6 tips for a great guest experience while on vacation | Customer service

Kaitlin Pettersen, Global Director of Customer Support at Intercom, shares six tips for using conversational support to proactively and automatically resolve customer queries, leading to happier customers and efficient team hours.

| by Kaitlin Pettersen – Director of Global Customer Support, Intercom

The holidays are fast approaching, often resulting in a higher volume of support for ecommerce teams. It is expected to accelerate this holiday season due to COVID-19. So how do support teams stay on top of customer queries, without increasing overheads or sacrificing customer experience?

The answer is conversational support – the new way to deliver support that bridges the gap between what customers expect and what support teams can deliver. It enables teams to provide efficient, personal support through a messaging-first experience.

Here are six tips for using Conversational Support to proactively and automatically resolve customer queries, so you can unlock happier customers and saved team hours over the holiday season.

Tip 1: Automatically answer common vacation questions
Well-designed chatbots provide instant 24/7 answers to frequently asked questions by customers, which can prevent a purchase. They can also help speed up self-service by providing relevant answers based on what customers type, before they hit Enter.

First you need to decide which queries to automate with chat bots. Explore data from previous years and identify simple and common questions consuming your team’s bandwidth and automate them. Examples: “What are your vacation return and exchange policies?” »« How can I apply promotional codes? And “When is the deadline for placing an order for guaranteed delivery before Christmas?” “

Tip 2: Preventively answer top frequently asked vacation questions before guests have them
Even better than resolving frequently asked questions automatically, it’s best to proactively resolve issues before they start. A banner that appears at the top or bottom of your website is a useful way to highlight necessary information for customers – including deadlines for guaranteed delivery, return policies, and even COVID-19 precautions – so they don’t need to contact your team or find the information themselves. You can also use banners to transparently communicate known issues, such as delivery delays, that are preventing your support team’s inbox from filling up. This helps manage customer expectations and avoids unnecessary frustration or confusion.

Tip 3: Proactively Help Customers on Pages They Meet Friction
Almost 74% of online shopping carts in the United States were abandoned during the holiday season. One of the best ways to help customers complete their order is to trigger a targeted, proactive message on the checkout page to preemptively answer their questions. If customers are on the checkout page for a few minutes, they may have questions about your shipment. times or return policy. You can trigger a message to show on the page and links to your top shopping FAQs, so they get the relevant information up front and don’t feel the need to message your team.

Tip 4: Empower Guests to Solve Their Own Vacation Problems
Customers today overwhelmingly prefer self-service, which allows you to reduce the time spent on simple problems and improve your bottom line. According to the Harvard Business Review, the cost of a self-service transaction can be measured in cents, while the average cost of a live service interaction (phone, email) is over $ 7. . Messaging and live chat are an ideal channel for self-service. If you create an FAQ article to answer the most common vacation questions, you can highlight the content for customers in a messenger instead of having them searched. Some messengers also allow customers to integrate applications beyond simple chat. For example, they can get faster responses to transactional questions, such as “What’s the status of my order?” Without having to speak to your support team, if messaging combines a chat bot with an app like Shopify,

Tip 5: Manage customer expectations
This is the simplest and perhaps the most important advice to implement. To reduce buyer frustration, proactively communicate response times during the holidays. This way, customers don’t have to wait for a response which can take hours. You can customize commercial messaging to notify customers of your team’s availability and adjust team office hours and expected response times. To bring even more visibility into your team’s availability, you can use a chatbot to share your office hours each time a customer asks a question.

Tip 6: Route complex issues to the right team member ASAP
During the holiday season, the stress levels for your customers and your support team are often at an all-time high. Emotionally charged and complex customer queries should never be automated and usually require a human touch. Instead, only use chat bots to accommodate your customer’s time. Chatbots can automatically collect customer conversation data and route it to a team member for a quick and empathetic response. The data also helps guide the conversation to a faster, more personal resolution, as agents can see if the buyer has ever been in contact with a similar issue, how many products they’ve purchased, and more. These details help agents better understand the customer and get straight to the heart of their problem resolution.

Holidays are an opportunity to generate income, but this often comes with additional demands on the support teams. Armed with these conversational support tips, you can empower your team to provide personal and effective support at any scale, without increasing your staff, budget, or saved hours.

Kaitlin Pettersen is Global Director, Customer Support, at Intercom.

Joseph P. Harris