An efficiency boost in service that e-commerce can profit from

Linsey • 4 minute read • 28/04/2021
Online customer service
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Last week I ordered something from webshop x. Something went wrong with my order. The package disappeared and I turned to the customer service of the relevant webshop. To my surprise, the channels available to me were only phone or email, the most expensive and least effective customer contact channels there are. After half an hour on hold, my problem was resolved, but I was not left a satisfied customer. It took way too much time and effort to get my problem solved.

Focus on service has never been more important

The example above is an everyday example that almost everyone recognises. The danger of these experiences is that the consumer will choose a different webshop next time. After all, online competition is fierce and webshops are sprouting up all over the place. In just about every corner of the internet, consumers can find an alternative provider that offers cheaper products or better service.

International research by Accenture, among 25,000 consumers in 33 countries shows that 46% of customers walk away if they experience bad service. 47% of these consumers won’t even come back. Important factors for service satisfaction are speed, convenience, and service via the customer’s preferred channel. Reason enough to take a closer look at the service process of your webshop. Are you making optimal use of all the possibilities out there?

The most ideal service channels for webshops

The big question that many organisations encounter is: do I have to be active on every channel? What channels are suitable for your webshop depends on several factors. Many webshops use online and offline media monitoring to provide insight into relevant reporting from social networks, news sites, and review sites. The channels through which you should offer service are highly dependent on the wishes of the customer, the strategy chosen, and the (technological) developments within the customer service landscape.

Important success factors for excellent service are the promise fulfillment and personal and expert service. In addition, time savings is crucial when offering a service channel. A well-designed service process helps your organisation to respond quickly. The question is therefore whether your process is set up in such a way that you can meet the wishes and high demands that are made in terms of speed, convenience, and quality.

Do or don’t: phasing out e-mail

The current demands in terms of speed, convenience, and quality are making more and more organisations want to phase out from using e-mail. E-mail is expensive and often has a too-long response time. As a result, it is often not possible to respond to the customer’s initial emotion or reaction. Satisfaction with regards to this channel is also far behind that of other channels. By no longer offering a specific channel, customers are forced to search for another, more suitable, channel.

Whatever you choose, it is up to your organisation to chart expectations, and to respond carefully to them by offering appropriate channels. You can do this on your contact page, for example, where customers will go to first if they have a question or complaint.

Manage expectations on the contact page

An example of a webshop that understands the meaning of service, is Wehkamp. On the contact page of the online department store, the channels through which they can be reached and the expected response time are clearly communicated. It is clear that there is a focus on calling and chat. E-mail is the least favourably presented with a response time of 2 working days. This method ensures that customers with their questions will choose the other channels faster.

Wehkamp live chat contact
The odds of live chat

We are increasingly seeing successful implementation of live chat on e-commerce websites. Live chat offers an enormous amount of opportunities when it comes to service. Conversion is increased because the threshold for customers to ask questions is lowered, and this allows you to help the customer earlier in the purchasing process. Live chat also reduces service costs, because this channel is more efficient and faster than many other channels. With telephone contact you also have fast and real-time contact with the customer, but you are limited to only being able to have one conversation at a time. Live chat makes it possible to have multiple conversations simultaneously, without compromising the personal nature of the service.

By adding technology such as smart chat bots that can capture first-line questions, this efficiency can go one step further, leaving more time for service staff to answer more complex questions. What challenges do you face with regards to which channel(s) to use?

All your service channels in one easy online overview

With a tool like Engage you can easily keep an eye on all your webcare channels: from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, review sites, chatbots and live chat to WhatsApp. All conversations are clearly presented in one online environment, which helps to improve efficiency. Is your webcare department meeting the high demands of your customers? Are you offering all the convenience, speed and quality expected from you?

Efficiency? Go for it!

In times when service is more important than ever, the focus needs to be clear. Is there still room for improvement regarding the efficiency of your webcare team? Spotler Engage is an expert in the field of customer contact and happy to help you improve efficiency. Whether it concerns reducing the pressure on the service team, reducing costs or optimising speed, you have come to the right place at Spotler Engage!

Curious what Spotler Engage’s solutions can do for your organisations? Request a free domo via or call +31 (0)85 210 50 60.

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Linsey Jepma
As Content & PR Coordinator, I am involved in the wonderful world of webcare, chatbots, reputation management and data insights on a daily basis. Writing really is my thing and I have an inexplicable passion for neuromarketing and behaviour. Do you want to exchange thoughts? Connect with me at LinkedIn.

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