There was once a time when companies could afford to treat customer support as a luxury. Customers might take their business elsewhere simply because they heard how good the company was to those who shopped with them, but that wasn’t a huge concern. For the most part, customers had very few options for where to shop.
Clearly, that has changed.
Nowadays, customer support is a differentiator. Companies should be clamoring to improve theirs to call attention to themselves and there’s no lack of data to support this claim.
3 Reasons Customer Support Is More Important Than Ever
If improving customer support is not yet a priority for your company, here are three very important reasons you need to rethink that right away (hint: it’s costing you a lot of money).
1. Preexisting Customers Are More Likely to Buy from You
This should seem obvious. If a customer has already purchased from you, chances are they’ll return to the familiar process instead of taking their chances elsewhere.
Still, it’s important to understand that we’re not talking about some small advantage here. The difference between a new and returning customer is significant.
On average, your chances of selling a new customer are between 5 and 20%. For, existing customers, that percentage jumps to between 60 and 70%.
Customer support isn’t just about hoping that your existing customers will tell their friends, though that certainly doesn’t hurt (more on that next). It’s also about profiting more from each customer over time.
2. You Could Be Losing Customers Right Before Their Purchase
If a customer has already made a purchase decision, you may think your work is as good as done. The only thing standing between you and their money is that checkout cart.
What could go wrong?
Apparently, a lot.
78% of customers report leaving a transaction or otherwise not making an intended purchase because they received poor customer support.
3. “We Have Very Few Customer Complaints”
This is a common response to the topic of customer support.
“We understand it’s importance and we already have it under control. Hardly any of our customers report being dissatisfied with our service.”
Usually, the number is so small that it’s worth ignoring. Companies run the numbers and realize trying to please such a tiny group would actually end up costing them more.
What they fail to realize is that only 4% of dissatisfied customers say anything.
So, if you have 1,000 customers a month and you’re only ever hearing from 4 of them, you probably assume you’re doing pretty well.
In reality, though, that represents just 4% of the people with issues. It’s actually 100 customers – 10% of them – who are unhappy. What’s worse, 91% of dissatisfied customers will never come back. That means of those 1,000 customers a month, you’re losing 91. That’s more than 1,000 every year and you don’t even know about it.
3 Ways Ecommerce Personalization Improves Customer Support
At this point, you may be wondering what you need to change to make sure you don’t end up on the wrong side of all of those statistics.
Unfortunately, product recommendations aren’t enough anymore.
Fortunately, you can leverage the power of ecommerce personalization to drastically improve the customer support services you’re able to offer.
With ecommerce personalization, you’re customizing a user’s experience without their direct input. Instead, you’re using other decisions they’ve made (e.g. past purchases, blogs they’ve read, etc.) to modify your site in real-time so it better caters to their needs.
Here are three ways you can adapt the power of ecommerce personalization to offer an improved customer support experience:
1. Decrease the Amount of Time Talking to Customers
Obviously, you don’t want to be rude when talking with customers. However, it’s unlikely they want to spend any more time than they need in talking with your staff. They’re trying to continue with making a purchase – a goal you probably share – so the focus should be getting them to move on as soon as possible.
The other advantage to saving time like this is that it means a customer support member can then move on to the next person who’s in need of assistance instead of keeping them waiting.
Ecommerce personalization makes this possible for the 83% of customers who need help before purchasing because it gives support staff vital information (e.g. latest refunds, search history, comments, reason for last contact, etc.) about the person in need, which makes it easier to help them.
2. Quickly Move on to the Solution
Along the same lines, while you want to move customers to the purchase stage as soon as you can, that’s only going to happen after you provide them with the solution they want first.
Again, imagine what your customer support team could do if they already knew all about a potential customer before they said a single word.
57% of customers are happy to provide personal information about themselves if they see a benefit in it. That means your ecommerce personalization approach can outright provide opportunities to customers to hand this data over, which is something you can use for providing solutions later on.
3. Take an Omnichannel Approach
One of the most underrated advantages of ecommerce personalization is that it allows you to provide customer support through the channels your customers prefer.
Offering an omnichannel experience means that whether a customer is visiting your site and/or app through their phone, tablet, or computer, they are able to experience a seamless shopping experience.
Most customers use more than one device before they make their purchase. If you can collect data about them through one channel and personalize it among others, your customer support team will be able to provide their services wherever they’re engaged.
Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late to Improve Your Customer Support
For all the reasons we listed above, customer support is more important than ever before, which is why you should take action today to add personalization to your service. Chances are that if you have competitors who are doing better with their websites, it’s because they’ve already leveraged ecommerce personalization.
Do the same and you’ll soon find that this one change will produce massive results.