First it took our calls, then it helped with our diaries and social lives so it was only a matter of time, and logic, before the mobile device took control of our shopping habits and wallets.
E-commerce accounts for about 30% of all retail spending in the UK, to a tune of more than £120bn a year – nearly double its value in 2017, according to the International Trade Administration.
A vast amount of e-commerce revenue is generated directly from website sales, or through social media. But a large proportion is made up of phone purchases, with customers still preferring to make an order and pay over the phone.
Outside of paying, just over 60% of customers say they prefer to call a business when they have an enquiry, even if the business is internet based. This preference towards phone calls for customer service and making some purchases highlights the importance phone calls still play in the world of online business.
But what is it about call answering for e-commerce that makes it so important, and so valuable for companies and customers alike?
Remove the barriers to purchases
A barrier to a purchase can be anything from a complicated checkout experience, to delays trying to make a purchase over the phone.
If something as simple as a phone call is costing your business money, getting a professional telephone answering service on board is a must.
Whether it’s customers being unable to find the information they need and not getting assistance over the phone, or not being able to make a purchase when they want, it’s only the business that’s going to suffer.
Face for Business provides excellent customer service for our callers when we are unable to answer any calls. Many of the calls that go through to Face for Business come from new clients who are making enquiries. Their PAs take details down accurately, as per our requirements, so we are able to call back with ease. Having an outsourced call answering service also allows our search engine enquires to be captured, ensuring that any new leads are called back. The service has proved to be seamless and we would not hesitate to recommend them.
Create a better customer experience
The customer experience is everything involved before, during and after someone buys what you’re selling. Any problems in the experience can lose you a sale, or result in a refund being issued.
Personalisation is a huge part of the customer experience today (customers are willing to pay 13% more for the same product if they get a great experience). And a big part of this experience will be what customers are greeted with when they pick up the phone.
An automated response or answering machine isn’t going to give customers the personalised experience that would make them pay more for the product. It’s more likely to make them go and spend their money with a competitor.
Respond to product enquiries
We’ve already established that when customers have a question about a product they’re more likely to pick up the phone.
Even with a website full of FAQs or a live chat, you’re still going to have customers who prefer asking their questions to a real person.
One of the reasons is that customers believe they’ll get a quicker response if they pick up the phone, rather than sending an email and sitting around waiting for a reply.
If you’ve got real people on the end of the phone who can give customers instant information about a product they’re researching you’ll be more likely to close the sale.
If the customer has to wait around for an answer, that’s time for them to find a better offer somewhere else, or talk themselves out of buying the item at all.
Around three quarters of shoppers describe themselves as “omnichannel shoppers”, meaning they’ll switch the way they shop based on the best way of getting the product they want. And that includes making orders over the phone.
Processing orders over the phone may not be as popular as it used to be in the days of catalogue shopping, but it still makes up a significant amount of profit for e-commerce businesses that use it.
Integrate with your CRM
You want a record of the conversations or communication you have with customers.
This data is central to the personalised experiences customers want and businesses say they’re committed to providing.
Integrating professional call answering with your e-commerce CRM ensures you’re always on top of customer communication and – based on the conversations being logged – can prompt you to offer particular offers or discounts to some customers.
For example, if a customer didn’t have the best experience with you last time, you could use your CRM data to target them for a special offer in order to get them back on side.
Phone answering service to complement customer service
When it comes to providing an excellent customer service for your new purchasers, having a complementary provision such as a phone answering service in place will ensure you stand out from the crowd, by providing a face/voice for your ecommerce business.
If you work in e-commerce and want to know more about our services, call us on 0333 323 1007 and we’ll be happy to have an informal chat about the options available to you. Alternatively, please do have a browse around our website.
13th November, 2023
Posted by Face For Business