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The number of visitors that actually add a product to the cart is much smaller than the original lot. Even smaller is the number of people who actually complete the purchase, each transaction counted as a conversion. This is the essence of an e-commerce store’s sales funnel – overall traffic narrows down to abandoned cart customers, which further narrows down to actual conversions.
There are plenty of reasons why your e-commerce store witnesses a high rate of abandoned cart cases. Maybe the customer decided not to make the purchase. Alternatively, they might have encountered an error when completing the transaction or found the overall functionality of your website unappealing.
Today, almost everyone has access to technology. This means they have a wide range of options to choose from, no matter what they are looking to buy. So, if you don’t customize your product to keep up with their demands, there will be at least ten alternative companies in line, waiting to make them feel special. When a potential customer visits your e-commerce store and wants a little more information on anything – your product, your return policy, the status of an order previously placed – they expect to receive answers promptly. What’s more, they would like to have a real human being tend to their problems. No one likes to speak to a robotic voice or leave an awkward voicemail full of general questions.
As an e-commerce store owner, you have your limitations when it comes to answering these queries. You can’t be on-call round-the-clock. You have a business to run; appointing an in-house team to tend to these calls isn’t financially feasible either – unless you are a giant corporation and can afford to set up such a facility. But if you own an e-commerce startup or a small-scale online store, it is not easy to dedicate limited resources.
Now, since customer support has to be your number 1 priority, what is the solution?
Enter live phone answering services, also known as your virtual receptionist. A live phone answering service allows you to focus on revenue-generating business tasks. It saves time, money and effort otherwise spent on handling phone calls.
Companies in all sectors stand to gain from employing a professional live phone answering service. However, this option will especially benefit an e-commerce store because of the nature of the business.
As an e-commerce store owner, a major part of your day is spent in driving sales and marketing. Money is what keeps the business going. You can’t afford to spend hours and hours answering calls and solving customer queries, many of which are not technical and can be answered by trained staff members. It is not feasible to spend thousands of dollars a month on a dedicated resource to man the phones.
Also, whenever a customer calls your store, they do so with an intention to check your credibility as a portal. Hence, to make the right impression, it is important to appear professional and focused on customer service. The way the customer gets treated on the call is what will make them your promoters or demoters.
A live call answering service solves all of this and more. It lightens the burden of representing your store at all times; what’s more, it costs less than what you’d pay for an in-house agent to attend to calls. It makes you seem more professional and authentic while saving time.
Let’s take a detailed look at all the benefits of a live phone answering service for your e-commerce store. How can it help you earn more money while also providing superior customer service?
Running an e-commerce store means your customers can be anywhere and have the option to buy at any time of the day. They don’t adhere to your business hours while making a purchase on your website. They also expect your team to cater to them at any hour. Online shopping is impulsive and if there is a query, customers like it to be addressed immediately.
Now, if a customer calls your number and is greeted by an automated voice asking them to leave a message, they might abandon the transaction halfway. This means a loss in revenue for you.
A live phone answering service means your customers can reach you at any time during the day and get their queries resolved. They are much more likely to get convinced after talking to your representative at midnight to finalize that purchase they have been contemplating for an hour. You never need to shut shop with a live phone answering service, which means you can capture every opportunity to increase conversions.
Hiring a full-time in-house resource is expensive; over and above the base salary, you would have to pay employee overheads like health insurance, paid leaves, etc. It also requires you to continuously invest in training resources to handle phone calls professionally.
You would also need to invest in equipment like phones and other modems for smooth transmission of calls. With a live phone answering service, you save the employee overheads since you don’t need to hire someone full-time to handle the calls. You onboard a service provider that assigns you a virtual receptionist for a fraction of the price you’d have paid for a full-time employee.
Especially if you are a one-man brand, as most e-commerce stores usually are, a live phone answering service can save you from a lot of hassles, financially. You simply outsource the job for a lower price and focus on more important work.
As a brand owner, it is important to portray authenticity and build credibility among your customers. A lot of new online users are skeptical of buying from e-commerce platforms since they doubt the customer service, order delivery, return policy, etc. It is
difficult for them to change from shopping at the retail outlet to staying home and ordering on their digital screens.
To remove this skepticism, it’s important for e-commerce stores to be professional and offer the visitors a highly personalized interaction. This can’t be done by a machine. Customers tend to be more trusting when they are talking to a human about their queries. They want to be treated well and expect your representative to be knowledgeable.
A live phone answering service is the best way to show your customers how professional you are while also giving your brand a human touch. The virtual receptionist is trained to answer all queries with a cheerful and professional demeanor, making your brand stand out. Also, since they are not machines, they can be quick to modify and take decisions on how to respond in case of any specific customer query. They are capable of assisting with orders and delivery as well. This is sure to build a loyal customer base for your e-commerce store, even if you are a one-man army.
With the ‘digital nomad’ culture on the rise, there is a high chance that your team is scattered in different locations. In such a scenario, it becomes difficult for the customer to gather the contact information of the relevant representative. You don’t want them to scout around for a long list of phone numbers.
By implementing a live phone answering service, you never have to worry about misdirecting customer calls since the receptionist is trained to forward the call to the relevant department. This is of great help since it saves the customer a lot of time and effort. At the same time, it helps keep the entire team connected to the business at all hours of the day.
The customer does not need to know where the employee is sitting, as long as she is on the call within seconds or minutes. It automatically makes your business credible and more genuinely focused on customers.
With the task of taking calls out of the way, you, the e-commerce business owner, can focus more on tasks that generate revenue for the store. Answering calls every half hour is an irksome distraction that lowers productivity and makes people break their workflow.
This is true especially for a small e-commerce firm that relies on a handful of people to keep the business running. Asking your team to work on their main jobs along with answering calls intermittently is a sure way to lower their productivity and make you lose important dollars.
A live phone answering service removes this hassle and helps you run your business more efficiently. This you, you can make more money while also keeping your customer service intact.
E-commerce stores, especially the one-man brands and small-scale businesses, stand to gain a lot from a live phone answering service. If you want to let your customers see that you are a professional, established and a customer-centric online store that is always present to help them out, a live call answering service is a must-have.