In a previous blog post, we took a look at how Campus Protein, a distributor of supplements to college students, built a multi-million dollar business and beat established brands like GNC.
One of the key takeaways from that story was how customer experience played such an important role. By giving their customers a better experience than any other brand, Campus Protein became the first choice for university students.
This may seem obvious, yet most companies don’t actually provide a great experience for their customers. They think they do, but really they’re just doing the basics.
The problem is most companies see customer support as a cost center. They look at the immediate costs of hiring a support rep, but not the long-term benefits.
Let's say someone's browsing your store and they have questions about a product they're interested in. If they don't find answers, they'll look elsewhere. But a timely conversation with a support agent will turn them into a customer.
On top of that, the customer feels good about the great experience you provide, so they come back for more purchases and they tell their friends. Now you have repeat sales and referrals because you cared about their experience.
And that's just from one interaction. The real magic happens when you start using a customer support software that allows you to automate stuff. Now your reps are ten times more productive, increasing your sales and ROI 10X.
In this post, we’re going to look at 4 ways to do that.
Proactive Live Chats
That live chat is must-have for any eCommerce store is a well-established fact. There are studies that back it up, so we don’t need to go over the benefits. If you aren’t using live chat on your store already, you’re missing out big time.
But most companies use live chat passively, by which I mean they wait for customers to initiate the conversation. They also treat it like email support, so they let it go into a queue and answer it when they can, which defeats the purpose of live chat.
Fun fact, 21% of companies that have live chat on their websites don’t even respond to it! No wonder they think it’s a cost center.
Aside from doing the basics, like actually answering customers, live chat becomes even more powerful when you’re being proactive. That means you’re initiating the conversation instead of waiting for the customer too.
For every customer who opens the chat to ask about a product, there are others who searched your site, didn’t find their answers, and then left to search a different site without chatting with you. Maybe they didn’t think to ask, or they didn’t think you’d answer because that’s what they expect.
The point is, a timely chat that pops up when someone is stuck on a certain page can save a sale. In the Campus Protein story, we saw that when someone spent an above average time on the checkout page, they’d initiate a chat.
This helped them close sales that they might have lost had they not been proactive.
This applies to any page on your site. If a customer is on a product page for an inordinate amount of time, they probably have questions about it that they can’t find answers to. Initiate a chat and help them through it.
With software like Gorgias, you can automate this. Detect when someone is on a page and if they go past a certain amount of time, trigger a chat and notify an agent. The agents can see which page the customer is on, so they already have context when starting the chat.
Implementing Customer Feedback
The customer may or may not always be right but when many customers are telling you something, there’s probably a reason why.
If you have a customer asking a certain question about a product, it might be a one-off thing. But if you’re regularly getting the same question about the same product, then it’s a sign that your product page is missing something.
The idea of conversion rate optimization is to make your site as easy as possible to navigate and find information on that customers get through the shopping process faster and without hitches.
For eCommerce stores, customer usually have an idea of what they want to buy. Some of them know exactly what it is, and they head straight to the page, add the product to the cart, and checkout.
Others might want a bit more information first. Is this device compatible with another? Is that product safe for a child?
If they can’t find the answers on your site, guess what, that’s impeding their purchasing process. Some customers will write in or call to ask you their questions. Others will just leave and go to a different site.
What you need to do is go over your customer conversations on a regular basis and pick out trends. Look for suggestions that keep coming in, or questions that are asked often. Then it’s just a matter of updating the site to add that information in or make it more visible.
The result is fewer questions coming in (meaning it frees up support time), and more customers completing checkout (meaning more sales).
Curious about how Gorgias can optimize customer service? Click here to learn more.
Remember Previous Conversations
Nothing is more irritating for a customer than having to remind a support agent that you’ve had this conversation before, or digging through your receipts to find details about a previous order.
It’s 2018. If you as an eCommerce store don’t already have information about your customers’ previous purchases and conversations, you’re doing it wrong.
For you as a store, having that information makes your support agents more productive. If a customer is asking about a certain order, they already know which order it is. If the customer is following up on something, they have the previous conversation on their screens, even if that conversation happened on a different channel.
With Gorgias, when someone writes in, you have all this information in your screen, right next to the ticket. So you instantly know when they last ordered, what it was, the shipping status, and so on. You can pull in data from other apps such as loyalty scores from your loyalty app or subscriber tags from your email marketing solution.
For your customers, it’s a great experience. They feel like they’re not just another number. The fact that you remember their previous conversations and don’t treat them like a new customer makes them feel valued. That means they’re more likely to purchase again, and to tell their friends about you.
Automation is where things start to scale rapidly. Each support person only has so many hours in a day. With automation, they can multiple their output while maintaining the same level of customer support, or better.
For example, the macros in Gorgias allow your agents to quickly formulate a reply by using pre-made templates and variables. Let’s say a customer writes in asking about their order arrival date. Usually the agent has to look the customer up, find the order number, then figure out where the order is and write a response to the customer.
In Gorgias, all the agent has to do is select a pre-written template that has the macro for order status in it. The macro then pulls the order status from your integrated Shopify store. It reduces the time taken to answer that ticket from minutes to seconds. And your customer leaves impressed with the speed of response.
Or take the Rules feature. Rules follow a simple “if this, then that” pattern, but you can get pretty complex with it. For example, you can set up a rule for Gorgias to check incoming tickets and, if one comes in with the word ‘cancel’ in it from someone who made a purchase yesterday, then it gets tagged as Urgent.
You can even created nested if-then loops and have Gorgias either mark a ticket as urgent, or auto-reply to it based on certain keywords used in the body of the email.
For example, if you get too many "where is my order" tickets, then set up an automated response that contains the variable for order status in the message.
There’s so much you can do with automation, and that would probably fill an entire post, but the point is it helps you make your support team more productive. They get through tickets faster, customers get answers faster, and sales come through faster.
The best place to start is to look at your current workflow and search for repetitive processes. If you find that your support agents are doing the same set of tasks, or have to answer the same types of messages, then there’s potential to automate that and free up their time for higher-level tasks.
Support Is Sales
Support isn’t just about answering questions. Gone are the days where you had dozens of disgruntled employees sitting behind telephone answering customers in a bored voice.
Today, customers expect a lot more from you and if they don’t get that, they’re going to one of the hundred other stores out there that have similar products. It’s easy for them to switch if they don’t feel valued.
At the end of the day, support is sales. You can get thousands of visitors with fancy marketing, and you can have amazing products, but if you don’t support customers when they’re stuck during a purchase, or even after they make a purchase, they’re gone and they’ll tell everyone they know.
So, if you want to increase revenue for your store, start with your customer support.