Reduce the number of incoming customer service calls to your online business in order to reduce costs and free up employees to focus on customer retention.
Especially around the holidays, online businesses can experience a spike of calls to their customer service phone line. Since businesses may not have the resources to handle this surge in calls, it could lead to a decline in sales and customer satisfaction. Depending on the reason for the incoming call, the company also have may have to resort to providing customers with free upgraded shipping, free gifts or discount coupons, which will increase its overall costs.
By making some minor adjustments to the website, the company can experience the following benefits:
- Reduce the need for additional customer service employees;
- Reduce costs of receiving inbound calls;
- Provide fewer customers with discounts or freebies;
- Employees can spend more quality time with customers; and
- Increase customer satisfaction and retention efforts.
How to Reduce Customer Service Phone Calls
1. Highlight the shipping and return policies. Most customers will call customer service when they are uncertain of how the company handles shipping and returns. Provide this information on the order page, or otherwise have these links clearly visible in the header or footer. The more locations these links are displayed the better, so consider placing it in the header, product page, cart summary, and help/customer service pages.
2. Give realistic delivery estimates. Since businesses are unable to control the delivery date after the order is handed to the shipping carrier, they should allow for flexibility in case of delays. If orders normally take up to 14 days to arrive, then let customers know that during the holidays it could take 20 days. Allow customers to easily select expedited delivery options so that can have the opportunity for the order to arrive on time during the holiday season.
3. Provide tracking on shipped orders. If the customer is anxious about the order arriving on time or if it is delayed, they will call customer service. Companies that offer their customers tracking numbers for orders when shipped greatly reduce the number of these types of calls. Customers can personally track where the order is themselves and resolve any delivery issues directly with the shipping carrier instead of going through the company. This can be done by setting up the shopping cart and fulfillment center with real-time shipping.
4. Increase communications. The more you communicate with the customers, the less likely they will be to call customer service. For instance, when customers have trouble placing the order through the website, they will often follow-up by calling customer service to ensure it was received. Within the confirmation e-mail, provide the expected shipping and delivery dates. In addition, send another e-mail when the order actually shipped and when the order is delivered. This is especially helpful when customers send orders as a gift to someone else.
5. Vamp up the customer service section. Make sure the customer service section of the website includes frequently asked questions to the company. If the business is not sure what they are, ask the customer service employees to brainstorm a list or have them begin to keep track. Some common information to include in this section are:
- Shipping policy;
- Estimated delivery times;
- Shipping carriers the company uses;
- If estimated delivery options are available;
- How shipping costs are calculated; and
- Refund policy.
Focusing on Reducing Customer Service Calls
In today’s world, time is a very important thing for businesses. They don’t want to spend most of their time in attending customer calls. The best thing that businesses can do to save time is outsourcing customer support. Companies like Wow 24-7 will take a great care of your customers and ensure customer satisfaction.
So rather than spending time on secondary activities, online businesses should focus on their website design to ensure that the information customers need is available on the website and can easily be found. By paying this additional attention to the website, it can reduce its costs and increase customer satisfaction.