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Home | Blog | eCommerce Customer Service Helps Retailers Achieve Profits Long-Term

eCommerce Customer Service Helps Retailers Achieve Profits Long-Term

By Magellan Solutions

Updated on December 11, 2023

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Regarding success, business owners and entrepreneurs focus on three things to gain competitive advantage — Product, Location, & Price.

However, these fundamental elements to ensure business success seems to be fading, especially with online stores’ rapid proliferation. In this technological era, customer service is king.

And it does not mean resolving issues alone.

Customers demand fast and timely responses to their complaints.

These days, they can influence how the audience thinks about a brand. When frustrated with unaddressed issues, they turn to social media to vent.

Sadly, bad customer service reaches twice as many ears as praise for good customer service. Even if we say bad publicity is still publicity, no entrepreneur wants customers to feel indifferent about their business.

 

In this article, we will try to:

  1. Define the importance of e-commerce customer service
  2. Set the parameters for providing effective e-commerce customer services, and
  3. Understand how outsourcing firms and 24/7 call center services can help your company succeed.

 

Why is e-commerce customer service important?

Before we proceed, let us first define what e-commerce customer service is.

E-commerce customer service is taking care of an online shopper’s needs by providing and delivering professional and helpful assistance before, during, and after every sale of goods and services.

Almost everybody has experienced stints with customer service at one point. A Consumer Report issue said that 88 percent of the respondents had done so. Their concerns range from questioning the bill, returning ill-fitting merchandise, scheduling an appointment, requesting a repair, etc.

The article notes that: “many [of the respondents] didn’t like the experience and had a problem with customer service. Half reported leaving a store without making their intended purchase because of poor service. Fifty-seven percent were so steamed that they hung up the phone without a resolution. Women were more annoyed than men, as were people over age 45.”

So what do those numbers mean?

These numbers show us the impact of customer experience on the success of a business — or any business model. Since we are now talking about customer experience, let us touch on that topic briefly.

According to Forbes, customer experience means a lot of things and components, but it essentially boils down to the customer’s view of your company.

Simply put, it is all about how a customer feels about your company. Even with a strong product and an excellent team of trained personnel, a defective product or service that isn’t fixed or resolved in time can negatively affect how a customer views the company.

 

Can customer service increase sales?

A significant parameter of business success for any organization is sales.

And since we establish the notion that when we provide high-quality customer service, we can adequately manage customer experience, is there a correlation between customer service and sales? In other words, can we have a high sales volume if we deliver high-quality customer service?

To answer these questions, let’s run some numbers from this infographic about efficient customer services:

  • 40 percent of the respondents say that they will buy more from a company that offers excellent customer service, and
  • Eighty-six percent will be willing to pay more for a great customer experience.

Imagine four of 10 customers who visit your e-commerce site will purchase more from you if your staff is attentive to their needs. Also, many are willing to shell out more money if they have an excellent customer experience with you.

On the other hand, most of them who experienced terrible customer service will either abandon their carts or are likely to go to your competitor. Plus, there’s a possibility of them ranting about your business on social media.

Again, a bad customer experience story posted on socials will spread faster than raves. And that will hit your company hard as far as success goes.

Honestly, though, no firm has the perfect formula for delivering high-quality customer service. Every business will get it wrong from time to time. The challenge here is how we deal with any problems. Even if there’s no perfect formula, we can transform a bad experience into a good one.

One article from Inc.com enumerates ways to turn their negative experience around. They are:

 

Get on the phone & respond immediately.

Any person having a hard time wants to vent that negativity out. So when a customer calls, the “three-ring” rule should be in effect. What is the “three-ring” government? It is a phone etiquette that should not take you more than three rings before answering the phone. Prolonging the rings will make the customer feel neglected; we do not want that.

 

Just listen, then reflect, validate, & empathize.

Put yourself in your customers’ shoes for a moment to understand where they are coming from. Listen and, if it helps, take down notes to get the gist of their concern. In the article, CEO of Massage Outpost Rachel Beider says, “We mirror what the client is saying, so they feel they’ve been heard. We then validate their feelings so they feel understood. Lastly, we use empathy so they feel we’re on their side. Most people want to be heard and feel understood, even if you disagree.”

And as far as active listening goes, founder and managing attorney at Florida Law Advisers, P.A. Matthew Podolsky, offer great advice, “Too often we focus on what to say next, rather than listening. Give them time to express their concerns and let them know you understand and sympathize with their frustration.”

 

Remain calm & proactively ‘fix’ the problem.

It is common knowledge that when customers call us, they need help. So it is best to fix it to the best of our abilities proactively. It is terrible to say to our customers, “We’re thinking of doing this way; is that okay with you?” Instead, directly offer solutions you can do for them, such as issuing a full or partial refund, offering a free month of service, or researching the answer. Also, do not forget to say, “What more can I do to help?” That is how we proactively ‘fix’ the problem.

 

How can customer service act as a competitive weapon?

At this point, it is pretty clear that customer service outsourcing is an essential piece of our success puzzle. Now, how can we utilize that and make it a competitive advantage?

Keep good records

Putting together past conversations can give you a clearer picture of things that frustrate our customers. This picture can help you develop practical questions you can ask in the future.

Discover the best way to serve

When we have the records in place, you can now identify the best way we can take for any situation. When we understand what they want, we can determine the best way to handle it.

The bottom line, when customers feel comfortable immediately calling your contact center for help, that’s an advantage for your company. It only means that they have complete confidence in your company. And when they are confident, they will not think twice about buying things and services from your online store, which can bring success to your company.

 

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      eCommerce Customer Service Helps Retailers Achieve Profits Long-Term

      Magellan Solutions

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