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Shopping online has become an extensive practice. It is expected that the number of digital buyers in the United States rises up to 162.60 million in 2014. Similar figures can be found in Europe and Asia.

The commodity of buying from your home and the increase of the security to purchase goods and services online are helping to increase the benefits of these eCommerce sites.

If you have or you are planning have an online shop, there some elements that you can do to help your customers shopping online from a customer care perspective:

1. Evaluate if you have enough resources in house to answer all your customers’ enquiries 24 by 7

If you don’t have the resources, think about outsourcing. Shopping online is possible during all day long. Hence, your customers can need help at any time. On the other hand if you provide worldwide distribution and shipping, your customers will be located on different time frames. A 24 by 7 contact centre can be a good ally to provide 24 hours cover and reduce your cost structure (and nightmares).

2. Choose the correct channels to help your customers shopping online.

It is relevant to choose the channels that suit better your type of product or service and customers.

The selection of the channel should be related to the personalisation level desired/needed and the time length of acceptable before a reply is sent to your customers.

  • Live Chat is the best option when an immediate answer is required with a personal approach. Online shopping customers can enquiry about your website directly to a customer agent from the same platform. Furthermore, it is possible for the agent to know what steps the customer has undertaken and walk through the problem on the customer. An extra benefit from an operational point of view, is the ease of having more than one conversation at the same time. This reduces the waiting time and increases the sales on the site.
  • Telephone provides a higher personal approach since conversations is more confidential and an immediate answer is possible. Online shoppers try to avoid this channel if it is possible. Once they are on the net, they would rather Google the question, ask in forums or check in Social Media channels before to pick the phone. However, if the question has a sensitive aspect and/ or you are leader on the sector; phone can be your best contact channel.
  • Social Media provides a personal approach; however, your answers will be read by the community. This channel requires an immediate answer and social sites should be monitored in 24 by 7 basis. This channel should be used to answer general question that can be interesting and/or relevant for the entire group of your customers. Sensitive questions or personal enquiries should be redirected to other channels such as e-mails or phone calls. Once it is clear this key element, social media platforms are a great channel to build advocacy and show the quality of your customer care team.
  • SMS can be bidirectional. They can be used to confirm orders and/or to reply small questions. SMS are mostly used as promotional tool in order to share marketing messages. However, companies are using them more as a tool to monitor shipping processes and driving routes.
  • E-mail is the big winner on the online shops. Emails can be sent through web forms on your site or using email providers such as gmal, hotmail or Yahoo. Numerous ecommerce sites use this channel because it is easier to manage, it allows customer care to check different sources before to provide a answer and it is a bidirectional tool with a high degree of privacy. On the other hand, it has a medium length of time for reply. The average of the industry is a maximum of 24 hours; however, this number can be reduced according your Service Level Agreement (SLA). An increasing number of website are providing only this channel as contact point. For example Done Deal.
  • Voice SMS and IVR allows you to send voice messages to your customers. Your message will be recorded on their voice mail as they have missed your phone call. It is a good option to share a specific message with a large number of customers with a more personal approach. On the other side, you can avail of use IVR technology. Callers can listen before to be transferred to an agent a number of FAQ’s. If this exercise is done properly, the number of calls answered by customer team agents will be reduced by a 45%.
  • Post interactions such as letters, burofax, certified letters and postcards are decreasing as contact channel. They provide a longer waiting time and the communication has to be transmitted through a physical third party.

3.Select an experienced provider.

Once you have selected the channel or channels (if you are looking to use a multi-channel approach – highly recommended, you should select a professional and highly trained team. You can benefit from a contact centre with experience in your sector but be careful that they don’t have any of your direct competitors in their books; so you can avoid conflict of interest issues. Check our Conctact Centre solutions for E-business.

For more information please contact us, Call us now at +44289 57 57 275 (UK) / +35321 482 4300 or email to discuss your requirements with us.

In this blog we have talked about:

E-commerce and e-business customer care Read more
Retail customer care Read more
Multi channel customer care support Read more

We recommend the following whitepaper:

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