Customers buy in mass online. The competition within the playing field of e-commerce keeps getting bigger. Being an online entrepreneur… it’s survival of the fittest. Thereby it is customer service shaping the battlefield of webshops. Who is going to win the battle? Eventually this will be won by webshops who strive for personal customer service. They see their conversion rising and outpace their competitors.
Service: a necessary evil?
Most webshops look at facilitating service as a necessary evil. The relevant organisations are mostly focused on efficiency to attempt to lower the costs for customer service. Often questions from customers are seen as an unwanted interruption of an automated system. The shopping public has a different opinion. For the consumer there is no longer a difference between a physical shop and a webshop. All that they want is, regardless of the location, a quick and friendly answer to their question.
When customer service doesn’t get the attention it needs, webshops are paying the price. Studies show that time and time again consumers leave after a bad ‘service’ experience. They are all very humanlike features; insecurities about payments and shipping possibilities, doubts about assorted products or unclarities about product specifications. Only a service unit can take away these doubts, unclarities and insecurities. When this service unit is not there; conversion will stop, higher costs are being made and often this leads to image damage. A webshop retailer can’t ignore the fact that customers want the same treatment they get when they visit a physical shop. Consumers don’t want to be redirected to the FAQ’s and wait for a reply on their email for over two days.
Profit versus Debit entry
Those who strive for personal customer service will be rewarded at the end with an increase in sales and inside information about organisational improvements. This is how customer service can develop into an information source which can help to optimize products and help to recognize cross-and- up selling opportunities. Thanks to a good customer service the organisation will get a better view of how it can differentiate itself on the market. Eventually it is customer service that will provide the brand promise. Service is going to be the competitive advantage. A brand is more than its products or services alone. It’s the service department that is going to make a brand personal. Making sure that your reliable customer service has extended opening hours and a fast reaction time will increase the goodwill and the number of customer relations.
Transparency & availability
As soon as a webshop is available for customers at workdays and weekends, it will give the customer a satisfied feeling. Even the type of phone number plays a role in this. A service number will provide trust. Imagine: a potential customer is confronted with a 06- number and incomplete information. In this case the customer won’t reach out to the customer service and might go to another supplier. Customers want the possibility to reach out to a professional organisation that will personally speak to them. You have to make sure that your phone, reached via a service number, is answered within a broad period of time. Your webshop doesn’t close its doors either. Some entrepreneurs redirect their phone to another phone when they are out of the office and some hire a serviceprovider that will answer their clients by phone. However you want to look at it: structural availability with a personal character will lead to a positive organisation result.