Some businesses are hesitant to invest in customer service and see it essentially as a necessary (but annoying) expense. This is a mistake. Although building an excellent support team and providing them with the tools that will help them effectively assist your customers does require an investment, it’s an investment that can have significant returns, especially in the e-commerce business. In fact, when done correctly, excellent customer support can actually increase your revenue.
So if you’re on the fence about investing in helpdesk software for financial reasons, it’s time to reframe your approach. When your support strategy includes a focus on increasing sales, the helpdesk platform you choose is essentially a tool to move you closer to this goal — meaning that it can ultimately have a positive impact on your overall revenue.
Why customer support is essential for e-commerce success?
No matter how straightforward your products are, how well-designed your site is, or how great your team is at their jobs, your customers are bound to have questions and run into issues. This is simply an inevitable part of running a business, and it’s why customer service teams are a staple in any business model.
They’re the people who assist shoppers in choosing the right products for their needs, remedying any issues with incorrect or defective orders, and making sure that any other concerns are handled appropriately. But with a well—planned strategy, your team can do much more than address questions and resolve customer issues. In fact, they can be an important asset in driving growth for your business.
That’s because as the few members of your team that get to interact directly with your customers on a regular basis, they have access to a valuable resource: your audience’s opinions. And given that your company’s success depends largely on your ability to cater to what your audience wants, this is a resource you shouldn’t overlook.
So as you build your customer service team, it can be extremely beneficial to train each member to ask the kinds of questions that uncover helpful feedback and provide opportunities to improve your business.
This is also where a helpdesk software becomes beneficial. Although it’s possible to have your team collect feedback in a designated document or form, this approach can quickly become tedious and difficult to pull valuable insight from.
But with the right helpdesk software, you can create a strategy for collecting and organizing information in a way that’s easy to access and understand — simplifying the process of using each piece of feedback effectively.
4 Ways a Helpdesk Software can Boost Your Revenue
With the right approach, a helpdesk can boost your sales and move you closer to your overall business goals. But if you’re not yet convinced, here are four concrete ways this addition to your service strategy can directly impact your company’s revenue.
1. Increase retention
One of the most important goals of any customer service team is to increase retention and reduce customer churn. After all, earning new customers is challenging — so it’s much more efficient to turn existing buyers into loyal shoppers than to rely solely on your ability to reach new ones. But driving repeat purchases often requires a bit more work than merely keeping your site up and running. And that’s where your customer service team comes into play.
After each sale, you should take a proactive approach to ensure that the customer is satisfied with their purchase. Today, most helpdesk platforms make this easy by offering tools for automated follow-up emails. This way, each customer has the opportunity to let you know about any issues they may have.
Then, if a customer is less than satisfied with their experience, your team can reach out to learn more and resolve the problem, whether that means walking them through the return process, suggesting alternative products, or simply apologizing for a delay.
Regardless of the exact action that’s required, simply taking action can turn an unhappy customer into a loyal one for your business. And it’s not difficult to see how building this kind of proactive approach into your customer service strategy can improve your retention rate — and have a direct impact on your ability to generate repeat sales.
2. Use feedback to improve products
As an e-commerce business, your success relies on offering products that your target audience wants to buy. Still, many business owners make their design and inventory choices without consulting any of the people who will (ideally) be purchasing them. And that’s often a mistake — especially when you consider how easy it is to include shoppers in the decision-making process.
For example, clothing retailer Everlane regularly asks for their customers’ input on product styles and colors on their social channels. Then, the results of these polls are often reflected in subsequent releases and restock.
So if you or your team are ever on the fence about stock or design decisions, asking your customers for input is an easy way to make informed, data-backed choices. That’s because instead of guessing what they’ll want to buy, you’ll be stocking your store with the products they’ve already told you they want to see more of.
And while the occasional Twitter poll can be a fun way to get answers, you can take a more streamlined approach by sending surveys on a regular basis. So if you choose a helpdesk platform that allows for automated emails, you can make this a standard part of your communication with customers — and build a database of preferences to help you make more informed decisions about your business.
3. Develop self-service resources
Every once in a while, a customer will contact your team with a complex issue you’ve never previously encountered. These types of questions require your agents to fully utilize their problem-solving skills to come up with a unique solution tailored to that customer’s needs. But this isn’t often the case.
Truth is a majority of inquiries involve the same few simple questions. Of course, the exact questions depend on your brand and products — but most customer service agents could easily list off the ones they get asked on a daily basis. Fortunately, you can reduce the frequency of these questions by adding resources to your site that answer common questions and enable customers to help themselves.
The most common way e-commerce retailers do this is with an FAQ page. For example, Everlane’s FAQ answers questions on everything from orders and shipping to sizing, sales, and third-party retailers.
This way, if a shopper is looking for an answer to a common question, they can find it without the assistance of a customer service agent. Plus, if a customer is hesitant to purchase because they have a question or need more information, these answers can remove that hesitation.
The more confident shoppers are those who are more likely to complete a purchase when they have all the details they need — driving even more revenue for your business, without requiring additional time from your customer service team.
4. Collect helpful feedback
In addition to input on product offerings, customer feedback can help you make better decisions regarding many different parts of your business. That’s why it’s a good idea to send surveys through the buying process.
You can ask for feedback on your website, brand, overall shopping experience, shipping, customer service, and virtually anything else you’re looking to improve. And even if you aren’t actively working on a specific part of your business, surveys can help you uncover the areas that have room for improvement. So if you aren’t yet sending them on a regular basis, you may be surprised about what you learn through customer surveys. Then, as long as you take the responses seriously and use them to improve the buying experience accordingly, you can work toward building an e-commerce store that’s in line with your target audience’s needs. And the closer you align with what shoppers are looking for, the more effective you’ll be in reaching your sales and revenue goals.
Customer service plays a significant role in every e-commerce company’s success. In its most basic form, it’s essential for addressing customer issues and concerns and solving any problems that may be standing in the way of their purchases. Beyond that, it also presents the opportunity to engage directly with customers on a regular basis to learn more about their preferences, needs, and opinions.
Then, you can use this information to make decisions that have a positive impact on your revenue. Much like virtually every other aspect of your business, this task can be accomplished much more easily and efficiently with the right tool. And in this case, that tool is helpdesk software.
With the right platform, you can easily collect helpful customer data, gain insight into your audience’s preferences, and take steps toward aligning your buying process more closely with their needs — all of which play a direct role in boosting revenue.