Experts believe that eCommerce market sales will exceed $4 trillion in 2020. The year that forced us to stay at home has also driven online sales growth, but the truth is that the online shopping boom is happening regardless of the global pandemic. In twenty years, according to some estimates, 95% of sales will be processed online and it’s about time you start preparing for the new digital era.
When it comes to eCommerce, customer service plays a key role. You don’t need to follow all customer service trends religiously but it wouldn’t hurt to keep an eye on the most popular ones. Here are the most vibrant eCommerce customer service trends to pay attention to and get inspired by in 2020.
Imagine if all the people in the world suddenly stopped going to department stores in favor of online shopping. It does sound familiar, doesn’t it? Chances are that the majority of online store owners wouldn’t be prepared for the customer traffic bounce, and the 2020 pandemic made it clear. Increased traffic means hiring more reps, handling more stress that will eventually lead to mistakes, missed conversions, and loss of motivation.
Or it can be a sign that it’s time to automate your customer service processes.
Almost any eCommerce customer service issue can be solved by hyperautomation. From prioritizing the most important conversations and handling repetitive requests faster to tracking customer journey, collecting data, and setting up recovery email campaigns — the use cases for customer service automatization are endless. On top of that, automated systems can run 24/7 and help you cust customer service costs.
You can choose to automate only half of the processes to make the work of your reps easier, use chatbots, or try a cutting-edge PRA approach and replace your human reps with a smart virtual assistant.
Check your social media accounts, do you follow brands that you like? Customers follow their favorite brands for various reasons — they want to know about sales and new arrivals, looking for tech support, or just because they want to communicate with the brand in a less formal way. Either way — you have to take your social media game, especially the one in Instagram, seriously.
Nowadays, the Instagram experience goes way beyond idle photo browsing — this social media channel is promptly becoming the primary platform where shoppers and etailers meet each other. In fact, it already has everything an e-shop owner might need: advertising capacities, worldwide coverage with more than 500 million users, straightforward UX, and even the checkout button.
It’s not uncommon for modern-day brands to treat their Instagram accounts as their main salespoint.
Instagram shop is easy to setup, it allows you to connect your product catalog, and your products can be easily found by your target audience.
If you want to get more conversions and boost sales, you need to be universally available. Different customers prefer different communication channels: people in their fifties and older stick to calling, millennials and Gen-Z would want to talk to you via Instagram, Twitter, or WhatsApp. And then there is a big group of people who prefer solving all their problems via email and those who hate the anticipation and would rather reach you in live chat.
Having multiple communication channels can cause confusion too. Your customer can start talking to you via email and then suddenly switch to Instagram expecting you to continue the conversation. If you fail to join in smoothly and start asking the same question all over again, you can quickly lose this customer.
Nobody likes to repeat themselves, and that’s why you need an omnichannel communication solution.
The Omnichannel system drives growth and allows you to consolidate every aspect of your customer service in an omnipresent way. So that every service rep has access to all the historical data collected from all the communication channels and jumps into every conversation confidently knowing exactly who they are talking to.
Texting is an extremely popular trend in modern-day customer service — more than half of the US-based small-size businesses we’ve talked to are considering it a vital communication channel. And that’s quite resonable: the SMS open rate is a lot higher than the email’s — nearly 98% of the text messages are being open.
SMS is likely to reach your customer and speed up the service. It’s simple and straightforward and can become a part of your omnichannel solution. Besides, texting is relatively cheap as you only have to pay from $1 to $5 per interaction.
Texting is convenient for both service reps and customers — everybody knows how to receive and send SMS regardless of their age or background. You don’t need to deliberately train your team and your customers don’t need to install any additional apps or software. On top of that, texting is often considered to be more personal than any other communication method, and personalization is another go-to trend.
It’s not rocket science — personal approach in customer service drives loyalty, and loyalty is what every conscientious e-shop owner is after. Return customers are the goldmine for every business and it is in your best interest not to disappoint them. However, delivering fast and efficient service is only half of the deal. In order to beat your competition, you need to make sure that after your communication, a customer walks out not only with a solution but with a pleasant aftertaste as well.
Personalization is not only about warm human approach. And of course, your reps should have names and photos and call your customers by their names too. But there’s still a lot more to that.
Collecting data is a must — the more you know about your customers, the better you can serve them.
From personalized recommendations to knowing important little details about your customers — once you master your data management, the quest for increasing loyalty will be half-finished.
Another important issue is to keep the record of every conversation you’ve had with your customers and make sure every rep has access to this information. Make your customer repeat themselves and you’ll end up losing them. Anticipate their needs in a friendly manner and you’ll win them over.
And that’s when automation also comes in handy. Use tools that will do the background check, data collection, and record-keeping for you and impress your customers with how well you know them.
The Bottom Line
Online shopping is picking up its momentum, and the competition is getting more fierce. Making the best use of customer service trends is essential to all the online store owners.
A well-staged customer service strategy that includes automation, omnichannel support, and personalization has all the chances to boost sales, cut costs, and increase customer loyalty.