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How to Find the Right Balance with Ecommerce Support Automation

Around the world, an ever growing number of people have moved much of their shopping online. After a series of stay-at-home scenarios and quarantines, the already healthy ecommerce sector found itself growing at an exponential rate. Good news for those businesses, of course, but it also presents big challenges. This flood of new customers brings with it a large increase in support requests. How can brands meet this demand and sustain the same level of quality customer service?

While your team is energetically filling orders, a little automation can go a long way. Remain focused on providing the human touch as you integrate your CRM with automated marketing software. This can help you deliver an excellent customer experience; here’s how to do it.

Streamline account creation. Make it easy, almost automatic, for a new shopper to create an account. Use Google, Facebook, Apple, Steam, and/or other popular login platforms to expedite customer account creation. Pull from the browser’s auto-fill for account form data and create temporary accounts for new shoppers who have not completed the process. Remember items shopped right before a login, and build new accounts based on pre-login activity data.

Kick off your onboarding email sequence. Pair your automated marketing software with your CRM to onboard every new customer. In most cases, this will start with an order. Make sure the automated receipt and confirmation email is separate. Then send a welcome email that quickly introduces customers to your brand personality, best deals, and/or membership perks like coupons, free shipping, or BOGO offers.

From there, send a politely-spaced sequence of emails (perhaps two per week after the initial confirmation and welcome emails) introducing new customers to options, deals, resources, or website features you’d like them to know about. This builds a stronger relationship with each customer who participates.

Analyze customers’ shopping history and wish lists. Build your CRM information with useful marketing data, either through in-house efforts or with the help of an external consultant. Collect your customers’ search and purchase history to discern their interests. If you have a wish list feature, use this to calibrate what customers want and the kind of deals that would make them happy.

Use your automated marketing software to analyze customer trend data. This can generate cross-selling and upselling panels, personalized deals, and promotional emails that are more tempting to each individual customer. Be creative and savvy in how you apply this information to delight your customers in a deeply personalized shopping experience.

Utilize “abandoned cart” automation. Send an email to customers after 8–12 hours, reminding them of what they put in their shopping cart. Offer to help them check out. This communication provides a good opportunity to upsell the customer or offer them a discount code to entice them to complete the purchase.

Celebrate with your customers. One of the best implementations for CRM-backed automated marketing is a celebration. Share holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, and other special events with your customers by sending them personalized deals and offers. Automated marketing can, for example, pick a few items from their wishlist and bundle them at a discount as a birthday present or offer a special romance package for an anniversary.

Offer a chatbot. A chat box in the lower corner of your site is a familiar customer service resource to today’s users. Many brands use a cartoon or similar imagery to illustrate that visitors will be dealing with a chatbot, not a real person. That said, make that chatbot friendly, and ensure that it remembers return shoppers and registered customers.

Most chatbots rely on keywords taken from the customer’s response to pull answers from a knowledge base. Having that knowledge base correctly set up and properly integrated with your chatbot is key to providing a good experience for the customer. Without proper usage of the knowledge base, a chatbot can miss the mark and frustrate the customer.

Present users with a simple escalation system. Help your customers easily resolve problems with an agent. Clear escalation channels and natural customer service funnels will ensure that those with tough problems can speak to a representative. Your customers need to feel confident that your automation is available for expedited self-service, but that your brand still truly cares about human-to-human connections.

A good escalation ladder is essential for customer care. Customers who start in phone trees, chatbots, and automated email communication can often benefit greatly from a live human customer service agent as well. Don’t have an in-house customer service team? Many businesses outsource customer support to ensure warm, interactive agents are always ready to help customers when they call in.

These automation techniques are ideal for handling most customers through convenient self-service, and smoothly transitioning the serious cases to your elite human service team. All you need is the right software, clever usage of your CRM for automated marketing programs, and a quality team of friendly support agents — either in-house or one provided by an external source. That’s a great way to tee up your support program for success.