How to reduce customer service costs

Topic: Customer Service, Retail
Image to represent cutting customer service costs

Ecommerce is expected to account for an estimated 22% of the total global retail sales by the end of 2023. Whilst this is great news for ecommerce businesses, it does mean the quality of your customer service is more important than ever.

But how do you do that when in ecommerce, where there isn’t the traditional opportunity to develop a positive in-person human-to-human experience? Here are some tips on how to provide a great ecommerce experience and simultaneously reduce customer service costs. 

Invest in personalisation

Winning your customers’ loyalty is becoming increasingly challenging. Personalisation is what can set your business apart from competitors because it’s no longer a “nice-to-have”, it’s now an expectation. In fact, according to McKinsey, 71% of consumers expect personalisation and 76% are frustrated if they can’t find it.

Personalisation can directly influence buying behaviour. Not only are consumers more likely to purchase from a brand that offered personalisation, but they’re also are more likely to repurchase. 91% of consumers are more likely to buy from brands that provided relevant offers/recommendations. And 78% of consumers are more likely to repurchase and recommend businesses that provided personalised experiences.

Here are some ways you can offer a personalised experience:

  • Tailoring messaging to your customer’s needs.
  • Providing relevant product/service recommendations and targeted promotions (e.g. based on purchase history).
  • Sending messages linked to key moments and triggers.
  • Celebrating your customer’s milestones (e.g. birthday, anniversary etc).
  • Sending relevant post-purchase follow-ups.

Give customers a chance to self-serve

From product-related queries to pricing quotes and order updates, there are many reasons why your customers might need to reach out to you. Encourage self-service – this will help your customers find answers to their questions more easily and quickly. And your customer support team will gain more time back to help resolve the more complex queries/issues.

Here are some example self-serve options:

  • A product knowledge base
  • Interactive training, explainer or demo videos
  • FAQs
  • Chatbots
  • A community forum

Automate repetitive tasks

Automation can help boost internal efficiency and reduce dependence on manual tasks. For example, you may find that customers frequently call to make payments. Rather than relying on your support team to take payments over the phone, offer a self-service option within your interactive voice response (IVR) system.

Another example is intelligent call routing, which can automatically assign the most qualified customer support representative to the case. This can help ensure your customer’s issue is addressed quickly and efficiently. And what’s even better is that you don’t need to allocate human resource to manage this process – it can easily be automated.

Use chatbots

The top factor consumers think contributes to a great customer experience is speed of response. In fact, 38% of shoppers expect a response to their queries or complaints within 3-5 hours. So, it doesn’t matter whether it’s outside of business hours – your customers don’t like having to wait for a reply. 

Chatbots are perfect for these scenarios as they can be available 24/7 and serve multiple customers at once. They’re great during business hours too as they can act as your first line of support, taking details and presenting customers with relevant resources that might help them before escalating the issue to your customer service team.

Tip: Analyse your customer data and see if there are questions that customers commonly ask. These questions can help you plan the conversational flow of your chatbot.

What good customer service looks like and how businesses can adapt

A prompt response from a friendly support rep that’s available round-the-clock – this is just one example of great customer service. But if you’re going to go beyond meeting your customer expectations, there’s more work that needs to be done.

In our eBook, The cost of frustrated customers, we present the latest data from our global customer engagement survey and explain how businesses can exceed expectations. Dive deeper into what makes today’s consumers tick and how your business can keep up by downloading your copy.

Author Avatar
Mayzin Han

Marketing strategist with 8 years of experience, 5+ of which in B2B tech. Currently the Senior Marketing Program Manager at Commify, I work closely with field marketing teams who sit across EMEA and APAC to strategise and create campaigns that meet customer and prospect needs. My background in content marketing means that I'm passionate about all things words, grammar and punctuation. In my free time, I like to run, box and torture myself at spin class because lots of cardio means you can eat what you want!