Where online retail and services were once considered a nice or handy shopping alternative, 2020 saw e-commerce transform into an accelerated necessity for brand and customer survival.
By the end of this year, e-commerce is anticipated to account for 18% of all retail sales worldwide with that number jumping to 22% by 2023. The past 18 months forced companies to reimagine and redefine each aspect of business. From production to supply chain to customer service, the industry has been forever changed.
As these trends become intrinsic aspects of our collective lifestyle and shopping routines, now is the moment to evaluate whether you’re delivering the best customer experience.
· 73% of consumers have changed how they shop
· 65% of consumers intend to maintain new modes of shopping
· 66% of top retail performers implemented digital strategies to replace physical shopping
· 80% of consumers who began shopping from a private brand in 2020 intend to continue that loyalty indefinitely
The numbers reflect new shopping trends and indicate opportunities to help your brand stand apart in a seemingly endless sea of retail options. As life has become anchored in and around the immediate environment of the home, the desire for human and personalized connection has increased. So how can a brand up the ante and provide personalized, connected experiences in a virtual space? Let’s take a look.
Evolving Customer Solutions
Traditional help desk ticketing enables companies to resolve customer issues. A ticketing system generates a document that records the interactions for a service or support case. The ticket is shared between the rep and customer, logging the exchanges on a continuous thread.
Direct, efficient and clear, the traditional ticketing software was a game changer as retail began its online migration. When the online retail space was emerging, this kind of ticketing provided scalable solutions, centralizing, organizing and cataloging a high volume of support cases. However, even prior to the challenges of 2020, the expanding e-commerce landscape revealed that excellent support was necessary at every customer touchpoint.
In addition to visiting a website to make a purchase or gather information, social media platforms and apps are also facilitating brand sales and support. With ticketing, each conversation is siloed from the rest of a customer’s brand interactions, and tends to be non contextual and impersonal. The customer and the ticket are one in the same.
Apart from impersonal support and disconnected channels, these ticketing systems can hinder support teams. Instead of devoting time and focus to the customer, and more complex service issues, agents get mired in addressing the same basic queries over and over.
E-commerce customer service has outgrown these antiquated single-channel ticketing systems. They aren’t sustainable options to fortify and cultivate the customer relationships that are key to overall brand health and longevity. And while upgrading in the current retail climate can seem overwhelming, it’s actually a pretty straightforward process. Employing technology that can personalize even automated responses means humanized conversations and exchanges can be had at any given touchpoint.
How CRM Technology Personalizes the E-Commerce Experience
Consumers desire a personalized experience both in and outside of business hours. Upgrading from single channel ticketing to state-of-the-art omnichannel customer relationship management (CRM) technology is the way to meet that demand and satisfy your customers’ expectations.
CRMs translate data from multiple brand streams (sales, marketing, customer service, social media) and unifies that information into a personalized profile for a specific customer.
An omnichannel CRM will help consolidate a brand’s customer service channels, thus delivering a consistent, streamlined experience for the customer. Well-designed CRM software enables a company of any size to effectively leverage a full view of the customer in order to administer personalized interactions at every touchpoint. These solutions allow the customer to discover, connect, explore, purchase, and receive post-purchase support from their chosen channel at any time.
CRM data has statistically improved a brand’s service structure, delivering positive experiences with consumers:
· 47% of CRM users reported a significant impact on customer retention
· A correctly installed CRM can yield an average ROI of 45% for every dollar spent.
CRM and Customer Retention
The digital advancements we’re witnessing in the e-commerce space are transforming the customer experience for the better. Additionally, this technology is innovating how the customer service agent is working. As 65% of most companies’ revenue is from their loyal customer base, and with 60% of consumers willing to pay more for stellar service, it’s clear that customer retention is essential for longevity.
Perhaps the most important thing a CRM can do is provide your agents with customer context. Most customers do not want to have to repeat their issue, concern or question. When your software can provide context for the agent, they in turn are able to address any issue with informed authority and impart solutions or suggestions in a professional, yet personal, manner. A company can provide this context through a variety of ways:
· Email, chat, call history
· Review of chatbot conversation prior to the agent’s conversation with the customer
· Visibility into knowledge base history so they know what the customer has already sourced and viewed
All of this seems fairly logical, anchored in common sense. However, research has found some significant numbers that all indicate too many companies remain negligent to the customer. A 2021 customer service benchmark report indicates that:
· 62% of companies do not respond to support emails
· Only 20% of companies can fully answer a question on the first reply
· 80% of companies believe they provide excellent service
· Only 8% of customers feel they’ve received excellent service
In equipping your agents with as much relevant customer information as possible they in turn are able to deliver the best your brand has to offer.
Creating a CX Culture for Optimum Brand Health
When asking customers what influences their trust in a brand, excellent customer service was ranked number one. It’s no longer just about providing an exceptional product. Today, despite the swift, ever-changing universe of the internet, e-commerce has readily presented vital opportunities for a company to truly excel and create lasting customer relationships.
There are a range of tangible, focused software options available to assist brands of any size in their endeavor to innovate the quality of relationships with both their team members as well as their consumers. Fusing the finest aspects of digital and physical service positions your brand to thrive for the long term.
Now more than ever, people are looking to feel seen, heard and handled with personal care. Discover the possibilities and learn how to best integrate these new technologies into the culture of your brand. Maximize brand potential with service solutions that make sense. With an endless array, don’t let your company be just an option, ensure it’s the customer’s choice.