It’s important to offer customer support on your e-commerce site. However, with so many options available, it can be difficult to know which channel will work best. Fortunately, there are dedicated customer support channels designed with e-commerce in mind. These enable you to resolve customer queries, boost brand loyalty, and reduce cart abandonment.
This post will examine why you should consider offering customer support on your website. Then, we’ll explore five top customer support channels for your online store. Let’s get started!
The Benefits of Customer Support
Forty percent of U.S. customers will stop doing business with a company due to poor customer service. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to cater to your consumers’ needs.
Here are some other reasons to consider using customer support channels on your e-commerce site:
- Trust. You can build trust by solving your customers’ problems with a speedy, knowledgeable service. In turn, this can increase retention rates and improve brand loyalty.
- Consistency. You can create a consistent customer experience by delivering the same information across multiple channels. This way, customers can expect a certain level of service when they do business with your brand. For example, some companies are known for offering free shipping, automatic refunds, and price guarantees.
- Prices. With outstanding service, customers might be willing to pay more for your products because they’d rather give you their business than go elsewhere. As such, you can benefit from more full-price transactions and higher cart order values, helping you to increase sales.
- Appreciation. Offering personalized support channels can make customers feel valued. Just like in a brick-and-mortar store, customers like to think that they’ve got your undivided attention.
Overall, with good customer support, you can position your brand as a high-quality, consistent e-commerce store. In turn, you can develop trusting relationships with your buyers.
Top 5 Customer Support Channels for Your E-Commerce Site
Now that you know how vital customer support is for your e-commerce site, let’s look at some of the best support channels you can offer!
1. Live Chat
Thanks to the immediacy and accessibility of live chat, its popularity has grown in recent years. For example, 79% of American customers have used a self-service portal for customer service; 78% said they found it helpful. As a convenient and fast way to find information, live chat eliminates the hassle of dialing numbers and waiting in long queues.
One of the main benefits customers expect to enjoy with live chat is a 24-hour service. Although users can engage in live conversations with real support agents during working hours, chatbots enable customers to leave their questions after hours.
Alternatively, you might choose to use chatbots to answer your out-of-hours queries:
Plus, when your customers’ queries have been resolved, you can provide them multiple redirection options to other content on your site. For example, you might direct users to view similar products or visit their shopping baskets. With live chat, you can steer visitors towards your checkout pages and retain customers who might otherwise abandon your site.
Live chat is an excellent option for most demographics. However, it’s particularly favored by Millennials and Gen Z. It can also be helpful to collect customer data as customers typically fill out fields to submit their requests.
Finally, with live chat, you won’t need to publish your company email address on your website. It’s a great perk if you receive lots of spam or want to control who has access to your address.
Email offers a direct channel for communication. It’s still popular with customers because they know what to expect when they use the service. This level of reliability can also give email an edge over other options like live chat, which can promise an instant response and fail to deliver.
You can either list your email address directly or add a contact form to your site that leads to your inbox:
Despite the growth of chat apps and mobile messengers, there will be 4.6 billion email users by 2025. Plus, almost 50% of mobile customers prefer to be contacted by businesses via email over other communication channels. This is likely because email is a big part of most people’s day-to-day lives, making it more accessible than phone calls.
Email is handy for brands that use email addresses for identification and retargeting purposes. Moreover, it’s well-suited to e-commerce stores that have the time to monitor their inboxes regularly since this process can be time-consuming.
However, it’s essential to avoid firing out mass emails. Instead, you can make the most of personalization to create better customer experiences. You might also consider using advanced email marketing solutions with automated features and templates.
3. Social Media
Almost 30% of American customers use social media for customer service, with the expected response time under 24 hours. Furthermore, in 2021, 4.26 billion people were using social media, which is predicted to rise to almost 6 billion by 2027.
These powerful statistics show the importance of using social media as a customer support channel for your e-commerce site. Customers expect it, so you can stay ahead of the curve by providing social media contact.
A unique advantage of social media is that it enables you to find and address negative comments that have been shared publicly on social sites. For example, unsatisfied customers sometimes turn to social media when they’ve encountered problems with your products or services:
Addressing concerns on social media enables you to improve your brand’s reputation and cultivate strong customer relationships. It’s also easy to gain followers using these channels.
For example, if a customer contacts you via social media, it’s easy for them to like and follow your pages. In turn, this can expand your customer base.
We recommend social media as a support option for businesses that target younger audiences. Alternatively, it can be a great match if your brand’s voice uses humor and engages with meme culture.
4. Phone Support
Although phone support might sound outdated with all the other options available, it’s still rated as the preferred customer service channel by U.S. customers. Many consumers prefer communicating with actual human beings, especially when discussing sensitive data.
Plus, 51% of customers said they disliked chatbots because they kept them from talking to a real person. Phone support provides a more personal alternative.
Furthermore, customer queries are often thoroughly resolved over the phone because users can continually ask questions and receive real-time answers. This setup differs from live chat, where problems aren’t always successfully addressed, especially with out-of-hours services with generic template responses.
Phone support is also an excellent option for stores that cater to older demographics because they might struggle with technology. It’s a stable, accessible channel that doesn’t require an email address, an account, or even a WiFi signal.
If you decide to use phone support on your e-commerce website, it’s important to clearly display your contact number on your site:
Also, it might be helpful to look into using CTI software to better integrate phone support. This software can help you log phone calls and their data in your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform.
With so many customer support channels available, from phone calls to live chat, choosing one for your e-commerce site can be challenging. However, now that you know the benefits of each channel, you’re in a better place to select the perfect solution for your business.
If you have any questions about choosing a customer support channel, let us know in the comments section below!
Image by fajarbudi86 from Pixabay
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