12 September 2022
Four tips to reduce demand on customer service
It’s no secret that customer service is a key component of the customer experience. According to research by Salesforce, 88% of customers say the experience a company offers is just as important as the products or services it sells. Customer service was also the third most cited reason for switching brands. As consumers move through the different stages of a purchase, customer support oftentimes becomes a crucial part of their journey and of any brand’s fulfilment strategy. Whether it’s a return gone awry, a missed delivery or an order that needs to be amended, receiving the right support from a brand can quickly turn into a make-or-break experience for shoppers.
While offering the right support is essential to creating a seamless shopping experience for your customers as well as gaining their trust and loyalty, it can quickly become an expensive part of your brand's fulfilment capabilities if buyers constantly need help with their orders. This is especially true when your business is operating globally, juggling deliveries to multiple locations and offering customer support across a range of languages.
If you are facing an increased volume of customer support queries, it is essential that your brand reviews its fulfilment strategy to understand the pain points of the customer journey and detect the areas that require improvements to remove the need of contacting support. Below, we list four tips that can help you reduce customer service interactions, while keeping your buyers happy and your budget in check.
1- Optimize your fulfilment processes to reduce errors
Delayed orders and getting the wrong items (or not getting them at all) are probably two of the most disappointing things customers can experience following an online purchase — and two things that almost certainly guarantee a call or email to customer support.
To minimize fulfilment errors, start by reviewing your warehouse operations. Check that the internal processes for receiving orders, picking and packing are all running smoothly and consistently. Likewise, if you have introduced new processes recently, make sure they are not creating errors you are unaware of.
If your brand is not using automated solutions for its fulfilment needs, consider teaming up with a provider that can offer them. This is especially important to keep up with an increase in demand and order volume. Likewise, ensure your warehouse management system is up to date and working properly and assess whether a new or different platform or solution is needed.
2- Offer customer support in your shoppers’ native language
While this may seem obvious, it’s not always the case that brands operating across markets offer customer care in the languages of their buyers. Localizing your customer care will enable shoppers to communicate confidently with your brand in case something goes wrong, while ensuring a higher chance of a successful outcome in a single interaction.
Most importantly, being able to create a comfortable, familiar environment for your customers will help boost customer loyalty and raise the probability of turning a one-time customer into a returning one. In this sense, CSA Research found that three quarters of online consumers said they’re more likely to purchase from the same brand again if customer care is in their language.
If your customer service operates in one language only, switch to a solution that enables you to speak to your global audiences in their own native tongues, while integrating easily with the rest of your fulfilment systems. Likewise, consider the channels you are using: consumers want to have options to talk to brands, but different audiences have different preferences, so ensure you are familiar with them first.
3- Keep customers up to date with the progress of their order
Whenever they buy a product online, shoppers are looking forward to receiving their orders. Whether this was a long-awaited purchase, or they are very much in need of the item they have ordered, waiting can sometimes be hard, especially if shipping times are longer.
To ease the wait, make sure you are keeping your buyers up to date as their order moves from the warehouse to the courier and finally makes their way to their homes, clearly communicating both expected and unexpected occurrences. A fulfilment solution that allows you to send branded communications throughout the different stages, like THG Delivered, will keep them engaged with your brand and reduce the need to email or phone your customer care lines to track their orders.
Likewise, don’t forget the personal touch: personalized emails or messages will help create a closer relationship with the customer while enhancing their overall shopping experience.
4- Offer a range of delivery options
Online customers increasingly favor convenience and quick deliveries have become an increasingly crucial driver of ecommerce purchases. According to Insider Intelligence, fast shipping speed was the most essential component of a positive online customer experience for 62% of surveyed US online shoppers. And McKinsey found that, for example, beauty and fashion shoppers expect their orders to be delivered in under a day.
Giving your customers different delivery options (and fees), including next day delivery, will enable them to set their expectations around when they will receive their parcels. It also gives them the opportunity to choose the fastest shipping available according to their particular needs at the moment of purchase.
Likewise, make sure you adequately communicate what your different shipping options are on your website and, most importantly, stick to them. This will not only mean fewer interactions with your customer support team, but also a happy, satisfied customer, who trusts your brand for future purchases: according to Salesforce, 91% of consumers globally said that a positive customer service experience makes them more likely to buy again from a brand.
Ensuring your fulfilment operations are running smoothly and that your brand is communicating clearly with customers is essential to reduce demand and pressure on your customer service team. Most importantly, these two factors are key in creating a positive customer and delivery experience.
And remember: if errors do occur or your buyers still have questions, make sure your customer care team goes above and beyond to help them. After all, 78% of global consumers said they will forgive a business for a mistake after receiving excellent service (Salesforce).
At THG Ingenuity we’ve been helping international brands expand their operations to new markets efficiently with our end-to-end global fulfilment solution. Get in touch today to find out what we can do to support your business’s growth.
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