It is generally agreed that the last couple of years have seen the rise of an ever increasing number of e-commerce portals, like Amazon, Ebay, etc., all over the world.
It is worth noting that the new-age businesses founded by young technology entrepreneurs have expanded into almost every possible category of products and services, including travel booking, digital wallets, appointment scheduling, grocery shopping, electronics, and so on.
Many e-commerce companies are currently providing customers with almost every single need that they can possibly have at the moment.
However, despite the fact that there are a number of these new-age enterprises which have achieved “cult status” in their nations of origin with multiple billion dollar variations, there have also been a number of them which have flopped.
Figures showing the growth of the e-commerce industry
In this highly competitive industry, newspaper reports and studies confirm that failures are fairly higher than successes in regards to this industry.
It is true that virtually all e-commerce firms work in a similar way on a basic level. There are 2 ways in which they operate, either they operate on an open market model or they execute their own inventory-based model.
In spite of the fact that e-commerce businesses tend to follow a more or less similar business model, how do successful ventures differ from unsuccessful ones?
Although technology is a non-negotiable factor that determines business success, experts think that after-sales service and customer support are some of the most significant factors that determine the success of e-commerce businesses.
The success of any e-commerce business depends in no small part on getting prompt and effective support from its customer care team.
As a result of consumer activism’s recent resurgence, individuals with dissatisfaction can greatly damage a company’s reputation by updating the widely embraced social media platforms with just a single comment.
Businesses looking to achieve a competitive edge in this extremely competitive market should adopt the best practices of client relations management in order to aid them in achieving this objective.
Therefore, I would like to say the following:
How Should We Outsource Support for E-commerce? When Should We Outsource Support For E-commerce?
The e-commerce sales cycle
Outsourcing this service is a tactical decision that needs to be taken very carefully and should be done only after careful consideration. As we said in the previous section of this post, in this section we will be highlighting five actions where outsourcing of customer service makes sense, specifically when it comes to E-commerce.
If you are starting a new company.
Assume for a moment that you are running a startup business. In the current situation, you have a small team of employees and you wish to focus on the core functions of your business for the time being.
Depending on your client base, you may be able to handle all customer service inquiries coming to your company just fine if the number of clients is still somewhat small. It’s likely that you will require more and more time to devote to your clients as the number of clients increases.
Research has found that 45% of Business to Consumer (B2C) clients are more likely to make a purchase after an impressive customer experience. There are 62% of businesses who are buying from other businesses, which is a stunning percentage rate.
Your startup venture’s success in its early stages can be directly attributed to the quality of customer care service you offer. Besides the channel you use for your customer service service, and the language that your clients speak, how difficult it is for you to provide service to them.
You might want to think about outsourcing if you have clients based in different countries, or if you use several channels to communicate.
It is crucial for any new business to receive a good level of customer feedback so that they can continually improve their products and services. Therefore, once you outsource, make sure you pick a partner who passes this feedback on to you, so you remain informed at all times.
You might require customer service in several languages if you need it.
Clients from all over the world might be a part of your client base. You need customer service agents who are able to speak your customer’s language if you want your client to have a great experience.
In the event that the queries will come in different languages and the volume of each language will be comparatively low, you should consider partnering with an outsourcing company that can provide you with a shared account representative.
This means that these agents can work on several projects at the same time, thereby reducing costs per project that are passed on to you, the customer.
Additionally, when you partner with a shared agency, you’ll be able to cover a variety of languages within the same budget as hiring one agent in-house.
In case you need multi-channel customer service.
As far as customer care is concerned, every single channel that is utilized is treated as a separate discipline. A social media channel is a bit different from a phone call, and an email is very different from a chat.
Channels require their own set of skills, as well as their own infrastructure. You should consider working with an outsourcing company well versed in providing support on this new channel, if you have plans to integrate a new customer care channel into the existing offering of your business.
You will be able to save time and money when you avoid investing in new infrastructure, as well as training new representatives for that specific channel.
If you need flexibility.
You may want to think about partnering with an outsourcing company if you anticipate large fluctuations in customer service.
Coaching and assisting representatives for short periods of time makes little sense.
In the event that your projects incoming volume drops, some of these agents can be re-trained to work on other projects, as various outsourcing partners already employ shared agents.
It is easy to scale up the number of agents once the volume returns to normal so that no call goes unanswered.
Get skilled individuals fast if you need them.
To be a customer care service representative, one needs to have a certain set of skills. If you want to be relied upon to represent your firm, you need to make sure that the individuals directly involved with your clients are outstanding at their jobs.
If you work with an outsourcing partner with experience in hiring customer service agents, you can be sure that they know what to look for in a new hire.
E-commerce companies can build their own customer support functions, but most prefer to outsource these functions to experienced outsourcing partners. An e-commerce company benefits from this simple arrangement in several ways.
Here are a few benefits summarized.
They get to focus on what they do best.
Clearly, e-commerce companies benefit from engaging third-party customer support services by reserving their internal resources for core functions such as analytics, data mining, marketing and sales, accounting, engineering, and more.
They are able to obtain industry-specific services.
In order to provide customer support to businesses engaged in e-commerce, it is necessary to adopt modern technology equipment and acquire a specialized skill set.
More than that, e-commerce marketplaces need a multi-channel customer care support contact center that includes SMS, e-mail support, live chat, and voice calls so as to provide a seamless experience to their clients.
A company that focuses on providing call center services, for example, will possess the necessary tools and resources to provide such services flawlessly to its customers, improving customer satisfaction scores overall.
They get to access specialized talents.
It is a dedicated function that requires experienced professionals to ensure that it is well managed.
E-commerce firms can benefit from outsourcing this function since they can gain access to well-experienced customer service agents without having to hire and train individuals internally.
The customers will be provided with round the clock customer service.
The 24*7 customer support helps to take care of the customer’s questions and complaints in a prompt manner, which improves the brand’s perception and results in an increase in business.
In addition to these services, a number of the customer care service providers also ensure that they manage feedbacks and customer reviews across all social media platforms and client networks.
Across all social networking platforms, these service providers train their employees how to track client feedback, respond to their questions, and make clients feel valued.
In this new era of social networking, where if one tweet or status update goes wrong, it may have a detrimental impact on the ability of e-commerce firms to generate revenue from their businesses, it is vital that e-commerce firms maintain their reputations.
They are well trained to provide the best experience to their clients by combining empathy with knowledge in order to understand the issues that a client might be dealing with after purchasing a particular product or availing certain services.
A customer support service provider’s employees are thoroughly and regularly trained on all the products and services they will be providing their clients with in order to serve their needs.
The customer support service providers have, in addition, enacted formal recognition policies for their employees with regard to order processing, registering requests, handling complaints and/or troubleshooting.
E-commerce businesses that use these services from certified and trained specialists enable them to deliver an incomparable level of service experience in a timely and professional manner.
Most of the established e-commerce companies and organizations are achieving their business objectives through outsourcing customer support functions to outsourcing partners. In light of this, startups and new e-commerce firms have been following the footprints of established markets.
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