You probably already know that a great customer experience is a critical factor in driving more sales, building more customer loyalty, and generating referrals from your existing shoppers.
In fact, 73% of shoppers say that a great customer experience is a key consideration in deciding where to buy products. The most important factor to customers is efficiency. They want to make sure that they can complete their goals quickly and easily.
That’s where process automation can play a big part in helping your brand meet your shoppers’ needs. Automated workflows empower shoppers to answer questions and make changes to their orders independently, without waiting for live support to assist them.
Learn more about how to optimize customer support in The Future of Shopper Experience
If you’re considering strategies for automating your customer support, here are some key technologies to consider:
Chatbots are AI-enhanced bots that use machine learning to answer common shopper questions. They can also guide shoppers through the completion of common tasks involved in the ecommerce journey.
Chatbots can also provide support with answering common questions, even if the answers are customized. For instance, if a shopper is seeking information on when their order will be arriving, they can provide the chatbot with their phone number or order number to find out the order’s status in your brand’s system.
With chatbots, you can provide automated scripts to answer questions, or direct shoppers to articles and video resources on your company’s website. They can also make it far more efficient in the event that a shopper does need live support, by gathering necessary information up front and routing the shopper to the right support representative to solve their problem. That enables your CS agents to focus on high-priority and complex needs, so that they can deliver the best outcome to shoppers.
A helpdesk solution often includes chatbots, but can provide a broad, comprehensive integrated platform for managing customer support across all of the channels you use. With a helpdesk, you can set up integrations that enable you to view and respond to each channel’s messages on one centralized dashboard. Helpdesks make it easy to view a shopper’s entire journey in one view, so that CS agents will be able to see their messages in context to deliver the best possible response.
You can also use a helpdesk to set conditions that allow you to automatically review, respond to, and close support tickets. You can do this by providing multiple choice options for shoppers and automated snippets that respond to each question. Helpdesks also provide detailed data analytics, so that you can review which agents are closing the most tickets, average ticket response time, and other factors.
IVR phone systems
Interactive voice response (IVR) solutions refer to voice recognition software that shoppers can use to complete tasks by phone without waiting for a human operator. You can set up an IVR solution to help shoppers quickly answer questions about order status, manage their subscriptions, and complete a variety of other tasks. IVR eliminates the need for shoppers to wait for a customer support rep and keeps wait times short.
IVR provides shoppers with access to pre-recorded messages on a range of topics, as well as the ability to get access to automatically generated customized messages based on data inputs, such as getting an account balance by entering a shopper’s phone number or loyalty card number.
Automated messaging solutions
Automated messaging solutions, including transactional messages, are important for ecommerce brands that need to regularly update their shoppers on order and shipping status.
If a shopper doesn’t get a shipping notice right away, the onus shouldn’t be on them to follow up with customer support to find out where their item is—they should immediately receive an email or text message letting them know about the delay, with a new delivery estimate. When the order ships, they should receive a shipping notification, and they should receive another message both when the item is scheduled for delivery and when it arrives.
These automated messages support a great customer experience—while helping you save time and money on additional customer support resources.
Automated returns management
All of these solutions provide support through the customer journey—but let’s not forget that it doesn’t always end when the package arrives to the shopper. In fact, anywhere up to 30% of products end up returned to the merchant, so it’s equally important to ensure that you’re able to deliver a great post-purchase experience that scales with your brand.
Shoppers who need to return or exchange items shouldn’t have to wait in a customer support queue. They should have immediate, self-support access to process their return or exchange independently, with all of the resources they need to complete the task available to them. Using a best-in-class returns automation solution like Loop, you can give your shoppers the option to process a return or exchange directly through an online portal from their computer or mobile device.
They’ll be able to answer questions about why they’re returning the item, so that your brand can automatically provide the right solution. Was the product defective? You can ship a replacement item. Was it the wrong size? They can exchange it for a size down. From there, your automated solution can give shoppers the option to print out a return mailing label so that they can return the package directly from their home or mailbox. Or they can choose to get a QR code to bring to a nearby drop-off center, where someone will safely repackage and mail their item.
Read more: 4 ways to improve the customer experience with automation
Automating the returns management process cuts down on your customer support needs. Shoppers can complete goals more quickly and painlessly, and beyond that, they’re likely to spend more with your brand. Loop merchants typically retain about 40% of revenue from returns, via exchanges and upsells.
Key benefits of automation in customer support
By adopting automated customer support solutions, you can streamline the customer experience from their first experience to the post-purchase process.
This approach cuts down on your customer support labor requirements, while also delivering a higher rate of customer satisfaction. This keeps you from tapping into your customer support resources for repetitive tasks. You’ll be able to bring your A-game for higher-level, more specialized requests that require customized customer support.
By incorporating automation to streamline common tasks in customer support, you’ll be able to scale your business more quickly and affordably—while delivering a superior customer experience through every step of the process.
Want to learn more about automating returns with Loop? Check out a demo.