The pandemic has changed shopping around the world. Physical stores that once drew massive crowds are now looking to go online. But, the buying behaviours haven’t changed. Buyers still need assistance to shop and make certain purchases.
And in most cases, buyers will reach out to the brand itself, or the online store for assistance. This could be regarding anything from help to make that purchase, or details about the product itself.
Whenever a customer shops at a physical store, they are assisted by salesmen. A chat functionality on the store does a similar job for Shopify stores.
But the way a potential buyer reaches out the brand may differ from consumer to consumer. Some may use the live chat on the Shopify store, while others may choose to interact on social media or drop emails to them.
Customers tend to reach out on whatever platform is more convenient for them. Convenience of communication is all customers want.
But providing customer support and service on multiple channels is tough.
Brands have to keep a track of all the conversations going on all the different channels. This leads to confusion, very high response times and in general, a lot of conversion opportunities are lost.
Through this blog, we aim to bridge the gaps in customer support and service for Shopify stores. We will go through some challenges surrounding customer support today and how brands can leverage Shopify customer service apps like QuickReply.ai to counter these challenges.
Your Shopify Customer Support And Service Strategy
Remember, to each his own. Every Shopify store is different, the products you sell may vary too and your customers can choose to interact with you differently. The Shopify customer service strategy you implement needs to align with their preferences and what helps you talk to them seamlessly.
In most cases, having a Shopify customer support app like QuickReply.ai helps tackle most challenges and gets you started in minutes as well.
The Importance Of Offering Multi-channel Customer Support And Service
Online shoppers, much like all of us, are using multiple devices. And on those devices, they have access to a number of applications that can be used to interact with your brand. From mobile browsers that lead to your website to the various social media platforms they can use to engage with your content, or the age-old email that they can reach you on; the options are endless.
The thing is, the consumer expects brands to cater to them wherever they are. Be it for something like support or assistance they need to make a purchase or simply the ability to make a purchase.
And in order to fulfil customer expectations, it is imperative that online stores offer multi-channel support.
Let’s just say, if you are looking to build long lasting relationships with customers, it is important you are reachable on every channel they use.
And all for good reason.
Good service and support pays in terms of revenue, retention and reputation. 91% of retail brands use 2 or more social media and 52% of brands use multiple channels to communicate with their customers.
The Challenges Of Multi-channel Support
Even though multi-channel customer support is extremely rewarding, it can be tough to manage. Especially when you have a small team managing your Shopify store or you’re a solopreneur who has just started their business online.
Here are some of the challenges that Shopify store owners face when offering multi-channel support:
1. Difficult To Manage Conversations In A Timely Manner
When you have messages popping on every channel, anyone handling customer support will naturally have to prioritize. When they do that, the response time on other channels will go up. This is an extremely bad thing when it comes to customer support because your customers are not aware of how busy you are.
Nothing is worse than making the customer wait. And customers don’t take it lightly either. They either abandon your Shopify store immediately or start to talk about how negative their experience with you has been.
2. Difficult To Keep Track Of Conversation Status
Different channels follow a different theme of communication. And most channels are not optimized to work as a customer support platform. So, inevitably you have to manually track the status of the multiple conversations you are having across channels. This can be challenging, especially with inconclusive conversations.
Also, when using multi channel support, the customer might be routed to different channels. For example, a chat can be escalated to a telephonic conversation and that can be escalated to a video call. When this happens, both the customer and the person handling support can lose track of the context of the conversation.
3. Difficult To Measure The Impact Of Support On Your Brand Growth In Terms Of Sales
When you use multi channel support, the impact of your support is scattered across channels, and might be supported by different teams or people. With so many factors coming into play, it is hard to map the growth of your brand from the time and resources you invest in offering customer support.
It gets even more difficult to track the conversations that have actually led to concrete sales as well, leaving you no way to attribute the revenue to a channel.
When you don’t know what customer support channel gets you more sales, you’re left spreading yourself thin.
4. Difficult To Meet Customer Expectations
Not just response times, but a lot of other factors are involved in customer support. Simple things like paying attention to the customer can be lost during multi channel support.
As most customer support executives are juggling with multiple platforms, and talking to many customers, there will inevitably be a delay in response. But, there might also be mix ups and conversations that go unanswered.
But these are challenges that can be countered. With a little management and smart customer support and service Shopify apps like QuickReply.ai, multi channel support can be easily managed.
Let’s take a look at what you can do!
How to manage Shopify customer support and communication
1. Bring All Your Customer Support And Service Conversations To One Inbox
The reason why conversations are lost during multi channel support is because there is no common platform. You’re hopping from one channel to another to respond to incoming queries, and follow-up with those who reached out to you.
So the first and foremost thing to do when offering multi channel support is using a centralized solution like QuickReply.ai.
This common dashboard of sorts brings all texts and conversations from all platforms to one place; making it easier to manage and track all your ongoing conversations.
Centralize All Your Support Tickets In One Place
All customer data, including purchases, previous conversations, and other details should be available on one common page. And this page should enable you to address concerns related to any of the mentioned easily.
When you bring in all the conversations from channels like your Shopify storefront, Facebook, WhatsApp and more onto one platform, you get an overview of what’s happening. You are also able to address these queries without having to spend time switching between platforms.
This also lets you go back to conversation threads and identify common problems that customers face. You can use the data to fool-proof your storefront and the product descriptions you offer, to reduce the queries that come in too!
Offer Proactive Customer Support
Being proactive is a very important part of good customer support. So before the customer reaches out, you can use one of the chatbots from QuickReply.ai to start a conversation while they’re on your store.
For instance, if you see them hovering on a product page for too long, you can trigger a chat popup that simply lets them know you’re around. You could also use the chatbot to link to relevant articles or videos around the product they’re interested in to help them make an informed purchase.
Engage Interested Buyers In Conversations
If you have a centralized solution, it will also be easier for you to manage conversations around the campaigns you’re running. Especially if you’re launching a new product or coming up with a limited edition collection.
For example, if you’re running an ad campaign on Facebook and Instagram that nudges people to drop you a message; having a centralised customer support inbox like that of QuickReply.ai can help you manage this interest and intent in a timely manner.
Sales Support On Live Chat, Text And Social Media
Customers don’t always end up on your website asking for support when making a purchase. They might actually end up using a chat app if available or social media to reach out to you when facing pre-purchase anxiety.
They’re one step away from making the purchase. A timely response will get you the sale!
2. Automate Your Shopify Store Customer Support
There are so many random things that consumers will ask for support for.
But, over a period of time, you will begin to see a pattern.
Consumers will ask certain questions repeatedly. And to answer these questions you no longer need an army of live agents or be sitting at the desktop all day.
Instead, use chatbot automations using a Shopify app like QuickReply.ai.
Use A Chatbot To Address Common Questions
Humans will have to type out the reply once they process the query. Even if you use pre-made replies, a human actually has to select one and send it. Both of these scenarios take more time than an automated chatbot would.
An automated chat bot will work within a few seconds, and send out a reply. This is especially handy when you’re answering repeated questions.
For example, if an online shopper has a query around your returns policy, the QuickReply.ai chatbot can pull in your policy page and details and send it in seconds. The same holds true for sizing guides and more that you already have information available around or standard responses to.
Leverage Custom Automation Workflows
There will be times when certain queries will have follow-up questions coming in from the customer or even responses. In that case, you need to build out a custom flow of automated responses to address the query without having to step in.
For example, someone reaches out to you to ask about your return policy. A chatbot can reply to this query in seconds and also ask if the shopper needs more assistance. Based on the reply, the chatbot can further handle queries around ongoing discounts, product recommendations, shipping and delivery policies and more.
This also helps build a conversational flow on your chat instead of an automated one; reassuring the shopper of your availability.
PS. Chatbots are a great way to stall conversations during peak hours. A chatbot can be a buffer way of having a conversation with a potential buyer for the time it takes for you to come back to the conversation.
Step In When Required
Having a smart chatbot like QuickReply.ai enables you to have a two-way conversation with consumers without having to actually sit down and chat. But at the same time, it also makes it easier for you to jump in when required.
With the custom flows you create, you will be able to see where a customer query stands and join the conversation in a timely manner.
This is important for some consumers who may need more personal reassurance when making a purchase online.
Benefits Of Having One Customer Support Inbox And Chatbot Automation On Shopify
1. Shorter Response Times
The most valued benefit offered by chatbot automations is the shorter response times. When you give customers quicker replies, they feel as if they are a priority.
And consumers want to feel important, especially when they’re spending their money on your products. The quicker you resolve their queries, the faster they’re at when it comes to making a purchase decision - because now they know that you’re a brand that’s always around.
2. Improved Customer Experience
Giving them a good customer experience starts with being available to them, whenever they want.
Now, obviously, it is nearly impossible for you to remain online or be available across all channels. But, the chatbot is certainly always available and makes it easy to keep your brand active everywhere.
This improves your customer experience drastically. Especially when someone is at the stage of evaluating your brand for a purchase.
3. Reduced Live Agent Costs
Chatbots and especially those like QuickReply.ai that help you build two-way conversation automations, helps you reduce the cost of having live agents.
A chatbot is like having someone to handle live chat across all the channels 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You cannot possibly match that with a team of live agents, and if you do, it’d cost you way more.
4. Keep Track Of Conversations
With a chatbot you always stay atop your game. Even when a live agent comes in, the automation has already collected basic information required to solve the query.
This makes it easier for you and the team to process the query and reply with an optimized answer in a short period of time. Consumers love it when you understand their concerns faster!
What’s more? You can also easily keep track of the status of conversations across all channels with an app like QuickReply.ai.
So that you can allocate your time and resources better, instead of dwelling on conversations that are no longer warm.
5. Flexibility To Join Conversations
And obviously, you or the live agent get the choice to step into the conversation whenever required.
If the chatbot is unable to solve the query, a pop up will be given to the customer to escalate the chat to a live agent. Or in some cases, you can be looped in by the chatbots, when they are unable to process a query.
The chatbot notifies the live agent whenever they are unable to process or answer a query.
Saves you a lot of time, keeping your focus on only conversations that need human assistance or information that is already available on your Shopify store.
6. More Conversations
When you have one inbox to manage conversations and a smart chatbot like QuickReply.ai to tackle half the queries, you’re able to have more conversations with consumers.
Most Shopify stores either are skeptical of offering support across multiple channels or do not leverage a live chat, simply because of the inability to handle the volume of queries. And they definitely do not want to leave a conversation midway.
A smart combination of a chatbot and one inbox enables you to have more two-way conversations with consumers.
Do You Really Need To Offer Customer Support On Your Shopify Store?
Gone are the days when customer support and service meant resolving queries. It is now an active channel that bridges the gap between brands and consumers, enabling a two-way conversation between them.
A study suggests that talking to your customers can lead to a 48% increase in revenue per chat hour and a 40% increase in conversion rate.
Considering that the average conversions online stores see is merely 2%, that’s an opportunity you do not want to miss.
Q1. How important is managing customer communication for CRM?
Ans: Good customer communication management ensures that all correspondence with any customer is understood and coordinated through a centralized effort. It also helps to increase communication efficiency, as many businesses use thousands of documents to communicate with their customers.
Q2. What is the importance of effective communication in customer service?
Ans: Effective communication enables businesses to build trust with their customers and clearly articulate their needs, expectations, and challenges. It can improve client relationships and potentially add more leads to the business.
Q3. What are the top 3 elements of excellent customer service?
Ans: Basically, the three "p"s of professionalism, patience, and a "people-first" mindset are the three key components of good customer service. Although each customer's experience with customer care is unique, as long as you're adhering to these rules, you're on the correct path.
Ready to see how you can manage live chat, customer support, and service all in one place?
Install QuickReply.ai on your Shopify store today.