6 Customer Service Trends for eCommerce Brands in 2022


Published: | By Tim Ferguson

There's massive competition in the eCommerce space. To stand out amongst the worldwide ecommerce industry that is bound to become a $5.55 trillion market by the end of 2022, you need to put in some effort. And one of the many ways to make a difference is to provide customer service that helps build loyalty and drive sales through positive word-of-mouth.

Customer service in ecommerce is all about matching (or even surpassing) customer expectations, providing value through meaningful interactions, and helping customers overcome challenges. It is one of the best ways to differentiate yourself in the market and steal your competitors' unhappy customers

But the question is — how can your eCommerce business match up to such growing customer service demands? A survey suggests that around 73% of consumers emphasize customer experience (CX) when making a purchase decision.

Now that consumer services are pivotal to ecommerce business growth, you also need to keep a tab on the trends that emerge every year. It may sound challenging, but it is necessary if you want to exceed customer expectations and drive more sales in the longer run.

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Here, we share some of the top industry insights on customer experience strategy for ecommerce businesses. Take advantage of industry insights, capitalize on timely chances to fulfill customers' most urgent requirements, and build a customer experience befitting today's knowledgeable consumer.

Let's get started with 6 top customer service trends for ecommerce brands in 2022.

#1. Adopt the mobile-first approach

It is 2022; mobile is inevitable, and so will be a mobile-first customer service approach. Mobile devices are allowing customers to connect with your business on the go. This means your ecommerce customer strategy should emphasize placing your customers' needs on mobile devices as a top priority. It also implies that your business needs to prioritize mobile app and mobile web capabilities above the desktop version.

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Your customer support team's performance and efficiency are directly tied to the success and efficiency of your mobile channel. This means you need to gauge customer satisfaction by knowing how quickly problems are resolved over the phone.

Also, are you giving your customers an option to download an intuitive ecommerce mobile app of your brand so that they can directly approach a query for a particular order? If not, you need to consider creating one and provide quick help through the mobile app itself.

#2. Personalize your customer service

More personalized responses to customers would mean improving your chances to drive more sales. It is because ecommerce buyers are 60% more inclined to purchase from those who offer personalization. A Forrester study suggests that businesses prioritizing personalization saw a 33% boost in customer loyalty and customer engagement. Examples of this approach include addressing consumers by name in correspondence, acknowledging their past purchases, thanking them for trusting your brand, etc.

Customer service would need you to put the customer before your brand and offer them more beyond the face value of purchased products. It doesn't matter whether you use chatbots, email templates, phone scripts, or other customer service software to automate your services that ensure personalized touch.

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And as more retailers flood into the online marketplace, one of the best ways to stand out among the masses is to make your customer interactions more human.

Technology has made it simpler for your business to collect customer data and automatically create a customized experience. Your customer service executives can offer support tailored to each customer's particular issue and situation by leveraging the right personalization tools. This approach will help them resolve customer issues faster, eliminating time lost in taking the 'trial-and-error' approach.

#3. Offer omnichannel support

A wider customer base means providing as many channels as possible for them to connect to your business. If you are generating sales through your Instagram ads, Facebook ads, or using TikTok ads for eCommerce, you have to be present on each of those platforms and address customer queries.

Therefore, omnichannel customer service is almost a 'must-have' in 2022. A Forrester research suggests that around 80% of consumers will see the world as "fully digital" by 2022. As a result, digital technologies now permeate almost every aspect of our lives.

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Also, omnichannel support (including phone calls) opens up the opportunity to reach wider audiences, especially customers who cannot access internet touch points due to a lack of digital literacy. The year 2022 demands that providing a variety of ways for customers to contact you helps streamline their experience at various times in their journey. 

When it comes to customer service, having an omnichannel strategy gives you the flexibility to meet the needs of your consumers no matter what channel they choose to reach you. Social media messages are handled just as efficiently as live chat on websites, and customer service representatives at call centers are no different.

#4. Emphasize real-time support

Customers want to see the needle move, and therefore you need to emphasize speed. They have come to anticipate more rapid responses and assistance, especially when big brands like Amazon, Alibaba, Rakuten, etc., can do so.

 Around 79% of social media users anticipate a response within an hour after posting or messaging, while another 32 percent want a response within 30 minutes, and 11 percent want a reply instantly. This means that if you are going to be at the top of the customer service for your ecommerce business, you need to be fast.

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With chatbots and other real-time support systems, customers may anticipate rapid responses because of their purpose. You can move beyond simply acknowledging the customer concerns and instead faster resolution as that is what they care about. Chances are, only a handful of customers may get their queries resolved, especially when they are easy ones like warranty questions, product information, etc. 

For example, customers may inquire about the status of their express air freight shipment and providing such an update with an AI-powered chatbot or human customer support representative can go a long way in enhancing customer service. Such specific customer queries need human attention fast. And therefore, the year 2022 will demand you to pivot resources that enable speedy and effective responses to customer queries.

#5. Offer customer self-service

The days of relying on a phone call to get an answer to a query are long gone. Customers are ready to leap into the world of self-service. SOTI's research suggests that nearly 73% of customers prefer self-service technologies to enhance their retail shopping experience. This means many customers have come to anticipate this from your company.

Customers do not want to hold phones and wait for their turn to speak to a customer service representative. Also, they can do away with waiting for hours on social media to get a response. If customers want a speedy response, they are ready to help themselves.

Customer self-service can take many forms, such as creating a knowledge base packed with user manuals, step-by-step guides, how-to videos, and FAQs. Also, when it comes to lodging a complaint, you can offer customer booking portals (for appointment scheduling), chatbots, and tracking portals, among others.

#6. Integrate Artificial Intelligence (AI) to drive Automation

A customer service strategy in 2022 is incomplete if you do not leverage bots for customer care. Customer service bots are on the rise, allowing businesses to give round-the-clock help through automated responses and helping customers solve technical problems. You can use AI chatbots to automate many customer service processes to ensure 24/7 self-service that guarantees a better return on investment (ROI) than hiring a dedicated staff.

Chatbots are a cost-effective way to answer consumers' most frequently asked questions. Also, a CNBC analysis suggests that chatbots can save company expenditures by $8 billion by 2022.

 Blending AI with Machine Learning (ML) would mean meeting customers' expectations of quicker, precise, and personalized resolution to queries. ML adapts to growing customer questions and can mimic human interactions by leveraging predictive analytics, behavioral patterns, smart routing, etc.

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Predictive analytics uses data from prior customer encounters to predict future outcomes in customer service analytics. Automated ML can identify when a consumer needs help when purchasing on your ecommerce site, ensuring you stay ahead of the curve. 

Moreover, you can also leverage ML to identify and contact prospective customers before they contact you to improve post-sales and the overall customer experience.

Over to you

Your retail ecommerce customer support team should review their operations and plan better ways to stay more efficient with customer service in 2022. The necessity of customer service in ecommerce has never been more crucial for brands to succeed at a larger scale and craft their identity. Customer service trends for eCommerce companies in 2022 and beyond are bound to be heavily influenced by personalization, omnichannel support, real-time support via AI & ML, and self-service.

eCommerce customer service is also more about innovation than bringing in the right technology and tools. Your business can provide excellent service by becoming more responsive to your customers' needs and training your customer-facing teams to uplift your overall CX game.

 

 

 

author photoAuthor Bio -  Tim Ferguson is a writer and editor of Marketing Digest. He helps marketing agencies with SEO, link building, content marketing, online reputation management, and blogger outreach. When he is not writing and editing for Marketing Digest, he spends time learning more about content marketing and getting better at it.

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