I was shopping online for the PERFECT dress that just so happened to be offered on two competing sites. However, I was concerned that the dresses wouldn’t arrive on time for a particular engagement. I needed assurance. One site had a ‘chat now’ button. I clicked it and quickly had my question answered instantaneously by a prompt customer representative. I bought the dress five minutes later. The other site, which did not host live-chat capabilities, found the same dress (which even happened to cost every-so-slightly less) abandoned in a cart, forever lonely and unworn by yours truly. This unfortunate situation happens all the time. Information is power and response time is key to seizing the momentum of a buyer on the cusp of buying. Our goal is to establish how this can be done efficiently and effectively. Read on to discover how to reply to your customers as quickly as possible.
How Fast Is Fast?
Today I can find a cure for any ailment in under 30 seconds with a Google search. I can also choose one TV station out of 500 in under a minute. We move fast. In a study done by LivePerson in 2013, 73% of online buyers say that getting their issue resolved quickly is a necessary factor for a great online experience. Another MIT study shows that allowing more than a five minute lapse is the de facto point of disengagement. Meaning, after five minutes is when the company begins to lose the interest of any potential lead. Five minutes? That’s fast. Let’s discuss how we can make this happen and keep potential customers.
It isn’t feasible for all companies to provide 24/7 customer service, so for the rest of us there are always automatic responses. This practice can buy you some extra time until you can get your customers some personal interaction. Although this practice was once reserved for big businesses, automation during the sales process is now readily accessible to almost everyone. The best part about automation is that you can use it in many different points of the sales cycle; welcome, reminder about their cart, reengagement, and special promotions and offers. My favorite automated responses are ones that feel anything but generic. They reflect the companies’ values and personalities. Most importantly, these messages should let the customer know exactly when they should expect to hear back from a customer representative, whether it be one minute or one hour. Setting clear expectations is pivotal to transparency and meeting your customers’ expectations.
According to Econsultancy, 24% of people prefer to communicate via live chat; 79% of these consumers want their questions answered immediately. Once more, according to BoldChat, 66% of customers had a positive experience while using Live Chat. It’s important to note that just because you have Live Chat, it doesn’t mean that someone needs to be monitoring it at all times. You can also create a personal automatic response for the times when you are away. As a final note, keep a written record of what your customers are asking about, which will make it easier to integrate these changes on your e-commerce site.
Think about the last time you were stressing about getting a response — healthcare inquiry, car insurance claim, passing a test, getting accepted into a program. Now, imagine that you KNEW you were going to get the answer in under 24 hours. How awesome would you feel? This is what your customers want and clearly they want it now. So get out there and give these tactics a try.