How you respond to your customers is a good indicator of the long-term success of your business. And as more people shop online, this will entail addressing issues with eCommerce. This means making as many communication options as possible.
According to a report from Sykes, only 26% of eCommerce sites provide an email address. But almost half or 46% of consumers in the U.S. want to use email to resolve issues they might have. This data highlights the pain points customers face in resolving problems quickly.
If you don’t make yourself readily available on your site, customers will not enjoy their experience. And as data after data has shown, they will take their business elsewhere. In the U.S. 82% of consumers stop doing business with a brand because of customer service.
The report provides insights into the importance of offering options users prefer for communicating. Providing more options and making them available is critically important because more consumers are using them, and they now expect it.
So, What Customer Service Channels are Sites Offering?
Better to ask, how many communication channels are there, and how many clicks away are they from the home page?
The report says 98% of eCommerce sites have a phone number listed, but it is 1.23 clicks away from the homepage. The number of clicks goes up to 1.4 for the 26% of sites who have an email address. This is followed by 2.05 clicks for 73% of sites with a live web chat, and 2.44 clicks for 64% who use a web form.
The graph shows the number of clicks for each communication channel.
When it comes to using social media, 91% of sites have their Facebook and Twitter links on the home page. But the amount of time it takes for a business to respond on Facebook varies greatly.
Close to 10% respond instantly on Facebook and less than 5% said within minutes. Another 8% said within an hour, followed by 28% within hours and a little over 30% said within a day.
What do Consumers Want?
Sykes asked over 2,000 U.S. consumers which communication channel they would use if they have an issue while shopping online.
Phone and email took the top two spots with 51.7% and 46.2% respectively. The respondents said live web chat at 26.8%, web form at 27.2%, Facebook at 8.3%, and Twitter at 4.6%.
Here is what consumers prefer.
The demographics which responded to this question revealed older users prefer the phone and younger users like social media.
Another obvious question is, why are eCommerce sites not making their communications channels readily available?
The good news is the technologies are affordable and easy to deploy. And for small business owners, it is yet another way digital technology makes it possible to compete with large brands.
If you have an eCommerce site, ask your web developer about these communications options and make them easily accessible.
Research and Survey Methodology
Sykes researched the top 100 US eCommerce sites compiled from Similar Web’s 2018 Q1 Index and Alexa’s Top Shopping Sites. It then surveyed U.S. residents via Google Surveys in December 2018 and January 2019.
They were asked, “If you encountered a problem when shopping online, what methods of communication would you use to contact the store or retailer?”
The sites received a score based on each type of communication along with the response time.
More in: Email Marketing
It’s also interesting that when you have an issue that email is a preferred method as I would think that calling customer service is a pain and you have to dedicate time to it during your day than just sending off an email and dealing with the problem when you can.
This is because they can easily send a message no matter where they are. Also calling for issues can be quite cumbersome.