Customer Service is the new battleground. And Conversation is where it will be won!
The Definitive Guide to Customer Service for Online Stores
As the owner of an online store with a slick design, stand-out product, cool brand, and entrepreneurial spirit, you are passionate about building your business, your brand, and delivering great customer service.
Us too. Great customer service is our way of life, our mission, and our strategy. Our secret weapon is our approach to intelligent customer communication and real-time customer service conversations — interaction that increases conversions, builds retention and reduces costs.
We both know why we love customer service so much, right? Word on the street is that great customer service builds trust and loyalty like nothing else. And there’s more too…
The benefits of great customer service
- We’ve read 91% of unhappy customers simply leave and never come back
- Reports suggest great customer service builds loyal customers who are worth up to 10 10 times more than their first purchase. So why not continue to throw your money into a bigger and bigger customer service team?
- It is 6 or 7 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to retain an existing one. Doesn’t this mean that great customer service will fortify your overall growth strategy?
- We’ve also read 78% of loyal customers help spread the word about their favorite brands. So, clearly, your customer service is an amazing social marketing tool too! Right?
- And we’ve seen survey’s say 54% of customers won’t even consider switching to a competitor when customer service from your company is top-notch. Well then, you can sit back and relax in the comfort of your forever returning customers…
All of these points seem to say that if you focus on exceeding all customer expectations and create customer satisfaction, the conventional wisdom is you’ll discover riches beyond your wildest dreams!
Like us, you are probably wondering if this customer service nirvana is actually achievable, and whether giving great customer service will really get the results you’re looking for.
We think the truth in all of this may surprise you.
Getting down to business
This guide helps you cut through the hype, uncovers the truth behind great customer service, and helps you avoid having to trawl through a never-ending list of “3 ways to do this”, “10 ways to do that”. In this guide we will uncover:
- A definitive customer service model for your online retail shop that’s proven to build customer satisfaction, loyalty, and profitability.
- A roadmap to real-time customer service/consumer conversations which will help you beat the competition, hands-down.
We suggest going through this guide step-by-step, chapter by chapter. If you have any thoughts or comments on any of the topics in this guide, just drop us a comment — we’ll be happy to discuss!
Winning The Competitive Battle In eCommerce
Every definitive guide is driven by a big idea. After a ton of research, building on our own experience, and speaking with our own customers, here’s ours:
“If Customer Service is the New Battleground, then Conversation is where it will be won.”
In this post you will find all the research data – logically structured in two pyramids – to proof that personal, real-time Conversations will win the Customer Service battle in eCommerce.
Customer service is the new battleground
Although more shoppers are moving online, the eCommerce space is also becoming more competitive. There’s a flood of new eCommerce players looking to steal your hard-won customers in apparel, home goods, beauty, accessories, electronics, food and drink. Only the fittest will survive. And customer service is the new battleground. Why?
- Bigger brands are upping the game in terms of customer service – the very place where you as a smaller brand used to have a clear advantage.
- With the big increase in product and brand choice, the full customer experience is swiftly becoming the differentiator in consumer decisions and yet only 1% feel their expectations are always met.
- Social consumers demand 24/7 instant gratification; yet fewer than 5% rate their customer service interactions as ‘“stellar”’.
- 91% of customers will stop doing business with you following a bad customer service experience.
- Online stores with poor customer service grades have lower conversion and are costly to run thus undercutting brand values too..
- 45% of US consumers will abandon an online transaction if their questions or concerns are not addressed quickly.
- A customer is 4 times more likely to buy from a competitor if their problem is service related rather than price or product related.
- Americans tell an average of 16 people about poor experiences.
All the stats tell us good customer service means online success, but as you’ve probably realized through your own store’s experience, it just doesn’t happen that way. You need to develop a great customer service model first. It should be your top priority.
Conversation will win the competitive battle
By conversation, we mean ‘real-time’ service interactions that are both personalized and super-effective. Even though phone conversations are also real-time, we’re focusing on live chat.
Why? Well, if you have the right foundation in place, then for smaller online stores, live chat can become your single biggest competitive advantage. Here’s why:
Your competitors are looking the other way!
- Less than 60% of the Top 500 eCommerce stores offer live chat — which opens up a clear competitive advantage for you as a smaller store.
More consumers are demanding (and are happiest with) live chat
- In 2012 65% of US shoppers used live chat in (up from 58% in 2011) and that figure is set to grow.
- At an average 1 minute 10 seconds, live chat offers the lowest response time of all channels.
- Live chat has the highest satisfaction scores for any customer service channel, with 73%, compared with 61% for email and 44% for phone.
- 88% of all customers want their problem solved in one single interaction, and live conversation is the easiest way to deliver that.
It helps generate a more profitable web store.
- 83% of live chat users say it increases conversion rates by more than 20%.
- Chatters are 7.5 more times likely to convert than non-chatters.
- They spend 55% more than non-chatters.
- It helps lower average interaction costs.
- It helps reduce customer service rep task time.
It offers insight into your product, brand and site improvements.
- It helps you quicker optimise your product range and identify new add-ons, cross and up-sell opportunities.
- It helps you better understand your brand differentiator.
- It helps you make web store improvements that your customers are looking for.
It helps you better deliver on your brand promise.
- As a web store service team, your brand is the biggest competitive advantage — even over your product! And putting a personal, emotional, helpful human face on your brand is something that larger brands will never do as well as you.
So, when you do it well, real-time conversation in your web store can help you win the battle for today’s consumers, keep you ahead of the competition, and even help turn your customer service operation from a cost to a profit centre.
And that’s what the ROBIN guide to great conversation will help you do. You can check out the entire guide here: http://robinhq.com/customer-service-guide/ and we’ll continue posting here on Medium as well.
As we’ve shown, if you want to be competitive today, a great customer service model is a must. It’s first and foremost in a strategy to win on the battleground of customer service.
If you want to beat the competition as a small web store, great conversation can give you that edge — and live chat is the way forward!