Every eCommerce company juggles the balance of where to prioritize resources and drive revenue. Wouldn’t it be nice to know what to focus on in 2022 to set yourself up for growth in 2023 and beyond?
It turns out that there is an answer. Good customer service is the number one quality customers seek from eCommerce companies. A PwC study found that 73% of consumers say customer service experiences are more important in purchasing decisions than price or product features. Customer experience is the key brand differentiator that drives sales and grows customer loyalty.
Happy customers not only buy more during online shopping and provide referrals, but they are also willing to pay more for good service. Companies providing excellent customer service can charge up to a 16% price premium on products and services. About 43% of consumers would pay more for convenience, and 42% will pay for a friendly, welcoming experience.
But what exactly does eCommerce customer satisfaction look like from the customers’ point of view? What do they really want? The same PwC study shows that nearly 80% of American consumers say that speed, convenience, helpful employees, friendly service, and easy payment are what consumers want today.
When we look at what customers want when shopping online, we can see that it reflects what people appreciate during in-person transactions. Ecommerce hasn’t changed customers’ definition of good service, but it has made it more challenging for companies to meet those expectations.
The digital transformation of commerce means that customers expect a seamless, personalized experience across channels. They want fast, intuitive, automated help that feels personalized, and they also want to interact with knowledgeable, friendly humans. In today’s rapidly evolving marketplace, technology is helping eCommerce companies step up to meet these needs.
Customer attrition risk is real, as over half (54%) of US consumers say that most companies need to improve their customer service.
The good news is that this gap represents a significant opportunity for improvements to achieve a good customer experience that will boost eCommerce sales. Find out what trends will impact eCommerce customer satisfaction in 2022.
Continued Growth in ECommerce
Even before the global pandemic spiked eCommerce shopping and doubled online sales in 2020, growth forecasts for eCommerce showed a steady increase in sales and the percentage of total retail sales.
EMarketer projections include double-digit eCommerce sales growth in the US, from 11% of total retail sales in 2019 to 23.6% in 2025 at $1.65 trillion in sales. The border between online and brick-and-mortar is merging, as click-and-collect purchases (where customers purchase online and pick up the item in person) will reach $140.96 billion in sales by 2024.
The trend to remote working is causing a sustained increase in eCommerce. A McKinsey Global Institute study reports that eCommerce is growing 3.3 times faster in the US than before the pandemic and two to five times faster globally.
Social commerce (selling products and services on social media) will reach $604.5 billion by 2027. This growth increases the importance of providing a consistent customer experience across channels to deliver eCommerce customer satisfaction.
Purchases Across Channels
One way customers define convenience is the ability to complete a transaction across platforms. Online shopping involves multiple devices across various channels, and shoppers expect a consistent experience. As a result, many eCommerce companies are adapting. In 2020, the number of companies investing in the omnichannel experience jumped from 20% to more than 80%.
But an omnichannel experience requires interactions with less friction. Typical areas of friction include initial contact, accessing content, and following the customer’s context during the entire service journey. ECommerce companies need a customer service solution that addresses each potential friction point.
Kayako’s Single View, for example, eliminates contact friction by allowing customers to use chat, email, Facebook, and Twitter. We reduce customer frustration by providing smart routing to the right agent, collaborations with internal and external specialists, and automated workflows on the agent side.
Context is important from the customer’s point of view. A frustrating example of context friction for customers is when a new agent does not have information about what has happened earlier on the account. With Kayako, the agent can always access the service history knowledge base and product activity history from hundreds of apps.
Expect Fast Response
People hate to wait. Therefore, a fast response time is the most crucial attribute of a good customer experience.
Nearly half of all customers (46%) expect a response within 4 hours, while 12% expect a response within 15 minutes or less. Luckily tools like Live chat software can cut response time to just a few minutes.
Products like Kayako Live Chat makes it easy to give customers a personalized help desk and agent interaction experience by enabling eCommerce stores to customize and integrate live chat software into their website, iOS, and Android apps.
Agents have access to customer history, private agent notes, and in-app insights to help them to understand the customer context and quickly offer tailored solutions.
As we’ve seen, customers value being able to talk to a friendly, knowledgeable agent. But still, automation is very valuable in supporting all the stakeholders in the customer’s journey.
Automation puts everyday or routine tasks on auto-pilot. When set up correctly, workflows use automation to quickly move cases through support areas to reach a satisfactory resolution.
ECommerce companies can use automation to recognize red flags in the customer journey and either send automated suggestions or alter agents to a potential problem before it becomes a more significant issue. As Artificial Intelligence increases and improves over the next few years, experts predict it will be able to handle more complex tasks and expand beyond just English to many global languages.
Best practices for integrating automation into eCommerce customer service include:
- Use automation to reach out to struggling customers. For example, use a chatbot that detects when a customer has a hard time logging in or with a payment portal.
- Don’t try to fool the customer that the automated response is a real person; this results in confusion and lack of confidence. AI technology is not advanced enough to impersonate a real person in customer service.
- Automate and review requests for feedback within the customer journey.
- Personalize responses so that the customer feels confident even while interacting with automated support.
- Use automation to support human agents, not replace live help with frustrating bot loops.
Automations should increase efficiency, reduce customer effort and increase team transparency.
At Kayako, we had our own internal experience overcoming inefficiencies with automation. We want to save our clients from a similar fate! Now you can have Kayako do tasks for you automatically with triggers, monitors, and integrations to other systems.
Successful personalized customer service makes customers feel like a company “gets them.” Starting with a greeting by name, for example, the customer journey includes personalized experiences that prove the company understands the individual nature of the customer’s situation.
Companies can increase eCommerce customer satisfaction by looking at various sources, including past interactions, data, and customer profiles.
Personalization provides the “human touch” that helps reach conversion goals such as sales and upselling, higher engagement, customer retention, brand loyalty, and increased customer satisfaction.
Personalization builds on the omnichannel experience, so be sure customer reps have a unified view of the customer service journey within your company as well. Empowering agents to go the extra mile also seals the deal for eCommerce customer satisfaction. For example, Zappos agents often engage customers in casual conversation during a call. The company allows agents to send a good old-fashioned snail mail personalized greeting card as a follow-up.
Next Steps to Driving eCommerce Customer Satisfaction
Trends and data show us that eCommerce companies and store owners need to focus on speed, convenience, helpful employees, and friendly service to keep and attract customers. The five top areas to focus on are omnichannel experience, fast response, intelligent automation, and personalization of the customer service journey.
To learn more about driving sales and growing customer loyalty with email, social, live chat, and help center support software, check out more about Kayako Ecommerce Support Software.