Make Shopping on Your Website a No-Brainer During the Holidays

ShoppingIn the world of e-commerce, confusion is your one of your worst enemies. Confused customers clog up your customer service telephone lines. Especially during the holidays, your team is going to face an exceptionally heavy workload of user requests. When demands are that high, you can bet your representatives are going to become stressed and impatient.

Your mission this holiday season is to save your team from a meltdown. Do this by making your website user-friendly and intuitive and thus decreasing the volume of incoming customer support calls. You should already have an idea for how user-friendly your site currently is, based on analytics of your website’s performance from Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Was your telephone line ringing off the hook? How many customers filled up a shopping cart only to abandon it mid-way through the check-out process?

To address these issues, one option is to hire a large number of temps to staff your customer service center, train them quickly and hope for the best. The alternative is to ramp up self-service options so that users have all the information they need at their fingertips. Self-service options are not only more cost-efficient but also empower customers with the ability to find the right product at the right price, in a way that’s quick and effortless.

As the CEO of WalkMe, a cloud-based guidance and engagement platform, I have learned what features are best to have on your website. Below are my top tips.

1. Identify traffic to get personalized interactions.
You can push personalized messaging through notification bars or pop-up windows. Customers expect personalized interactions from the minute they enter your website. They want you to sort through their merchandise and be able to tell them what they need. To do this, your website should be able to identify the user and address incoming traffic with personalized messaging based on user behavior, purchasing history and geographic location. As Gartner says, “customers benefit from being shown products and services that they may not have considered or are more statistically likely to be what they want or need.”

2. Make it a frictionless purchasing experience. Quickly and elegantly move users to different destinations by bypassing extraneous steps. A large portion of customers who abandon their shopping carts do so because of long checkout processes and an excessive number of information fields to fill in. In today’s marketplace, customers (especially millennials) want what they want when they want it, and you need to hand it to them on a silver platter. The one-click buying process has revolutionized the way e-commerce converts online visitors into paying customers. Amazon made this idea famous in 1999, and as a result, was able to skyrocket conversion rates with a virtually frictionless checkout process.

3. Place helpful resources in one location. Customers prefer to figure things out for themselves. A powerful way to save your customer service team more headaches is by placing helpful resources in one central location such that users can find solutions without getting frustrated and, consequently, leaving your site disappointed. This empowers users by making it easier for them to get answers to their questions in real-time and, most importantly, without ever having to leave your site.

4. Use a live chat integration.
Supplement your existing support channels with one-on-one chatting. Live chat allows customer service representatives to handle multiple customers at the same time, which means that customers get faster service at lower interaction costs. It also frees up the telephone line so that employees can handle incoming calls without putting customers on hold for extended periods of time. Live chat is also thought to boost sales.

To capture online traffic without overloading your customer service teams, open up a variety of alternative customer service channels. Customers can then choose whichever channel they would prefer to engage with. Recreate the leisurely experience of going window shopping online by requiring as little thought as possible.

(Source: (c)2015 Tribune Content Agency, LLC.)