E-commerce: Humanization in Online Customer Service
By Lemuel Cintra, BoaCompra's Customer Relationship Manager
Fast paced market, short deadlines and a demand for precision is the scenario where e-commerce grows vertiginously. Don't forget, however, that your client is human, and he/she needs to relate to people in your online customer service.
Since post-sales service became a competitive differential, even as a survival condition for several businesses, companies around the world are investing lots of time, money and energy in artificial intelligence and automation. The main goal is to increase efficiency and precision at the customer care structure.
Tools such as CRM, RPA, APIs are all connected and integrated in social media and even bots rose as a good solution to access clients and important data about them. Quick responses promoting retention, reducing operating costs and avoiding any flaws are some benefits of implementing automatic solutions. There is no doubt that technology is important to increase productivity and bring more agility to service. However, there is another essential element that goes beyond technology: humanizing the whole process.
Humanizing Customer Service
According to STARTEK´s U.S. Customer Engagement Survey (2017), 85% of people prefer to talk to a service agent over an IVR or a chatbot. It is our nature to search for more personal interactions: eye to eye talks, emotions during a conversation, the subtlety, the feeling of identification and complicity. This level of connection allows you to build trustful relationships and reinforce your client’s preference towards your company, your brand, your service or product.
The key point of humanized online customer service is empathy. Calling your client by the name, for example, creates an unconscious perception of care, giving the idea that whoever is on the other side of the phone call or screen – your staff – is really interested in solving and listening to their story. The availability, the commitment to really help, the correct – and indispensable – alignment of expectations related to process, deadlines and deliveries are also fundamental to offer a remarkable experience of customer service.
When realizing that the support agent does not follow a script and communicates with enthusiasm and spontaneity, the customers lower their defenses and allow a real connection. When the clients notice that someone on the other side feels their pain, interacts with emotion, celebrates a problem reaching its resolution, the initial scenario of “conflict” turns into a relationship of collaboration. The conversation changes towards two people working together to find a solution with real value, especially for the client.
Why Customer Service is key
Whenever a customer searches for support, at any time, by any means, there is a need to be satisfied. If the client doesn’t feel his/her problem is solved, the relationship becomes fragile, the bond loosens. According to Accenture´s Strategy 2015 Global Consumer Pulse Research, 64% of consumers already switched brans or suppliers because of poor costumer service.
The only way forward, indeed, is to guarantee that the solution is delivered in a caring way. It is imperative to listen actively, anticipate deviations or risks, propose alternatives, proactively follow the evolution of the case, confirm the resolution and, finally, measure customer satisfaction.
Each contact matters. Every interaction is a “moment of truth” when the client adds more perception about your business: an advertisement, comments in social media, a visit to the office, an answer via email or a phone call support. Our biggest challenge is to offer the client a relevant experience with human interaction in a way to strengthen the relationship. If we can combine the many benefits of technology and the unique and essential trait of personalized relations, we will win the customer’s affection and admiration.