By Anand Janefalkar, UJET
Now more than ever, e-commerce companies are being asked to not only deliver items and necessary goods to people’s homes, they are being asked to provide customers with an experience that will provide them with the information they need while also reassuring them that everything will be ok. During challenging circumstances like the one we are currently in, companies that can go above and beyond and leave a lasting impression on customers will be the ones who succeed in the long run. While many e-commerce companies are focusing on short term fixes and quick revenue, the ones who are looking long term and how to provide their customers with a great experience will be the ones on top, and the place to begin is with customer support.
From small, independent retailers looking to expand their digital footprint, all the way to the Amazon’s and other globally recognized on-demand retailers, the time to begin laying the foundation for great user experiences through customer support is now. Here are a few things to consider when looking to transform your e-commerce customer experience:
Adopt Modern Support Channels
There is currently a growing disconnect between e-commerce companies and their customers when it comes to where and how they’d like to interact with one another. For example, UJET found that consumer’s current primary channel of contact when reaching out to e-commerce companies, regardless of age, is through the phone, with email and online forms also being popular channels. However, UJET also found that 72 percent of respondents believe that being able to text with a live agent in real-time would improve their customer support experience, while 70 percent said that connecting with support through in-app messaging or chat would be preferred.
This clearly shows that not only is there an appetite for more modern support channels, but also an opportunity for e-commerce companies to implement support strategies that can help them stand out from the growing list of competitors.
Opening up customer support to modern channels such as text, in-app, social media, and more benefits customers by allowing them to interact with companies in a setting that is more familiar and more natural for them. For companies, diversifying and expanding support channels can directly lead to fewer bottlenecks and shorter wait times.
Adding Smartphone Support Capabilities
The way consumers communicate with today with friends, family, and colleagues looks very different from what it did even just a few years ago. Today, conversations are both visual and contextual with individuals calling, texting, sending photos, videos, and more, all sometimes within the same interaction. However, many e-commerce companies, both big and small, have yet to adapt to the times, providing customers with minimal and one-dimensional options for how to communicate with them.
With a smartphone in the hands of nearly every customer, today e-commerce companies should be looking to leverage the device's capabilities to create a better experience for their customers, and their customers agree. The same UJET study showed that 67 percent of customers surveyed said that being able to share a photo in real-time with a live support agent so they can better understand and resolve their problem would benefit their overall experience. Another 66 percent said referenced screenshots while 55 percent said sharing videos with support agents would make for a better experience.
And finally, another area of support that can be enhanced through the smartphone is the authentication process. Rather than being prompted with outdated security questions, customers can authenticate themselves and their accounts through thumbprint verification, facial recognition, or pattern recognition.
Personalization And Specialization
Adopting smartphone technology and modern support channels are essential to providing a great customer experience, but technology alone will not take your experience to the next level. At the end of the day, customers want to feel as though they are more than just a number in a queue, they want to feel like they are truly valued as a customer and that their issues will be handled in a fast, personal, and professional manner.
The help of a cloud-native customer support platform, e-commerce companies and leverage new and emerging cloud technology and automation to automatically surface relevant customer and product information to support agents, so they can spend less time searching and placing customers on hold and more time delivering a personalized experience with relevant information to resolve issues faster.
Another key is agent specialization. Rather than having customer support teams field all types of questions across numerous channels, specialized agents can focus on one channel or product line, becoming subject matter experts and better equipped to handle unique support issues. Specialized agents with expert product knowledge also can provide a VIP-like style of service by proactively providing tips and expertise to customers so they can get the most value out of their products or services.
Create A Better E-Commerce Experience Through Customer Support
E-commerce is not just bigger and more profitable than it ever has been, it is also more critical and important to consumer’s everyday lives than ever before. While digital retailers big and small are seeing increased demand, the ones who prioritize customer experience will be the ones who can capture long-term customer loyalty and repeat business.
By infusing the right combination of new channels, smartphone technology, personalization, and specialized support teams, companies can not only give customers the peace of mind they need now more than ever, but they can also create memorable experiences that will resonate with customers for years to come.
About The Author
Anand Janefalkar is the Founder & CEO at UJET, a leading provider of cloud contact center software. As Founder and CEO of UJET, Anand Janefalkar is focused on leading UJET into its next stage of growth by providing the tools and technology businesses need to create an immersive, engaging, and one-of-a-kind customer experience. Before UJET, Anand held key roles at both Motorola and Jawbone, as well as serving as a technical advisor for various startups in the Bay Area. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics from Mumbai University and a Master of Science in Telecommunications from Southern Methodist University.