Research Shows Retailers Can Benefit From Providing Optimal Online Experience
January 10, 2008
Customer service has involved a lot of different approaches, tools and venues over the years. Most recently, customer service has evolved into the several channels and in order to remain competitive, a company must be able to deliver quality service in each of these channels.
eGain predicts that online customer service will be at the top of the retailer’s agenda in 2008. UK consumers spent more than GBP17 billion online last quarter, as according to IRMG, retailers will need to develop a robust online customer service strategy to ensure that they maintain and capture this increase in the market.
Research previously conducted by eGain found that 57 percent of UK companies offer little or no Web self-service and one in three customer e-mails are ignored. The same was true on Christmas Day when shoppers found there was a lack in customer service when trying to purchase online.
In order to allow the retailer to realize the full potential for customer retention and revenue growth in this area, online customer service needs to be a key focus for retailers in 2008.
"Since more and more customers are opting to purchase online, retailers need to provide the right services to not only retain customers, but grow the size and frequency
of their purchases. Also, by providing effective customer service online, retailers are able to cut the costs of servicing customer via the contact centre," said Andrew Mennie,
General Manager and VP EMEA, eGain, in a company statement.
In order to improve customer retention and revenue growth, retailers must look at areas such as reducing shopping cart abandonment; increasing the size and frequency of online purchases; and minimizing incoming customer service calls.
More and more of the mainstream population is researching and seeking customer service online. As a result, UK companies will need to ensure that they are providing the robust integrated applications for both traditional and emerging electronic channels, such as e-mail, Web self-service, chat, co-browsing and SMS.
For those retailers that are adequately servicing their customers and providing an exceptional online experience, calls into the contact center should be minimized or even eliminated.
Of course, the contact center will always serve an important role for the company, but if a quality experience can be delivered without involving the contact center, the retailer can save money and free its contact center agents to focus on bigger orders or more important accounts. In doing so, the retailer can maximize the online experience for the customer as well as optimize the operation of the contact center.
Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMC and has also written for eastbiz.com. To see more of her articles, please visit Susan J. Campbell’s columnist page.
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