. Plus, they can get immediate responses for their issues and concerns if any. Several online customers have started using social media as it is simple from then to track an e-commerce business and then get in touch with them directly.
However, ecommerce businesses need to ascertain which of their social networking sites has the largest activities or number of followers so that they can promote their customer support services there.