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Customer Service is Key to Boost Online Sales

With online shopping becoming more and more popular these days — are you getting ready for Christmas season, do you — it’s critical for retailers to offer the best customer service possible.

As an extension to the “eConsumer Behaviour Report 2011– ContactLab/Netcomm”, we surveyed more than 1,700 online shoppers to find out what they feel the most important customer service features are.

The survey provided an in-depth look into what types of customers demand the most online customer service, what customer service features they look for and what makes customers more likely to stay online than switch to other channels.

The study found that consumers – who shop online for travel services, groceries, insurance, electronics, clothing and accessories and do it mainly from home (87%) – demand for contextual, real-time customer support. 57 percent of respondents who shop online find important the presence of a direct contact channel, more important than other buyers reviews on SocialMedia, Blog,Forum or feedback from family members of friends (45% respectively).

What Customer Service Features Customers demand more?

More than 50% percent of respondents said they actively look for support during shopping sessions, 53% in search of help from a product/service expert. Some looking for post-sales information (43% for delivery related issues, 30% related to warranty and return policies) or to get support in finding the right product or completing the order form.

Overall 75% of the surveyed population will increase its attitude towards eCommerce if he was offered an immediate and direct channel of communication with the seller

What Channel do they prefer?

Live chat, if available, is the preferred contact channel – 57% of preferences over a mere 35% that are willing to dial a tool free number – making customers more willing to ask for help; 32% will provide its phone number to receive a CallBack (26% at a scheduled time) and roughly20% are ready for VoIP calls or some form of Video-communication.

Being Proactive, does it hurt?

Customers seem to be very positive about proactive engagement, 35% of respondents will see it positively, an additional 20% will increase its buying attitude if offered live support. Only 2% will disappointed by the support offer leaving the site.

This research shows that consumers are becoming more appreciative of advanced methods of customer service. Channels that allow more open communication, such as live chat, not only provide a positive Customer Experience, but can increase substantially the conversion rate  while reducing product returns and overall customer service costs.

Interested in the full report? Send me a note gferranti@vivocha.com

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Topics: News, customer service, online customer engagement

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