Even if you’re really successful when you start out, managing the growth of a business is one of the biggest challenges faced by entrepreneurs the world over. This is normally due to a few risk factors, like contracting new employees, gradually decentralising operational details and adapting to new management needs.
In the ecommerce area, online customer service can have a big impact, as it needs constant attention and is a fairly sensitive matter. At the end of the day, a negative review from a customer could put the brakes on your expansion plans. To find out when the time is right to expand this area of your business, check out these 8 signs that show it’s time for you to invest in your online customer service!
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1. Your number of competitors is increasing
If your product or service is relatively new and growing, it’s likely that other brands will launch similar products or new businesses based on your model will start appearing. Your competitors could start offering lower prices or other advantages, or both, to attract clients. This is where online customer service could make a big difference. The better the customer experience, the less likely a client will be to forget about your brand.
2. Your profits are high, but you’re also working a lot
One of the first lessons related to productivity is learning to work in an intelligent and effective manner, rather than just working hard. Whilst this is true, sometimes hard work is inevitable. On the other hand, if the hard work is nonstop and is also producing results, it could be the right moment to consider looking for help, or looking for tools that automatize some aspects of your work. Jivochat, for example, offers message templates and a pre-chat form, which can mean you avoid wasting time typing and asking for information from visitors and clients.
3. Festive periods that attract more visitors
Some times of year require better organisation and more help with customer service, especially for ecommerce businesses that work with products that are commonly given as Christmas presents. Even if the need will only be temporary, if you’re facing your first festive season, it might be a good idea to plan and test out how your online customer service will cope with more visitors and clients. The experiences you have during these periods could be key to understanding how your customer service will operate as your business grows.
4. When the customer service process is too complicated
Bureaucracy is a word we all hate. There are two signs that there are too many hoops to jump through to close a deal on your virtual shop. The first is if it takes too much time for a client to make a purchase, starting from the moment they access your site.
The second, which is more serious, is when a client raises an issue through making a complaint or suggestion. That’s why you need to constantly check your procedures and find ways to make them as efficient as possible, whilst still being safe and secure. A good way of making processes shorter is finding applications that can be integrated with others. For example, JivoChat can be integrated into your business’ app, meaning that your visitors on mobile devices don’t have to leave the app to clear up any questions they have.
5. When it becomes possible to do everything on your own
This point is specifically for those companies made up of only one person. Inevitably, there will come a moment when it will no longer be possible to do everything on your own. If you’ve noticed that it’s taking too long for you to answer client’s questions, it means that the time may have come to employ people to help you out in this area. This also means that you’ll need an integrated online customer service system.
At Jivochat, we offer payment plans that vary depending on the number of users you have, and you pay monthly. That means, the cost will only increase as you add more people to your online chat team, allowing you to keep your costs low when you’re just starting to expand your company.
6. When spreadsheets are no longer enough
Using spreadsheets – both Excel and Google Sheets, amongst others – is a good way of keeping track of various aspects of your business. However, if you need to manage information on a bigger scale, or if you need a more automatic process for registering new clients or for altering client details, spreadsheets could prove to fall short. When you start to realise that the work needed to keep your spreadsheets going is too much, you’ll know it’s time to invest in a CRM system. Check out our list of the 10 best CRM tools to decide who will give you the best service.
7. Your number of repeat customers increases
Festive periods bring with them a peak in visitor numbers, and therefore potentially in numbers, for just a few weeks, working like a sort of test. An increase in your number of repeat clients is the most obvious sign that the time has come to increase your investment in online customer service. If you don’t have software and you’re dealing directly with your clients through email or over the phone, this increase could justify the use of software just like Jivochat.
We’re not saying this just to promote ourselves, as investing in online customer service software has a great cost-benefit ratio, as it’s less expensive than, say, employing more people or setting up an office. Even if you already have a team, the increase in your expenditure will be minimal.
The return on your investment, according to a survey done by the institution Forrester Consulting published on the site Ecommmerce Experts, is an increase in your conversion rate of 138% compared to online shops that don’t use the service. It’s difficult to claim that using an online chat system for customer service is a bad idea.
8. When your brand starts to be recognised
Once your marketing campaigns and social networks are finally starting to produce results and your brand is starting to become well known, it’s time to invest more in maintaining your brand’s relationship with consumers. It’s not enough to merely create various posts that go viral on the internet and are considered to be a big success if, at the same time, an unsatisfied client decides to publish a review complaining about bad customer service. The internet has a long memory for such things.
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Thinking about improving your ecommerce’s online customer service?
In an ideal world, you’d invest in customer service from the word go. However, not everyone is starting up a business right at this moment and, if you haven’t invested yet, the signs mentioned above could be a good indication that it’s time to sort this out and start working to gain your client’s loyalty in a professional manner. To find out about how Jivochat could improve your ecommerce’s online customer service, check out our features and payment plans!.