- By: Ricky Hayes September 8, 2020
11 Powerful Tips On How To Offer Great Phone Support For Your Ecommerce Store
Phone support may sound tiresome, but it’s a very strong tool in ecommerce. It goes beyond giving help to customers. The phone can become a key part of your strategy to increase sales if used well.
With customers reaching out through your number, you’re closer to making a sale. Whether it’s first-timers or previous buyers, make sure your store features to complement your help over the phone.
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Go through these tips to understand how to offer effective ecommerce store phone support:
1. Group Your Clients
Study the order information from your store. Differentiate types of customers based on the size of the orders and extra requirements from them.
Identify those bringing in the most money on a single bulk order. These are more like your business clients. Offer them a special number through which they can reach you.
The goal is to stay efficient. Your phone support is flawed if it’s distracting you from important activities and not directly increasing sales. Strike a balance between big buyers and those with many questions.
2. Create A Call Window
List your most common questions from customers. Find out what time of day you get the most calls. Study your operations to understand how long it takes to solve various problems.
Come up with official phone hours, clearly stated. Morning hours tend to be good for phone support. You’re less likely to be tired from lots of work. There’s room to check whether a solution worked before the day’s end.
It also helps you cover ground on long-term projects in the afternoon with less distractions.
3. Choose A Handler
If you’re running the business solo, it’s most probably going to be you. When you hire a worker, you can transfer the task to them. Come up with a system to ensure that there’s always someone available.
If they are out running an errand, set up the line search that you can receive the calls. You don’t want to be unavailable during phone hours.
4. Standardize Responses
As you start receiving more calls, you’ll learn about common problems customers have. List each of them separately. Match any relevant information to them.
Come up with counter questions for the customer. Write down all the steps required to solve them. Create standard procedure documents. These should enable another person to easily help the customer.
They should also be well-organized and stored within your system for quick access. You can use simple database tools to pull them up when needed.
5. Position Your Number Properly
If your number is too visible on your homepage, nearly everyone will want to call with a question. Limit its visibility so you get high quality calls.
Have a “Contact Us” page. Here, you can go further by listing common questions with links to solutions. Give an extra option for those whose complaint isn’t listed. This is where you can make the number available.
You can also place your phone number at certain stages of shopping, like the checkout. Another option is to place it in order confirmation emails. Stick it on packaging too.
Here, you know that you’re dealing with someone who’s about to pay, has paid or has received their purchase.
To do this right, you need a theme that allows for good design and navigation. Download the free Debutify theme to improve conversion with your store phone.
6. Pick A Toll-Free Service
Customers shouldn’t have to spend a lot on getting support from you. Search different services and their prices. Have a deep look at their tools and make sure they are easy to use.
Check how smooth they are on different operating systems like Windows and OSX for Macs. Pick the one you can operate and is within your budget. You have to keep in mind how much business comes through the phone.
Some common ones include RingCentral, Phonebooth.com, Grasshopper & Phone.com. Here is a great guide on the best 800 number services for small businesses.
7. Consider A Call-Centre
If you’re a one-person team or have a very small team, it may be hard to offer phone support. Try out-sourcing the service to another company.
Remember that call-centre personnel may not be as emotionally invested in your business as you are. Create a thorough training manual for them.
Limit their functions to simpler step-by-step solutions. For requests that require a lot more information and attention, have them passed on to you.
8. Automate Assistance
Once you have a pool of customer questions and complaints, pick out the easiest to solve. An example is tracking shipments. Use artificial intelligence tools to give a customer instruction on what information to use and where to enter it.
These systems come in different types. Outbound, inbound, and hybrid. They work in many ways, playing pre-recorded messages, connecting to human operators, etc.
Here’s some more good advice about automated phone systems.
9. Be Quick About It
A key part of phone support is your speed. Be very organized when receiving customer requests. Pay attention to two major fields. The type of request and the time it was made.
The type keeps you aware of how easy the customer thinks the solution is. Requests that require a few clicks must be swift. A customer shouldn’t have to wait long to be sent small pieces of information.
The time the request was made helps you know how long the customer has been waiting. It also helps you when receiving many requests at a time.
You don’t want to end up solving the most recent one quickly while an earlier simple one is still in line. Set response time targets for solving various problems. This way, you can confidently let a customer know how long it will take.
These targets also help you know when to refer a customer to another channel. This can be a web submission form, a USSD or IVR menu.
Try to offer these as options rather than forcing them onto a customer. Some people are less tech savvy and more comfortable with human help.
10. Personalize The Help
With a good system in place, you should be able to access some details about a customer quickly. From payment to delivery options, keep track of a shopper’s preferences.
Always suggest what the data shows as more suited to them. For example, you may be dealing with a return from a customer.
If this is someone with a disability, as shown by the products they get from you, keep it in mind. Don’t suggest they return the product to a physical store simply because there’s one nearby.
Offer them a number of a delivery person on their route. Instruct that person to pick up the product. Consider cancelling any return-related charges.
When you give the solution that is best tailored to that person, you just might get another sale out of them.
11. Get Rated
Once you have completed giving a customer phone support, ask them to rate the service. This can be done by sending them a link to a survey page via SMS.
The customer can give you a review or rating. This helps you know how good your support is, beyond the solution given. You can also share these reviews to build customer trust.
Set up your site to use those reviews in getting shoppers closer to a sale. Use phrases like; “Buy and enjoy our 5-star phone support throughout the shipping”. A good theme will help you put all this together properly.
Click here to download Debutify, the highest converting Shopify theme to help you turn these reviews into sales.
Here are the key things to remember about giving phone support for your ecommerce store. Number one is learning. Keep a record of all customer requests and use them to understand customers better.
Number two is tools. Make sure you find out the pros and cons of different phone systems and services. Have goals in mind and match your tools of choice to them.
Third is the costs. Keep track of how much sales you get through phone support. Find out the different prices of phone services and compare them. This applies even when using an employee.
Another key part is the training. And it starts with you. Learn how to handle people on the phone. Always stay calm and composed. Create a good system for passing on these values to anyone you give the task.
Lastly, include other business materials in this support service. SMS, emails, packaging stickers, digital ads etc. Understand how they fit into giving good phone support.
If you can’t do phone support properly, leave it out. Stick to email and other channels.
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