2013 will be the biggest online Christmas shopping year in history, many expecting the £10bn mark to be passed.
With the opportunity inherent, companies face challenges, from shipping to staffing.
But during and after the sales are made, customer service becomes one of the main headaches for companies. If an omnichannel strategy is missing, cue disappointed and increasingly vocal customers.
The customer service expectations of consumers in the UK and beyond has been revealed by Zendesk in a study polling 7,000 people in seven countries. The participants were aged 18-64, with 1,000 surveyed in each of the U.K, U.S., Australia, Brazil, France, Germany and Japan.
The data suggest that British customers demand the highest-levels of customer service in Europe. The data also reveal much about preferred communication channels and what good customer service can do for a brand.
According to a study from Adobe, in 2012 repeat shoppers made up just 8% of all site visitors in the US yet they accounted for nearly 41% of total online sales.
So bearing in mind the fact that it’s also cheaper to keep a customer than it is to attract a new one, businesses need to be working hard to keep shoppers satisfied and give them a reason to return.
With this in mind, I’ve rounded up 11 ways in which ecommerce retailers can improve customer retention.
Every so often a customer or user encounters a process, or experiences an interaction, that makes them feel all 1990s.
It makes them feel like the whole world has moved on, leaving only them, stuck, trying to find a black biro, or trying to communicate with a customer services department.
On the Econsultancy blog, there's been much talk of digital transformation. One of the most startling changes, cross-sector, is the almost complete agreement that web operations must be completely customer focused, as should the rest of business be.
So when, at Econsultancy, we receive the occasional notice of a disputed payment from a Barclaycard or AmEx customer (as do most online businesses), asking me to fax or post back information, I rant and tramp around the office, shouting 'can't we just ****** email it?!'
Why do we have to do this? Is this an indicator of a false dawn; an indicator of how far we have to go until the customer is the number one priority?
Ok, this is going to be a boring article about faxes, but at the heart of it is the 21st Century assertion that 'you must be where your customers are'.
It seems that everywhere I look this month I’m reminded of a major and growing trend that’s increasingly impacting the way that every business needs to think.
It’s this: customer expectations are rising faster than a bunch of helium balloons on a calm day. Especially when it comes to digital.
What does this mean and how can you go about meeting and managing your customers’ expectations?
Here are some of the most interesting digital marketing statistics we've seen this week.
Stats include paid digital media, mobile commerce, social marketing, Asian marketing budgets and EE's dreadful customer service.
For more digital marketing stats, check out our Internet Statistics Compendium.
In this post I’ll be looking at the growing importance of self-service. I'll look at some brands that do it well, and some that don't, and offer advice as to what self-service entails.
Research recently carried out by Zendesk indicates that over 50% of customers want self-service and 67% prefer self-service to speaking to someone.
Combine this with the fact that self-service is cheaper than web chat, which itself is significantly cheaper than a running a call centre, and it's definitely a trend we'll see continue online.
An inevitable consequence of the push to achieve sales through multiple channels is that businesses must also be prepared to deliver multichannel customer service.
Poor levels of service can ruin the overall shopping experience and mean that the customer is lost forever, so online, in-store, mobile and all other channels must work together to deliver an excellent overall customer experience.
New research from eDigitalResearch examined how consumers prefer to contact companies and then compared the various response times and satisfaction levels.
The survey asked more than 2,000 UK respondents how they expect to be able to contact a business - 92% selected email, followed by telephone (71%) and by post (45%). Fewer than one in four (22%) said live online chat and just 11% said social media.
Social customer service gets more interesting by the day. Increasingly, customers demand it, and brands can benefit from answering questions publicly.
Our Social Times recently published some reflections on social media monitoring for customer service. I've taken some of the tips from Ronan Gillen, Community and Social CS Manager at eBay, and listed them below for your convenience.
I’m always impressed just how much eloquence is there for the mining on Quora. I guess it makes sense, as good answers are upvoted and people answer questions that rev their engines.
Suddenly, there’s a clarity to most threads that is addictive in its intense scrollability.
So I searched for ‘customer experience’, to see what I could find to report back with, and to shape a proto-strategy for a transforming business. Most of the interesting stuff I found can be seen more as comment on customer service, and specifically its social dimension.
Real-time customer service and in turn, marketing, are hard to achieve. The first step is acknowledgement of what Generation Y is actually doing to your market.
I attended Social CRM 2013 last week, hosted by Our Social Times. From some of the talks I got this feeling: we’re still on a long hike towards transparency in business, but there’s no doubt lots of companies are striding out.
In this post I wanted to collate some of my highlights of the conference. Social media isn’t the only thing changing business, but it’s a useful crucible in which we can see the spark of emerging values.
Creating value for customers, supporting them fully, and being an interesting brand are challenges which, of course, persist.