Responding in a timely manner to customer service-related matters can make or break your company’s e-commerce website. In fact, 53 percent of customers will abandon their online purchase altogether if their questions are not answered promptly. And in 2017, 89 percent of marketers expect customer service to be the key difference that gives brands a competitive edge.
Delivering superior customer service can give you that crucial edge over your competitors. Here are five ways to boost your customer satisfaction levels so you can retain more customers and generate more revenue with an online presence.
Preempt Service Issues with Smart Design
One way to improve customer satisfaction is to design your website so that fewer customer service issues arise. For instance, the biggest reason why prospective buyers abandon purchases is due to inconvenience, including prompts that ask whether they’re a new or returning customer. An estimated 30 percent of shoppers will abandon their cart — in essence, they’re now “drop offs” on your website — when asked to register ahead of their order. Remove this barrier from the get go by designing your checkout flow so that new users can register after making a purchase.
Respond to Customers Faster
A big step you can take toward improving your online customer service presence is to respond quicker to visitors’ inquiries. By and large, customers say the most important thing retailers can do is respect their time. According to a survey conducted by Velaro, when shoppers call a customer service phone line:
- 60 percent will hang up if they’re forced to wait on hold up to one minute.
- 30 percent will hang up if a representative doesn’t take their call within one to five minutes.
Customers are even more impatient when making online purchases, with 31 percent abandoning purchases if they don’t receive help immediately, and 71 percent expect help within one to five minutes, according to a survey conducted by Loudhouse. So, if your website’s support team doesn’t respond promptly to customers, you can expect to lose out on some key revenue.
Offer Live Chat Functionality
One of the best ways to improve your customer service efficiencies is to offer a live chat service. Loudhouse’s survey results indicated 93 percent of customers agreed that real-time support is helpful when making online purchases; 73 percent of customers were satisfied after receiving live chat support, while only 61 percent and 44 percent of these same respondents were satisfied with the support they received by email and phone, respectively. Cloud contact center solutions like Aspect Zipwire enable you to seamlessly integrate live chat, phone and email support for a truly optimal customer experience.
Institute Customer Loyalty Programs
Another way to boost customer satisfaction is to reward your customers with loyalty program incentives. Loyalty programs reward customers with discounts and bonuses when making select purchases. These types of offerings can motivate customers to make additional purchases and thereby generate repeat business for your company. Bond Brand Loyalty found that 83 percent of loyalty program members say such programs make them more likely to continue doing business with that brand, while 68 percent say they won’t be loyal to companies that don’t offer such reward programs.
Collect Quality Performance Data
To ensure your customer service efforts are effective, it’s important to collect data on your website’s performance. Use analytics tools to track how many visitors arrive on your support pages and which options they select. You should also collect data on key performance indicators that measure your customer service. One important performance indicator is your customers’ average time in queue, or the time between when they first initiate a customer service inquiry and when one of your agents begins to assist them.
Time in queue directly impacts customer satisfaction and shopping cart abandonment rates. You should also track how long it takes customers to receive a resolution to their issue. Customer support inquiries across all company sizes average four a half minutes, according to DialogTech. Thus, tracking your performance against this type of measurable benchmark can help you make adjustments to your customer service satisfaction rates.