Imagine going back in time to a large American department store in the 1950s. The massive front doors would likely be highly polished brass and glass, held open for you by a uniformed doorman wearing white gloves.
As you strolled and browsed each department, a well-dressed salesperson would make eye contact and greet you with a smile. If you decided to try a pair of shoes, they would fetch a couple of pairs and help you try them on as you sat in a comfortable chair. If you had a big shopping day, someone would carry your bags to the car for you.
Okay, so we can’t go back to the ’50s, but you can still provide your customers with quality customer service, online or in-store as a retailer. It still matters… And always will!
Service and support are critical for every company’s growth and especially true for e-tailers selling directly to individual consumers. Of course, you can’t provide the same personal services as a brick-and-mortar store, but you can come close.
Being attentive to what your customers want, responding quickly to queries or issues, and providing personalized messages go a long way in keeping customers happy.
Quality customer service begins before a customer starts to browse and continues long after the purchase. A recent consumer study revealed that 84% of shoppers consider customer service “a key factor” when purchasing from a store.
Good service is a fundamental part of the overall customer experience, and it strengthens brand loyalty. 60% of shoppers say they have abandoned a favorite store for a competitor due to poor customer service. Repeat customers have 300 times more Lifetime Value (LTV) than one-time shoppers.
Although eCommerce support differs from traditional retail, keep reading to see why helpdesk software is the best place to start when improving company-wide customer service.
To learn more about the benefits of a good customer experience, Check out this resource on customer experience and conversion rate optimization.
What Is an eCommerce Helpdesk?
An eCommerce helpdesk is a bridge from the company to the customer. It provides a personalized customer service experience by answering all their questions and solving issues such as shipping or returns. A helpdesk can incorporate live agents, AI chatbots, or both.
Online shopping is impersonal by nature. It’s a shopper on one end with images and descriptions on the retail side. There is little interaction as the website robotically dispenses the information the customer selects. So, it’s crucial for eCommerce stores to transform the everyday customer experience into something more personal and interactive.
Ecommerce helpdesk automation streamlines customer service operations. It helps businesses manage a customer’s interaction history and information. Live chat agents and chatbots can quickly respond to provide accurate information and reassurance to resolve questions.
Leveraging a helpdesk to respond to customers’ questions about your products on your ads and posts can increase your sales and ad effectiveness, equaling a 5% increase in ad-spend.
The Importance of Customer Support
A recent survey of U.S. shoppers revealed that 73% said a positive customer experience is “very important” to purchase from a given store. The definition of “good customer service” has evolved with online shopping. White gloved doormen have given way to three-second page downloads as the minimum expectation for customer service.
Where free shipping was once a novelty and extra-special treatment, it has become an expectation. Businesses that don’t offer it will lose customers and seem out of touch.
Today’s online customer service must manage more processes faster. Impatient customers demand quick action and answers, or they will go elsewhere. Customer support, live or AI chatbots, must handle issues such as out-of-stock items, wrong promo codes, or coupons not working.
Businesses with the highest customer service benefit from higher sales, client retention, loyalty, and trust. Quality customer support means fewer returns or complaints.
Does Your eCommerce Business Need a Helpdesk Platform?
If your business manages your customer support manually, helpdesk software can improve customer service tremendously. If you are still unsure if it’s right for your business, consider these questions:
- Do you receive more than 300 support tickets a month?
- Can you provide support on all channels such as email, SMS, phone, social media, and live chat?
- Do you always know, or track, who’s responding to each customer?
- Are customers waiting over 60 seconds to get a response to their queries?
- Is your customer information unorganized?
- Are you unable to gain meaningful insights from reports?
- Can your current customer service scale if you double or triple the number of tickets?
If you answered no to most, it’s time to consider a dedicated support solution.
The helpdesk software you choose must integrate with your customers’ various communication channels.
5 Tips - How To Select the Best Helpdesk for eCommerce
What are your customer’s expectations for customer service? Do they need someone live to speak to, or do they just want fast answers to their questions? Knowing the answer will help you select the right platform.
Typically, these five features prove the most beneficial when you need to integrate the first helpdesk or upgrade an existing one.
1. Integration with Tools and Platforms
Your helpdesk must work seamlessly with your eCommerce platform, on every channel where you interact with customers, and all CRM tools that you currently use. It should have native integration capabilities, meaning it works right out of the box without requiring additional apps or plugins.
Integration with platforms like Shopify, Magento, and BigCommerce means the support team can see order details, edit orders, and even process refunds directly from the help desk app. Quality eCommerce helpdesks can save a lot of time and trouble for your team while providing a higher level of customer service.
2. Scalability to Other Platforms
If you sell on Shopify and want to expand to Amazon and eBay, you’ll want a helpdesk that can grow with you. Before choosing, ensure the helpdesk software integrates across the channels you need.
Additionally, any SMB can grow into an enterprise company that must handle thousands of calls or inquiries daily. Check to see the scalability potential of the helpdesk. Can it expand and support larger teams and functionality?
3. Centralized Media Interactions
The more ways you can interact with your customers, the better their experience. Your customer service team must be able to switch from one media to the other without looking up the customer’s information again.
Communications such as emails should be a shared workspace. If a customer gets handed off to a different customer service agent or department, all the information should be readily accessible by anyone on the team.
Customers may use a different channel to ask questions or report issues. Some like sending emails. Others want to talk to a live customer support person or prefer chatting on social media. You need a system to handle conversations across all channels without dropping the customer’s information. Nothing annoys customers more than repeating the same information to multiple agents.
Effective helpdesk software merges all the online communication into a single inbox. Doing so ensures that customer support staff won’t miss any incoming messages or requests from any channel.
4. Automated Tickets Management
Some of the best customer service experiences start with automation behind the scenes. A good helpdesk will have a library of rules for automating tickets and resolutions. Personalized messages or answers to questions should trigger automatically based on rules you set.
A helpdesk will make it easy to set up pre-made responses using variables based on customer actions or questions. The helpdesk can import all the necessary customer data from the appropriate eCommerce platform and automatically fill in personalization such as name and order numbers.
Automated personalized replies using macros or snippets make answering common customer questions fast and easy.
5. Statistics and Reporting
A helpdesk should provide insights into your customer service team’s performance and most frequently asked questions. The information will help your team fix bottlenecks and learn how to anticipate future questions.
Customizable reports reflect what’s happening in your business, detailing helpful metrics such as revenue, performance, self-service requests, and various automation statistics. A good helpdesk improves customer service workflows by anticipating and improving FAQ responses.
Benefits of a Comprehensive eCommerce Helpdesk
There are many choices for a helpdesk, but one that checks all the boxes above for eCommerce customer service is Gorgias. It’s a simple app that integrates with top platforms like Shopify, Shopify Plus, and BigCommerce.
Gorgias offers 24/7 support via live reps and loads of support documentation on their site. Some of its other features include:
1. Multichannel CRM Capabilities
Customer service agents can work with customers from email, live chat, phone, and social in one helpdesk. They can view all customer live chats and history across all channels and multiple stores from one dashboard.
2. Reduce Customer Support Time by Half
There are multiple ways to respond to customers, including live chat and pre-filled answers to FAQs. Using Macros to fill in variables such as order status and shipping dates. Macros help customers get fast and accurate answers during live chat.
3. Eliminate Ticket Backlogs
It’s easy to set up automated responses to common questions like, “Where’s my order?” Create rules for better management of the inbox. For example, tag a ticket as “Urgent” if the word “Refund” or “Cancel” appears.
4. Increase Conversions And Revenue
Agents can chat live with customers while in your store. They can see the page the customer is on and their entire history providing opportunities for better service and upsells.
5. Complete Customer Service
Customers need more than just chatting and answers. Gorgias allows agents to help with loyalty programs, shipping, and payments from a central dashboard. It integrates with LoyaltyLion, Shipstation, Messenger, Aircall, and over 40 more. Agents can solve cancellations, refunds, or duplicate orders inside the platform.
Gorgias has robust reporting tools for revenue, statistics, self-service stats, and automation. One unique feature is their SentiSum automatic ticket tagging engine. A natural language processing technology powers it to help managers do root cause analytics for “Reason for Contact” trends. For example, it can take an email conversation, analyze it, tag it based on sentiments and language used. The information reveals the top reasons for the contact, number of similar tickets, and percent of change displayed as a graph.
To see some behind the scenes of how Gorgias works, check out their video, “Getting Started with Gorgias.”
The Right Support Solution To Boost Your Sales
Having live agents and responsive chatbots, 24/7 boosts customer satisfaction and creates loyal customers for your eCommerce store.
Using Gorgias to automate repetitive customer service tasks frees up the support team to do more outreach and live interactions. It helps turn the customer service department into a revenue-generating asset rather than a cost.
To experience how Gorgias can improve your customer experience and sales, click here for a 7-day free trial.