More and more products are being sold online, and not just since the coronavirus pandemic. Online business models offer companies great opportunities in terms of scalability and are therefore interesting both in the e-commerce sector and for digital products. Companies that sell online should also digitize their customer service. After all, companies that are active online also appeal to an internet-savvy target group that should be picked up where they spend most of their time: Online.
Digital sales channels need digital customer service
Statista forecasts e-commerce sales (B2C) of EUR 97.4 billion for 2022 - a growth of EUR 10 billion compared to the previous year and almost a hundredfold increase compared to 1999. Offering digital customer service for digital sales channels is therefore only logical.
Channels for digital customer service
Digital customer service is provided via digital channels, for which the following are suitable
- Live chats
- Social Media
- Messaging apps
- Contact forms
- Knowledge databases and wikis
Despite these technological possibilities, many companies in the e-commerce sector still rely on the telephone hotline as a traditional support channel. This is despite the fact that companies have to bear high service costs and customers lose their nerve when they are put on hold. You can find out more about the advantages and disadvantages of the individual channels in the article Digital customer service channels: Picking up customers where they are.
5 reasons why companies should offer digital customer service
There are five reasons for this, both from a corporate and Customer view for offering digital customer service.
No or short waiting times
Anyone who has ever been stuck on hold with their mobile phone provider knows how important short waiting times are. With digital customer service, these are practically non-existent as they are delayed. As a customer, you can simply contact the support team by email or chat message and they will respond to your query as soon as capacity is available. Continuous waiting for direct communication is therefore no longer necessary, leaving time for other tasks. If both the customer and support are free and online at the same time, a direct exchange of messages is possible.
More satisfied customers
One McKinsey study on the topic showed that customer satisfaction increased significantly with the degree of digitalization of customer service. While 57 percent of customers who only received traditional support (telephone, salesperson, email, post or fax, callback service) were satisfied afterwards, 76 percent were satisfied with digital services (live chat, forum, FAQ, personal account, virtual assistant, social media). As satisfied customers are loyal customers who also make recommendations, this is a decisive argument for setting up digital service channels.
Convenience for customers and companies
Digital customer service can be used from anywhere thanks to mobile devices. This is a decisive convenience factor for customers. This provides numerous channels through which customers and companies can get in touch with each other.
Lower costs for companies
While a call center employee can only look after one customer at a time, several inquiries can be processed in parallel in live chat. In addition, technological options such as chatbots offer further potential savings. It is also possible to provide FAQs and automate frequently occurring inquiries in digital customer service. This allows support staff to focus on more complex issues and gives them more time to deal with them. This reduces the workload and increases employee satisfaction.
Digital customer service picks up customers where they buy
Explaining digital products over the phone is often difficult. If you have problems with software, for example, you can share screenshots via live chat or even start a screensharing session. This allows problems to be resolved much more efficiently.
There are numerous reasons for introducing a digital customer service from both a company and customer perspective. Various channels are suitable for this - each with individual advantages that need to be evaluated and tailored to customer needs.
However, traditional service channels should not be completely eliminated. If there are problems with the internet connection, for example, it is important to be able to contact customers via offline channels such as the good old telephone.
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