Reviewing Customer Support Challenges in Retail and E-commerce: Insightful Case Study & Strategies

Reviewing Customer Support Challenges in Retail and E-commerce: Insightful Case Study & Strategies

Retail businesses are going through some big changes regarding online shopping and the customer experience. Retail e-commerce sales globally jumped from $1,336 trillion in 2014 to $4,280 trillion in 2020. It doesn’t stop here; e-commerce sales are projected to reach $6,388 trillion in 2024, demonstrating the exponential growth of online purchasing.

But every sector has a dark side!

After poor customer service, many often say, “I’m never buying anything from this online brand, ever!”

Many people can relate to this. Around 50 percent of consumers say they will no longer do business with the brand after a negative encounter.

Simply put, the level of customer satisfaction can dictate whether customers stick with your brand or go elsewhere. Businesses may need help to provide a satisfying experience for customers when the retail sector undergoes constant change.

But you can always improve your retail e-commerce customer service and change how you interact with customers based on the issue.

This post will review some of the retail sector’s biggest problems and how to fix them so customers have a better experience. But first, let’s understand some basics!

E-commerce Customer Service – A Brief Introduction

Customer service is the key to running a good online business. It’s all about giving your customers the best help possible. It means promptly addressing their worries, answering their questions, and/or helping them solve any problems they may have had during the buying process.

Why does this matter? 

Trust in a company is very important in the world of e-commerce. Customers are more likely to return and buy from you again if you give them great service. This totally depends on what SLAs you decide with your customer service provider and how you plan to increase the KPIs for the sake of maintaining service that is top-notch for the customers. 

Top Customer Support Challenges in Retail and E-commerce

1. Slow Response and Poor Service 

Customers want instantaneous responses using digital platforms, often even within an hour. Traditional ways of providing a rapid response could be more efficient, faster, and cheaper when dealing big numbers. 

How can we overcome this challenge?

Your operational systems must have AI and automation capabilities. All brands and online businesses must use a technological solution that enables automated customer care immediately for better cost reduction, enhanced response time, and customer happiness. 

Artificial intelligence service bots can tackle the problem of slow service delivery and responsiveness by engaging with clients from the beginning and responding instantly to every initial inquiry. This eliminates the need for human interaction. These skills guarantee a one-of-a-kind customer experience and increased customer satisfaction. 

2. Poor Data Protection and Privacy Issues

Consumers trust well-known companies and are at ease using various digital payment methods. Every online store must have top-notch security measures to protect its customers’ personal information from cybercriminals. Protecting your database and customer service with top-notch, GDPR-compliant customer service software is the best method to guarantee system security and ultimately increased KPIs.

What do you need to do?

The solution is to switch to a consumer communication platform that is GDPR-compliant and safe. This way, you can block the hackers from entering even through the tiniest data breach hole.

3. Poor Call Management

Call management and the capacity to transition between outbound and inbound operations is a common issue in retail call centers. This is mainly because most call center systems make this task extremely difficult.

The right solution?

Set up a call center system that lets you use the same person for incoming and outgoing calls and takes advantage of the power of blended operations. Doing so will ultimately increase the individual KPIs and quality control over customer queries.

The right customer service provider will ensure that agents can easily switch between incoming and outbound calls with just one click. This lets you get the most out of your agents, based on your business needs.

4. Failure to Make the Customer’s Experience Unique

You might be failing the trend to personalize customer care. The biggest challenge is that it’s going nowhere soon!

Most customers highly value personalized experiences and maintaining service for customers. When you work with customers for better quality control, getting to know them is the only way to build lasting ties. 

How to win the customer’s heart?

Some customers may like talking to salespeople in person, but an omnichannel reward program is a great way to track what customers like and how much they spend. Around 62% of buyers look forward to ads tailored to their preferences. A loyalty program can keep track of what customers buy, what brands they like, and what goods they like so that customers can get more relevant rewards.

5. Trouble Handling Customer Inquiries

More people will likely email, call, and message you on social media as your e-commerce business grows. It can take a lot of work to handle these questions well, especially if your small business needs more tools and better SLAs.

For instance, a customer who bought something from an online store has questions about how it works. That’s why he emails customer service to ask for more information. But because of bad management, the question wasn’t answered on time. This made the customer feel ignored and forgotten, which gave the customer a bad opinion of the online brand. 

Sadly, you lost a customer!

How to prevent this from happening? 

The short answer is to set up a base for customer service. Spend money on a customer care platform that connects all the communication channels. With this technology, you can answer client questions from a single page. You can answer common questions quickly and prioritize important requests with templates and short comments.

A General Case Study 

The Client: XYZ Jewelry Brand

Case Background

XYZ Retail is a notable China-based retail jewelry chain that operates all over South East Asia. Despite working hard and having some accomplishments, the brand recently saw a huge drop in client satisfaction and sales growth. The group worked with the XYZ Foundation to boost its customer service and sales in South East Asia.

The Real Challenge 

The biggest difficulty for XYZ Jewelry Brand was improving customer experience and sales techniques. They wanted extensive training for their front-line workforce to provide excellent customer service and boost sales with increased KPIs.

The Ideal Solution

The XYZ Foundation customized its Customer Service and Sales program for the brand. The program highlighted the main problems and helped workers improve sales and customer service.

Implementation Steps
  1. In the first assessment step, XYZ Retail’s employees’ skill levels and knowledge gaps were assessed before the training program began. 
  2. The second customization step included tailored training to the company’s brand values, client base, and sales goals.
  3. In-person workshops and online courses were used in the third training delivery step. 
  4. With real-life case studies of other South East Asian brands and group exercises, the interactive learning strategy was executed.
  5. The next step sheds light on understanding consumer wants, addressing complaints, and exceeding expectations to create memorable shopping experiences.
  6. In the sixth step, the employees learned cross-selling, upselling, customer rapport, and confident closing for better quality control regarding customer service.
Final Results

After completing the program, XYZ Jewelary Retail saw significant business improvements, such as

  1. Increased customer satisfaction
  2. Better sales performance
  3. Empowered and confident employees with better KPIs
  4. Lower employee turnover
  5. Positive Brand Image

Final Words

Ultimately, outstanding customer service is becoming more important in the fast-paced retail e-commerce industry. Slow response times, privacy issues, and bad call management are some of the major customer service challenges you might ignore. But there’s always a solution if you seek it!

Investing in AI-powered assistance, integrated customer care solutions and platforms that comply with GDPR is one way to beat some major customer support challenges. Personalizing customers’ experiences and making them happier can be done through loyalty programs and making it easier to answer their questions.

Case studies, like the one of XYZ Jewelry Retail in South East Asia, show how important it is to give each employee individualized training and skill development. As a result, the customers will see the brand positively, further increasing revenue and growth. 

In a nutshell, once it starts prioritizing customer support, any retail or e-commerce business will accomplish prosperity and growth. 

Author: Greg.B

Executive with 25 years of proven success in call center management and revitalizing business units. Proven career record of producing multimillion-dollar profits through pinpointing operational inefficiencies and encouraging the revitalization of employee morale and corporate culture change.

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