Call center blues
A survey organized by a software company revealed that a majority of retailers using online customer care options lack effective tools needed to support an influx of customers who are shopping online.
Due to the pandemic, retailers have been forced to significantly downsize their customer service call center operations. According to the DeviceBits survey, 50% of retailers reported downsizing their operations. With operations cut in half, it is no surprise many retailers face challenges with maintaining customer service levels.
The survey asked respondents about their current online customer care options. Of those surveyed, only 20% reported that they have live chat options available on their site, and 40% reported to use self-support materials. When asked how they are maintaining customer service levels after downsizing call center staff, 60% said they need to find ways to offer better customer service.
The survey was conducted by DeviceBits, a Results Company and provider of artificial intelligence software. The online survey was presented to more than 8,200 business people across the United States.
When retailers were asked what is the success rate of future sales with customers that have utilized their current online customer care such as live chat or self-support, 20% reported that the success rate was high, with most customers making a purchase following the interaction. Another 60% reported that the success rate was moderate, with approximately half of those customers making a purchase. It’s clear there is a direct link between customer care and an increase in sales.
The survey also asked retailers which part of their operations are currently using customer care. Approximately 60% reported using customer care options for orders and fulfilment, and 20% reported they were using customer care to help drive sales. When respondents were asked which area of their business would benefit most from better online customer care, 80% said that payments and sales would benefit the most.
“It’s no secret that retailers have been overwhelmed with an influx of online shoppers as stay at home orders have been implemented across the country,” said JC Ramey, president of tech enabled services at DeviceBits. “The survey sheds light to the fact that customer service is one of the most important aspects of retail businesses today. There is a direct correlation between customers moving forward with a purchase and the level of customer service they receive.”