Why Messaging Is an Essential Channel for E-Commerce Customer Support
Excellent customer service has always been vital to success for any business. The better the customer service, the bigger the chance of customers coming back for return business. And return business increases profits, right?
But, as with most things in life, how a fantastic customer experience is delivered has changed. This is because customer needs evolve, and businesses need to adapt to these changing needs.
Where once phones and email were the primary tools of the customer support agent, businesses now have the choice to use things like WhatsApp, Facebook messenger, live chat, and messaging automation. Most of these are what customers already use and love, so messaging is now an essential channel for any business to improve their customer journey.
But why is it important - especially when you have an e-commerce shop?
Why Should I Care About Messaging in the First Place?
Think about it. Messaging is one of the most popular ways in which people communicate. From messaging between family and friends to business messages between colleagues. It has become an indispensable part of everyday life. More than 5 billion people globally send messages every day.
It’s so popular you can use it in your business too. Customers want simple personalized experiences with the businesses they buy from or engage with. They don’t want to wait days for a generic email from support or to be put on hold waiting for a consultant to solve a simple problem. That’s probably why a majority of customers prefer to message a business rather than call.
And it’s not only to solve problems. Think of e-commerce chat as a cornerstone of conversational commerce. Here, customers ask questions before they buy, and, to put it simply, the one that answers the question first makes the sale.
So, with a messaging service, you can:
Connect with your customers on a deeper, more personal level, thereby building more personal relationships compared to email. Simply, you build personal relationships with customers that lift their satisfaction levels, making them come back for more.
It saves you and your customers time. Messaging can solve simple problems quickly without customers having to wait for an answer. As a bonus, questions about orders, payment, and other queries can be dealt with on the spot.
It saves your business time. Because messaging is far quicker, customer care agents don’t need to spend hours on phone calls to solve sometimes uncomplicated issues.
From this, it’s quite obvious that it’s a convenient and interactive way to engage with your customers and answer their questions at a time when it suits them. This makes messaging an indispensable part of your overall customer service efforts.
What if I Already Have Phone and Email Support?
The first question that comes to mind is why you should invest in messaging when you already have other customer service channels in place. In simple terms, why do you need messaging when you already use phone and email?
Don’t get us wrong, it's not about discarding these. Quite the contrary. Email support is crucial for any customer service strategy. It’s an easy and affordable way to solve your customers’ support problems. Likewise, the demand for phone support is high, so it would be wrong not to provide any phone support.
The thing is customers want answers quickly. Keep in mind that in a customer-centric environment, customers are at the forefront, so answering questions and solving problems quicker improves customer service and satisfaction markedly. The goal is not to replace your current systems, but to supplement them to improve your customer service. Thus, think of it as an extra tool in your toolbox.
And remember, delighted customers are returning customers, so upping customer service and satisfaction increases customer retention and revenue.
What About Chatbots?
The next question is: If you invest in a messaging service, should you also invest in a chatbot service? And here the answer is a resounding yes. AI chatbots are a natural consequence when you implement a customer service messaging system.
Think of it as putting your messaging system on steroids and expanding the benefits it already provides. In addition to the benefits messaging services provide, chatbots offer extra benefits like:
They free up customer service agent time by answering simple questions that would take far longer on email or by phone. Agents spend up to 70% of their time answering these simple questions, and by eliminating them, they have more time for complicated issues.
They answer customer questions and solve their problems quicker. No one can deny that computers are far quicker than humans, so the chatbot can sort through answers at lightning speed and give the customer the answer they need when they need it. This also means customers don’t have to wait for an email or an agent to come online to get the information they asked for.
They save you money. Chatbots aren’t paid a salary, so if they work effectively, there’s no need to hire more agents to expand your customer service team. This makes them a cost-effective solution that saves you money over time.
So, in short, yes you should definitely consider investing in a chatbot as part of your customer service messaging solution. The automation they provide can go a long way in streamlining your customer service and support efforts.
What Are the Benefits for My Customers?
By now, the benefits of messaging in customer support should be obvious. To sum up, it improves customer service in the following ways:
It’s simple and familiar. Customers already use messaging for their personal communications, so they don’t have to learn a new way to engage with you.
It’s always available. Customers can ask questions when they need answers and they’re not limited by business hours or having to wait for an email or callback to solve their problem.
It’s convenient. Customers no longer have to wait on the phone or rush to get an email to support out before the business closes. They can ask questions when it’s convenient for them.
Details of earlier conversations are always at hand. In other words, there’s no more guessing about what questions were answered and what information was given.
It can supply rich digital content. Unlike phone calls, messaging can provide customers with visual content like links to webpages, images, and videos to help them solve their problems.
Ultimately, this enriches and improves the customer’s journey, making them come back for more.
Why Is It Great for My Business?
Now you’ve seen what it means for customers, but probably the reason you’re reading this is that you want to know what it means for you, the business owner. It’s obvious that by improving the customer experience and increasing customer retention, you increase revenue. But what other benefits are there?
Some of these are:
It speeds up digital transformation. Messaging encourages customers to rely less on the use of phones, which is the most expensive channel, and promotes the use of digital channels. This, in turn, makes customer service operations easier to automate, especially when using chatbots.
It increases agent success. Agents can work together in teams and get advice from team members to solve customer problems. This also increases agent satisfaction and skill development.
It’s cost-effective. Solving customer problems quicker means messaging is cheaper, both directly and indirectly, than phone calls. Over time, this saves you money.
Now you can see that messaging is an essential channel for e-commerce customer support. It can add that extra punch to all your customer support efforts. But where do you start?
Mercury.ai offers a high-quality, all-in-one solution. Our platform provides messaging and AI assistants for your customer experience automation. It makes it easy to create, deploy, and measure Intelligent Virtual Assistants and Chatbots across multiple channels and languages.
It also enables you to provide impactful customer experiences on website chat, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger, and relieves customer-facing teams from repetitive service requests, and frees up agent time to focus on empathetic and complex use cases. This reduces costs and increases revenue.