by Ajay Kaul
Ecommerce success has always been determined by how well an organization understands and meets its customers’ needs, and 2023 will be no different. The only contrasting aspect will be consumer expectations around customer support.
In today’s world, customer support is not just about retaining customers — it is also critical for brands to maintain a continuous stream of shoppers and revenue. Retailers should not only cater to existing consumer needs, but also address new prospect inquiries. In fact, 80% of new customers now consider the experience an ecommerce brand delivers to be as important as its products and services.
The rise in global issues such as inflation, growing customer acquisition costs, and ever-changing consumer needs has created a new wave of customer support demands. Therefore, in order to survive in today’s competitive landscape, ecommerce businesses need to evaluate their shopper support and services in order to prevent angry customers and lose revenue.
Here are 5 ways ecommerce brands can improve their customer support in the new year:
- Focus on Ecommerce Personalization in Customer Service
- Offer Omnichannel Communication
- Leverage Artificial Intelligence
- Utilize Automation Technologies
- Provide Self-Service Options for the Resourceful Customer
1. Focus on Ecommerce Personalization in Customer Service
Personalization has come a long way. In fact, many businesses are already spending more than half of their budget on personalization efforts. But personalization is no longer only about addressing the customer via name in emails or messages — it is about delivering tailored messaging, offers, and products to meet customer-specific needs at every touchpoint of the buyer’s journey.
To provide a personalized ecommerce customer experience, businesses must ensure that they have a reliable AI-based customer relationship management system that will record, streamline, and provide real-time data to the customer support department. Brands can leverage shopper data to understand their unique preferences, make suggestions, engage with them individually, and deliver an excellent experience. When done well, this can help ecommerce businesses gain a competitive edge over their competitors.
2. Offer Omnichannel Communication
Consumers want to connect with a brand seamlessly and from anywhere. This means the flexibility to communicate with ecommerce businesses across multiple channels. To keep up with this demand, e-tailers need to have an omnichannel communications strategy in place.
The omnichannel retail commerce platform market is anticipated to grow $11.01 billion by 2023, a CAGR of 21% during the forecasted period. A true omnichannel experience involves using different channels such as social media, live chat, and others to connect with customers and provide consistent encounters. Another benefit of an omnichannel strategy is that businesses can communicate with their shoppers in real time.
3. Leverage Artificial Intelligence
By 2025, as many as 95% of all customer interactions will be through channels supported by AI technology. Understanding consumer needs and preferences is the first step toward delivering an excellent ecommerce experience. Technology trends like AI allow brands to develop predictive models that empower them to understand how the shopper behaves toward a particular product or service, their needs and pain points, and provide them with the best suggestions based on this information.
These models analyze customer data and provide insights based on accurate, real-time data for improved decision-making. To maximize technology investments, many ecommerce retailers are leveraging intelligent AI-powered chatbots to understand consumer queries and concerns and respond to them accurately, stimulating human-like interactions.
4. Utilize Ecommerce Automation Technologies
Automation is revolutionizing how businesses operate, and customer support is no exception. When deployed thoughtfully, automation can help customer support teams deliver a better experience.
To begin with shopper support automation, brands must first identify the areas and tasks which are repetitive and time-consuming. Automating such tasks will allow the internal team to focus on other critical aspects. Different areas that can be automated include regular notifications for support tickets that are not closed and custom emails sent to users.
5. Provide Self-Service Options
In the past, shoppers never enjoyed waiting in long lines for customer support, but there was never really much of a choice. However, today’s consumers have significantly shorter attention spans and not as much patience. In fact, 81% of all customers across industries attempt to resolve issues themselves before reaching out to a live representative.
To provide better customer support, businesses must offer self-service tools that enable shoppers to instantly get solutions to their questions. Self-service chatbots, FAQ pages, troubleshooting guides, and tutorials allow customers to receive quick answers to common questions and concerns.
As digital technologies evolve, consumers expect new standards of excellence and performance. New technologies like augmented reality, big data, chatbots, and intelligent automation can transform how enterprises connect with customers. By going the extra mile, ecommerce retailers can make their customers happy and increase profits.
Ajay Kaul is a managing partner at AgreeYa Solutions and has been instrumental in leading the company through solid growth and international expansion for the past 20 years. Kaul has three decades of experience building powerful and innovative solutions for businesses across various industries and verticals. His expertise and knowledge span across enterprise sales management, marketing and strategy, global delivery and mergers and acquisitions.