Customer service in the age of eCommerce

Customer service matters even more in the age of e-commerce…

The quality of customer service consumers experience can significantly impact a retailer’s bottom line. In fact, 66% of US consumers are willing to spend more money with a company that provides them with excellent customer service, according to Microsoft, while 60% of consumers say they have not completed an intended purchase due to a poor customer service experience.

As consumers increasingly buy products online that they haven’t seen in person — leaving room for purchasing errors and buyer’s remorse — it’s now more important than ever to provide customers with positive customer service experiences.

We look at why customer service matters, which stalwart channels are still top performers, and which new channels have the most potential. We also take a look at why luxury retailers, or even just retailers with high-income consumers, need to be especially attuned to providing solid customer service help.

Even a single negative customer service experience can deter potential customers from spending money with a company. 60% of US consumers have not completed an intended purchase based on a poor customer service experience. That translates into an estimated $83 billion in lost sales for US retailers.

  • Negative customer service experiences loom larger than positive ones. It takes 12 positive customer experiences to negate the poor impression left behind from one unresolved, bad experience.
  • Lack of effective customer service on social media seems to be spilling over into users’ willingness to interact with brands at all on the channel. Just over half of consumers plan on either not contacting or reducing their contact with brands through social media this year.
  • Providing the best-quality customer service is especially important to luxury retailers, whose customers expect a personalized experience to enhance the exclusivity that comes with luxury retail. Nearly half of all luxury consumers demand an apology, refund, or incentives following a poor customer service experience.
  • Traditional channels like phone and email are still preferred by consumers, but new technologies — like messaging apps and live chat — are beginning to take off.