Pres:Basics of Ecommerce - Customer Service & Monitoring

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Basics of Ecommerce - Customer Service & Monitoring

Basics of Ecommerce - Customer Service and Social Media

Title Basics of Ecommerce - Customer Service and Social Media
Target group Students, Beginners
Topics Social Media and Services, Customer Service, ECommerce Basics
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Public summary

Learning objective: The student can explain the importance of customer service and the role which social media play in the customer service process.

The lesson is divided into 5 parts:

  • Customer service: The importance of customer service. The customer service processes, channels, organization, KPI’s. Customer service as distinguishing factor. (50 min.)
  • The Zappos case with the option two show one of two videos. (10 – 30 min.)
  • A class exercise: how to handle difficult customer service cases (30 min.)
  • Social media & customer service: Why social media & reputation management are important. How to monitor social media and use social media to the company’s advantage.
  • An individual assignment: see how a brand manages social media using tweetdeck (or another social media (monitoring) tool).

The course can be offered in one and two hours (skip the best practices for the one hour lesson).


  • The Value Chain
  • Supply chain
  • Procurement
  • Terminology
  • Warehousing
  • Delivery
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  • Introduction to Customer Service
  • Customer service channels
  • Customer service terminology
  • Customer service KPIs
  • Customer service = customer experience
  • Customer service & Social Media
  • Webmonitoring tools
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Who has worked in a customer service or call center?

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Customer service is the provision of service to customers before, during and after a purchase.

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  • The area to service is internationalizing
  • The customer has much more information thanks to the Internet (price, quality transparency).
  • The customer is more powerful thanks to social media.
  • As a result customer expectations are rising as well.
  • Technology is strongly influencing customer service with new channels.
  • Customer service is increasingly proactive instead of reactive.
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  • 86% of consumers leave because of bad customer experience (up from 59% in 2007).
  • A typical business hears from 4% of its dissatisfied customers.
  • 80% of companies say they deliver ‘superior’ service.
  • 8% of their customers consider these same companies ‘superior’.
Logo Ecommerce Foundation1.png Source: Customer Experience Impact Report by Harris Interactive/Rightnow, 2011 Understanding customers, Ruby Newell-Legner Customer service hell, Brad Tutle, Time 2011


“Always keep in mind the old retail adage: Customers remember the service a lot longer than they remember the price.”
Lauren Freedman, President of The E-Tailing Group

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  • Probability of selling to a new prospect: 5 – 20%
  • Probability of selling to an existing prospect: 60 – 70%
  • If you can prevent 5% of your customers from leaving, you can increase your bottom line profit by 25 – 95%.
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  • Integrated Voice Response (IVR) systems
  • Website:
    • Product pages (good ones) ** FAQ pages
    • Company Blog ** Customer Forum ** ‘Knowledge’ databases
    • Expert systems
  • Instore
    • POS
    • Robots?
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  • Customer service industry
  • Customer service organization
  • Call scripts / support systems
  • 1st, 2nd & 3rd line support
  • Performance metrics
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Agents are supported to answer questions and fix problems in several ways.

  • Scripts which tell them what to ask or to do to handle a specific question/issue.
  • Customer care system:
    • Routes calls, emails, chats to available/experienced agent
    • Allows registration of the contact and how it was solved
  • Other systems which may be used:
    • customer data: what is the back ground of the client, previous contacts.
    • order: what is the status of the order, add/change an order.
    • products: availability of products, centrally and in store
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  • First Contact Resolution Rate: measures the percentage of customer requests and complaints that are resolved during, or after, their first contact with the customer service department.
  • CSR Quality Ratings: tracks the competence of the representatives in terms of their ability to provide the right solution to the customer’s request and their customer relation skills.
  • Overdue Service Requests: the number of customer requests that are not completed within the maximum time specified for completing a particular service request.
  • Average Wait Time: calculated as the average of the waiting time till a representative is available to take a call. For email support, the average wait time is the average time gap between the receipt of the customer’s mail by the system and the representative actually reading the mail.
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  • Issues Resolved: It measures the percentage of requests that were successfully resolved out of the total requests received.
  • Service Representative Occupancy Time: monitors the total time that a customer service representative spends on mailing, chatting or attending calls. Alternatively, average customer service representative idle time can also be used to gauge their occupancy.
  • Average Request Processing Time: This is the average processing time for completely resolving the customer's issue from the time of receiving the request.
  • Abandoned Calls: This metric measures the percentage of customer calls that remain unanswered in the queue, or get disconnected before they land up with a customer service representative.
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  • Customer Satisfaction: This KPI calculates the percentage of satisfied customers from the total number of customer requests received.
  • Customer Retention: Customers who are happy with the service you provide are likely to stick around and do more business with you.
  • Net Promoter Score: And customers who are very happy with your customer service are likely to even go a step further and recommend your company to others.
  • Conversion Rate: After someone from your customer service team interacts with a customer, how likely are they to make a purchase or take some other kind of action?
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  • Average Resolution Time: Part of providing great customer service is resolving issues in a timely manner. If you can respond to customers and get them answers quickly, they’re more likely to be pleased.
  • Active Issues: If you are able to resolve most issues fairly quickly, then you shouldn’t have too many issues to deal with at any one time.
  • Employee Retention/Employee Turnover: When your employees are happy, they tend to stick around.
  • Complaint Escalation Rate No matter how great your service is, you’re going to get complaints at some point. But if your complaints have been steadily increasing without overall customer growth, there could be a problem.
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Customer service is becoming increasingly responsible for customer experience as a whole:

  • Functional: Quick result
  • Emotional: In a personal way
  • Accessible: efficiently

It is also about human emotions, behaviors, understanding, feelings en perception

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  • Are the eyes & ears of the organization
  • Personification of the brand
  • The last stand for a good customer experience
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  • More and more companies are investing in social self-service.
  • Outsourcing (part of) your customer service to customers.
  • It implies that customers have at least the same amount of product knowledge as the company.
Logo Ecommerce Foundation1.png Source: The real self service economy, Prof. Steven van Belleghem 35


The IT world was the first to make tentative strides in crowd service with organically constructed forums where ICT enthusiasts lend each other a helping hand.

  • Giffgaff is a ‘SIM card only’ telecom player. The customer service is entirely in the hands of their community members. In 2010 130,000 queries were posted elicited more than 1 million replies. 95% of all questions were answered within the hour with an average response time of 3 minutes.
  • Barclay’s offers a crowd service platform. Customer retention is up 25%. The number of questions and complaints via traditional customer service channels dropped by 50%.
Logo Ecommerce Foundation1.png Source: The real self service economy, Prof. Steven van Belleghem 36

Zappos is a service company that happens to sell shoes, clothing, handbags, eyewear, watches, etc.

  • Founded in 1999
  • 1.600 employees
  • Typical service components:
    • 24/7 available by phone
    • Phone number mentioned on every page
    • 100% own inventory (no dropshipment)
    • High investment in product information
    • Fast, free shipping & returns
    • 365 free return policy
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  • Friendly, helpful, ‘above & beyond’ customer service
  • Surprising the customers with free overnight shipping
  • Occasionally direct customers to competitors’ websites
  • No call times
  • No sales-based performance goals for agents
  • 5 weeks training (culture, core values, warehousing)
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New customer acquisition:

  • 43% via Internet
  • 43% form word of mouth
  • 13% other

Repeat customers have a higher average order size:

  • First time customer: $ 123
  • Returning customer: $ 156
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The customer:

  • You ordered your online wedding ring and it has not been delivered.
  • You have prepared everything for tonight (costing you over € 1,000).
  • You want your ring NOW and you are calling the retailer.

The agent:

  • You get the customer on the phone.
  • What do you do?
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  • Have you used social media to voice a complaint or ask a question to a company?
  • What was your experience?
Class Assignment.jpg
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  • Customer expect you to serve them also via social media.
  • Social media as customer service channel is (relatively) cheap
  • Social media are used by potential customers to search about your company/products
  • When handled well customer complaints can be turned into brand reinforcers.
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Responding can be hard:

  • Its very public, often picked up by the media if not handled well
  • Its emotional, often without constraints of face to face communication
  • The organization often is not ready to let employees act so public

Social media monitoring is also called:

  • Web monitoring
  • Social media screening
  • Reputation management
  • Social service management
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  • Go to Tweetdeck.
  • Check out what is discussed about your favorite brand.
  • Write in your blog what you found and how you would act upon it.
Class Assignment.jpg
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The End.jpg
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