Why Online Communications Are Vital For eComm Success
Any successful eComm business needs to make sure that its potential and existing customers always have an open line of communications. It is often the difference between making a sale and not. Most people feel more secure about their purchase if they have someone replying to their questions no matter how trivia those questions may be.
Every sale you make because you set up proper communication channels could be worth 10x, 20x, or 30x that amount. This is because a sale should result in repeat business. That is if your product is worthy of a repeat sale and your sales channels are set up correctly as not to cause any delays.
What we are trying to say is, once the sale has been made, you will want to offer an awesome service to encourage people to feel satisfied and come back for more.
Some interesting stats (depending on where you look):
· On average a repeat buyer spends 67% more by month 31
· Repeat customers usually spend up to 33% more than new customers
· A loyal customer is worth 10x the amount of their original purchase
· Harnessing new customers costs 5x more than gaining repeat sales
· Repeat customers make up for 75% of eComm business sales on average
You can check out different stats all over the Wed just by typing in a ‘Google Search – Repeat Business Stats’. You will find tons of resources that give you different research stats and they all point towards the positive effects on your business when you drive repeat sales.
In this guide, we are going to look at some of the comms methods used by successful eCommerce businesses to:
· Create customer satisfaction
· First-purchase security
· Service Excellence
· Positive Brand Perception
Using Live Chat as a Sales and Customer Care Tool
Live chat is the most popular form of communications. If you have a popular sire that is fostering plenty of traffic, then having real-time comms in place to convert traffic into sales should be part of your sales strategy. As the saying goes ‘most things in life are not free’ and that includes customers. Yes, it may take up your time getting these customers onboard but, in the end, your profits will pay for your time.
Just as you spend time setting up your eComm store, devising a marketing strategy, and investing ways to get traffic to your website, you should also look to invest in live chat facilities.
In the beginning, you can man the live chat, while as your business grows, you can then start to hire people that can man your live chat interface on your behalf. You will also need to carry out some research because you will want to make sure your live chat is manned at peak times.
Using Skype VoIP For Out of Hours Support & Call Back Services
For out of hours or off-peak comms, you should make sure you have an email support address available. You can also offer a callback service asking which times would be convenient to call. To make this work just rent a Skype telephone number for the locations your eComm site serves and subscribe to the Skype monthly VoIP voice call package.
The subscription costs are extremely low, and if you can make an additional 10 or 20 sales a month using this tactic, then it is well worth the effort. Sometimes you may even see a call back come through and have the time to call the client immediately to answer any questions and drive a sale.
Check out the Skype online phone number deal here.
· Always have email support set up
· Use Skype phone numbers for areas your site serves
· Subscribe to a monthly Skype call package (VoIP)
· Think about how a ‘call back’ service may help drive sales
Using ChatBots for Out of Hours Support
A chatbot is much like having an FAQ section on your website but operates inside a live chat facility. It is effectively your business’s ‘out of hours’ or ‘offline live chat’ window that kicks into action as soon as you or your support staff log off the live chat system or if the system goes offline.
Using a mix of pre-set questions and answers and artificial intelligence, a chatbot will be able to understand the questions being asked and then send answers to the user. There are usually yes/no options too to make sure the question was answered correctly or whether the chatbot needs to come back with a different answer.
You can also use your chatbot data to update your FAQ section using questions discovered by the chatbot – this makes it the ultimate research tool. Questions and answers you may have missed out in your FAQ but discovered by your chatbot can be updated on both the bot itself and in your FAQ.
Today chatbots are so advanced they can help your business make sales on autopilot. They are especially useful if you do not plan on having someone man your live chat interface.
You can learn how to make chatbot interfaces here.
· Import/Export data using excel spreadsheets
· Artificial intelligence to detect Q&As
· Perfect for WordPress and PHP sites
· Offline customer support
· API that connects to CRM (Zapier, IFTTT and Integromat)
The chatbot does much of the FAQ work for your site visitors if they use it correctly. However, that does not mean that you should skip adding an FAQ section to your website. FAQs should be very well organised and continuously updated – as mentioned above, the chatbot is perfect for this.
You should use subtitles for each section of your FAQ, and a table of contents too. This will help people find the section relevant to their query.
Some very good WordPress plug ins will auto add tables of content to pages on your site for H2 and H3 headers. These allow people to click on the section in the table of content and the page will automatically bring the user to that section.
· Be sure to make your FAQ as detailed as possible
· Use drop-down boxes and +/- text expansion
· Ensure your FAQ page is indexed and on your site map
· Use subtitles to divide your FAQ into easy to locate sections
· Find plugins or code that auto adds an FAQ table of content to the top of the page
Subscriptions Sales & Live Chat
If your website offers monthly, quarterly, six-monthly, or yearly subscriptions, then having a live chat facility is almost a given. When it comes to repeat business, anyone inquiring is essentially a repeat customer for the long term.
It is so surprising to see so many websites out there selling subscriptions with no live chat support in place. If you are in a market niche whereby your competitors are not making use of live chat or chatbot tech, then this is your way into the industry.
Most people would prefer to speak with someone in real-time to make sure they fully understand what their subscription entails. About 80% of the time, this will result in a sale. If it doesn’t, the live chat is your chance to offer free trials and special deals that are not on the website.
You can get some great examples of how subscriptions work from personvernpanettet.
Assessing Your Current eComm Support
Sometimes even having a live chat will not help you to increase sales or the time taken versus sales being made may seem like it is not worth the time or the effort. However, the only way to find out is to perform a trial run. Just like you would A/B test ads or try out new advertising or social media platform, you should also test integrating live chat into your support channels.
In the beginning, it can be difficult to assess how your live chat affects the business in the long run. You may make 10 sales and not make a profit versus the time spent. However, take those 10 sales and wait to see if any of those customers become ‘regular buyers’. It will depend on your product whether a repeat sale is needed.
Also, once you make a sale, or once you have contact with a customer, you can get their email address. For those that do not result in a sale, try emailing special offers to that specific group of people along with any newsletter subscribers that have never made a purchase.
On top of this, those that do purchase, you will have their email and this is where you can start to upsell, send promos deals, or send emails with other add-on product suggestions to encourage another purchase.