E-commerce and E-customer relations in retail

How can you transform your customer service into a profit center and better handle call peaks in the retail sector? Here are 4 concrete use cases to find out more.

5 August 2022
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E-commerce and customer relations

Retail professionals are unanimous: customers are buying more and more online and expect a seamless digital journey and an impeccable customer experience. The health crisis has heightened this trend and the quality of the customer relationship has become one of the major differentiating factors in retail.

Consumers are turning away from low prices and are expecting brands to listen to them, understand them, and above all provide an immediate answer to their questions or complaints. This trend is pushing retail players to move towards a customer-centric approach.

According to a Hubspot study, 93% of consumers make further purchases from a company that offers them a positive customer service experience. As a result, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) has become a real priority for retailers who must guide their prospects as well as their customers throughout the ‘customer journey’. Many of them have consequently turned to conversational commerce which consists of maintaining close contact and interaction via different channels, with the phone being the preferred method for more than 60% of customers.

 

What is customer relations?

Customer relations are all the interactions between a company or a brand and its audience like existing and former customers. These interactions take place across all channels and through all existing communication methods such inbound marketing, outbound marketing, press, websites, chatbots, and callbots.

It is important to distinguish the term ‘customer relations’ from the tools that help organize it such as CRM or Customer Relationship Management. It is also important to bear in mind that customer relations are not the sole responsibility of the customer service department or the call centers, but of the entire company. This starts with the marketing and communication departments, but also the company’s management.

Seasonality and complicated scheduling

Irrespective of their specific lines of business, retail players are confronted with strong seasonality such as sales, holidays, and Black Friday. These peaks of activity can have a negative impact on availability and quality of the retailer’s customer service. To cope with these high call volumes, retail companies tend to temporarily recruit or outsource to third-party service providers either all or part of their customer service. These one-off arrangements are extremely costly in terms of human resources and training. In addition, random call peaks are even more difficult to manage because recruitment cannot be planned in advance. This often results in a shortage of advisors.

 

Why should you use a Callbot in e-commerce?

In the face of these recurring problems, the Callbot stands out as a major asset in providing a seamless and personalized experience to their customers. The implementation of a hybrid bot-human model can automate recurring high-volume requests and manage unexpected or seasonal call peaks.

It is a less expensive solution that combines both artificial and human intelligence over the phone, which is the preferred medium for customer relations. According to Microsoft, nearly 95% of all customer interactions will be through channels using artificial intelligence by 2025. So don’t miss out and start using a Callbot solution today!

The advantages of the Callbot for e-merchants:

  • Improved customer experience -24/7 availability of customer service, elimination of hold times over the phone, immediate answers
  • Enhanced human capital – more interesting tasks for advisors and better availability for complex issues requiring human assistance
  • Accelerate digital transformation – digitalization of the phone channel, omnichannel customer relationship management, IS and database connection
  • Reduce operational costs – automation of inbound call processing, elimination of post-calls, reduction of recalls

 

4 concrete use cases in the e-commerce sector

The Callbot takes care of all customer service requests by phone and efficiently handles simple questions through automation. Learn more about the types of requests you can automate today.

E-commerce delivery tracking

E-commerce players are responsible for orders until they are delivered. This means they are strongly reliant on the couriers and their delivery times. Delivery tracking accounts for 20% of the reasons for contacting a customer service (Qualimétrie). This can be handled by the Callbot which answers customers in real time and in natural language. With the use of rigorous identification and authentication through ASR (Automatic Speech Recognition) technology, 100% proprietary and made in France, the customer communicates their order number so that the Callbot can provide them with an immediate delivery update 24/7. This enables advisors to focus on higher value-added requests, saves time on repetitive and time-consuming requests, and customers are given relevant information quickly – even outside business hours.

 

FAQs, exchanges and returns

The Callbot comes into play during the after-sales service phase by automating frequent questions about product returns and exchanges. It is able to give the information needed for exchanges, with no human involvement and directly over the phone, and potentially followed up by an SMS confirmation. It can also generate a new return label to stick on the package or a duplicate invoice or warranty. The shipment is most often done by email according to the instructions given by the customer, but the call can also trigger a shipment process by post.

 

Product availability

One of the most common questions in retail is product availability. Customers want to be sure that products are in stock before they head down to the store and buy. The Callbot answers this request in full autonomy over the phone. It is able to give the available stock of a product or its forecasted date of availability. This automation provides the customer with an immediate answer and just when they are ready to make a purchase. This helps retailers to minimize the risk of losing a sale due to a lack of information or an excessive waiting period.

 

Managing call peaks

Retail customer service departments are quickly overwhelmed by the increase in call volumes during peak shopping periods, such as Christmas, sales, Black Friday, Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day. The number of requests tends to increase along with the number of orders, whether it’s concerning return policies, available stock, current promotions, address changes, delivery options and shipping costs.

To manage these large volumes of calls and help advisors deal with them, the Callbot takes over straight away 24/7. It transcribes the entire request into an email sent to an advisor and informs the customer that they will be called back within a given timeframe, subject to the communicated availability. As for the advisors, they can call back the customers when they have more time, having been able to prepare for the call in advance.

The Callbot makes it possible to manage call peaks and reduce customer support costs.