Happy customers make successful companies, and in the eCommerce industry, a positive customer experience is the key to having the biggest advantage against competitors. In retail, customers consider a number of factors to determine if a company is doing well in terms of customer support services. Pre-sales support, fair pricing, order fulfillment, quick response times, and after-sales service are just a few factors buyers consider vital parts of a positive online shopping experience.
Nowadays, there is a wide range of online selling and shopping platforms that promise to make customers happy by providing convenient and personalized shopping experiences. and keeping every customer updated with the latest product launches and marketing campaigns. Shopify is one of the most trusted platforms for online sellers and buyers who want to have easy and affordable access to physical and online products, such as mobile apps, music and video, and more.
In this article, we will discuss Shopify customer service and how outsourcing your customer service functions can bring your business many benefits.
What is Shopify?
It is a Canadian multinational company that specializes in E-commerce. With its main headquarters located in Ottawa, Ontario, this E-commerce giant’s merchants cater to 4,000,000+ businesses in 175 different countries.
What specific businesses does Shopify carry?
As the number one E-commerce platform, they cater to a wide range of business types, though the majority focuses on apparel business and food. Here are some of the most common online companies that Shopify caters to:
- Clothing (streetwear, lingerie)
- Food (organic food items, spices)
- Sports equipment and apparel
How big is Shopify in the US?
A loyal customer base is obviously helping the new businesses grow, with $1.204B in the revenue game as of March 2022, according to the report. If you are a business owner who wants to put up an online store through Shopify, consider starting it with an excellent customer support system. Connect with your customers through a unique and effective communication channel like live chat support.
What are the most common customer service strategies for online businesses?
Some businesses hire a full-time and in-house customer service team to answer customer emails, answer customer support requests, and resolve customer problems. To ensure customer satisfaction, your customer service staff may use the following strategies:
- 24/7 live chat support to give real-time answers to customer inquiries.
- Customer service email to send promotions, product newsletters, and brochures.
- Store hotline for customer support requests.
- Help desk for customer support requests and technical issues.
- Dedicated customer service agents to accommodate issues under different categories (order processing, delivery, payment, refunds and returns)
How does customer service outsourcing work in Shopify?
Just like in other businesses, outsourcing customer service involves an agreement between an online business owner and a third-party service provider to take charge with the store’s daily tasks and to hire and assign a customer support team to build valuable relationships.
Apart from hiring human customer service staff members, you can also outsource the following customer service tools to control customer interactions and ensure high customer satisfaction:
- Online communities
- Discussion forums
- Social media
- Automatic callback
- Live chat
- SMS text support
- Self-service sites
- Knowledge bases
- Mobile apps
- Help ticket system
- Customer portal
Moreover, Shopify customer service comes in two types: Pre-sales and post-sales.
Pre-sales support is done before a customer comes up with a buying decision and involves answering inquiries and questions about a specific product. This type of support serves as a “trigger” to the customer’s buying decision and also an opportunity for a customer service specialist to offer new products that may capture the customer’s interest.
Post-sales support goes after customers received their purchases. Despite being a “follow up” service, post-sales support is crucial because this is when customer service agents and representatives get customer feedback to evaluate their performance and know the appropriate measures to avoid service-related problems. Most customer support teams use the following KPIs to evaluate their performance:
What are the steps in outsourcing pre-sales and post-sales customer support?
1. Set up a simple and accessible support channel.
If you own a startup business, you might get overwhelmed by the amount of service and support tools available in the online marketplace. In the case of startup business owners, the simpler their support channel is, the better.
While there are lots of available CRM and service channels, focusing on one or two types of customer support channels like social media support and email support can help your remote team and in-house team to make a dedicated schedule for answering emails and inquiries. Choosing an email platform with an email delegation feature can help you and your in-house team use the extra time to respond to every customer’s concern and properly delegate and prioritize incoming messages. Email delegation also minimizes the occurrence of repetitive tasks.
Check out the best email collaboration software and their key features that can help your customer support staff members reach more potential customers and take care of your existing customers.
You may also want to consider integrating a Shopify live chat app or subscribe to software with 24/7 automated chat features to fill in the roles of your customer service agents and representatives.
2. Hire an experienced support agent/manager.
If you want your team to focus on your company’s core business functions, hire a customer support agent or a manager who knows how to plan ahead. Below are the skills that you have to consider when hiring a customer service agent or manager:
- Strong customer service skills
- Critical thinking
- Problem-solving skills
- Conflict resolution skills
- Tech savviness
- Communication skills (both oral and written)
In outsourcing customer service, having an experienced in-house manager or agent is an advantage since he or she can share a plan and proposal for your remote team to adapt to, and can already create an effective customer support plan. A seasoned professional can also give expert insight to guide your business in designing strategies and techniques to give every customer a positive experience.
Should you wish to outsource your Shopify customer support manpower, including your team head or manager, make sure that you will be involved in the selection process to hire the perfect expert for your sales and marketing campaign.
3. Start with business hours support through a remote team.
To offer round-the-clock eCommerce customer support, extra time and manpower will be required. However, if you are understaffed but still want to maximize the number of resolved customer concerns and inquiries per week, you can work only within your business hours with your pre-sales and post-sales team. This can help avoid agent burnout and cut overhead expenses.
4. Invest in support systems: Training, knowledge base, automated emails, KPI reporting, etc.
To ensure that your agents’ knowledge and skills are still up-to-date with e-commerce trends, regular training programs and workshops can help. Invest in online customer service courses in Google via Google Career Certificates or LinkedIn.
Setting up a reliable knowledge base where your customers can view answers to frequently asked questions, common troubleshooting tips, and contact numbers is a proactive way of knowing and providing for the needs of your customers. Just make sure that your knowledge base is always updated with new information like changes in basic pricing, product descriptions, warranty policies, and payment methods.
Your customer service specialist should also be mindful of the set of metrics and key performance indicators (KPI) that agents should comply with to ensure that your eCommerce business is being carried out well by skilled and qualified individuals.
5. Expand your business to more channels and bigger manpower.
Once you have found your edge in the eCommerce game, it’s time for you to expand your business by reducing the personal tasks of your in-house agents and setting up new support channels and customer service tools. If you have extra funds, you can hire an in-house assistant for customer support, or add an outsourced customer service agent to your team.
Outsourcing customer service is a great way to scale your business effectively. This approach allows you to tap into the expertise of external professionals who are specialized in delivering exceptional customer experiences. Outsourced customer service agents can assist with various tasks like taking orders, addressing inquiries, resolving issues, and even managing social media platforms for enhanced engagement. By outsourcing these responsibilities, you not only scale your business more effectively but also gain access to a broader skill set that complements your existing team’s capabilities.
What are the benefits of outsourcing Shopify customer service?
1. Quicker response times.
One of the most important business goals that you should prioritize as a business owner is providing round-the-clock support to your clients. If this is not possible, prompt responses are the key to customer satisfaction. A survey found that 90% of customers rate an “immediate” response as essential or very important when they have a customer service question. 60% of customers define “immediate” as 10 minutes or less.
If you have outsourced your customer service specialist, your in-house employees can focus on revenue-generating activities while your customer support answers all of your existing and potential clients’ questions, complaints, and support requests. You also don’t have to worry about staff availability, because most outsourcing and offshoring companies hire in-house experts who can work under shifts and difficult schedules. This will guarantee 24/7 customer service and support to your clients.
2. Access to the latest marketing tools and technology.
Access to the latest marketing tools and technology is essential for creating and managing an effective customer service strategy. When outsourcing, you gain the advantage of easily accessing cutting-edge marketing software, project management tools, and productivity software. By utilizing these tools, you can gain a clear overview of your sales and marketing efforts, allowing your team to evaluate business performance more efficiently.
Additionally, having access to the best technology ensures that your customer service operations are up-to-date and equipped with the necessary resources to provide exceptional service to your customers.
3. Focus on core competencies and major business functions.
Outsourcing allows your core team to focus on their roles in major functions that carry your business. You will no longer have to worry about choosing the best talent pool to make sure that goals are met. Once you set a target along with a specific time frame, external customer service agencies will be responsible for the employee selection process. To help your business keep quality outputs, you need to make regular checking.
In addition, an external company’s workers can help you work 24/7 through flexible working hours that can fit your time zone and your customers’ time zone.
4. Cost reduction
Yup, you read it right. Outsourcing may sound like an extravagant term, but if your goal is to reduce costs, outsourcing business functions can be good for you and your business. Many companies outsource to save money through reduced labor costs, budget allocation for recruitment, and other overhead expenses.
Outsourcing external services assigned to one or more tasks can help your business save up to 90% in labor costs. In fact, a survey found that 59% of businesses cite cost savings as the biggest reason for outsourcing.
E-commerce customer service outsourcing gives you access to creative people without having to worry about the expensive and tedious recruitment process.
You can be relieved to know that your company can have access to talented employees without the long and pricey screening and selection procedures. You also need not worry about worker shortages, since outsourcing companies can form a huge team with very minimal recruitment expenses in low-cost areas.
They cover all expenses to make sure that you are getting a strong and reliable remote team so that you can focus on your company’s core functions.
Got business growth plans? Then you can make the most out of one of the main advantages of outsourcing, which is scalability. This means that businesses can scale up or down their use of outsourced services as needed, without having to make a long-term commitment. This flexibility can be a major cost-saving measure, as businesses only pay for what they use when they use it.
Outsourcing Shopify customer service is one way to get the scalability you need. You can easily find a reliable customer service provider who can handle a large influx of customers without breaking the bank. The cost savings come from not having to hire and train more employees just to handle the extra customer inquiries. Instead, you have the option of hiring an experienced team who can provide high-quality
Shopify opens a lot of opportunities to budding entrepreneurs who want to start their business online before they move to a physical store and interact with customers face-to-face. If you want to try outsourcing your Shopify customer service, here are some of the best practices that you can follow to deliver prompt and personalized services to your customer base:
- Hire an experienced manager in-house. Then add more outsourced agents to adopt the same customer service strategy.
- Outsourcing order fulfillment: When the demands are high, find a reputable fulfillment provider to work on your business logistics.
- Use time tracking tools to monitor staff productivity.
- Maximize chat features by customizing canned responses.
- Reward loyal and satisfied customers with vouchers and coupons.
- Encourage customers to answer surveys.
- Reinvent and innovate strategy.
Digital Minds BPO offers a wide range of Ecommerce outsourcing services that can help you and your team serve your customers better. We specialize in customer service, chat support, telesales and marketing, and moderation services at affordable rates to keep you connected with your loyal customer base. Request a quote now and get ready to build your dreams with us!
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