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Four ways to reduce your customer response times

This is a guest blog post from Rupert Heather, eCommerce Specialist at xSellco.

When they make contact, customers want consistent answers, delivered seamlessly. Aligning your business with both your customers' needs and marketplace rules is the key to growing your sales. 

Speed is one of the cornerstones of great customer support. Responsive support tells customers that you've got their back and it makes them feel listened to and appreciated.

It leads buyers smoothly from initial contact to sale, sorting out problems if/when they arise. 

Managing high volumes of customer activity through a range of channels, from Amazon and eBay, to eCommerce platforms and social media, is challenging.

The speed, quality and reliability of customer support is a major factor in influencing customers to convert. It all starts by making changes that impact your support capabilities on a daily basis.

1. Track all customer interactions

Your inbox is crammed with promotions, notifications and spam, and just keeping track of the important customer support threads is tricky - sound familiar?

Whether it's a request for product information, a return authorisation or god forbid, a complaint, your first job is to be aware of the issue. All you have is your reputation, and if you don't know when issues arise and how they're progressing, you risk losing control.

Labels allow you to categorise incoming messages and prioritise them. Create folders to quickly organise support messages based on query type. Examples of the types of categories you could label include Returns, Urgent, Damaged Product, VIP Customer and Late Delivery.

2. Use a mobile support app

One of the toughest things for sellers to manage is the expectation that they're open 24/7. Engaged customers need answers anytime, anywhere. In fact, research by Forrester Group found that 41% of customers expect a response within six hours. 

A customer support strategy that incorporates mobile access will make it easier to support buyers over weekends and holidays. Timely responses reduce negative feedback and keep you on the right side of 24-hour response guidelines. 

3. Create response templates

Every minute counts and creating query templates that you can reuse is guaranteed to cut your response times. All sellers experience recurring queries like returns, cancellations and refunds. 

The more templates you create for common queries, the more you'll save. We found that XSellco customers who use more that 20 response templates, improved their response times by up to 50%.

4. See the full support picture

Support agents spend up to 11% of their time looking for information to manage customer interactions. If you're dealing with significant volumes of messages, it's vital to have all of the relevant order and customer details to hand. When all sales orders and customer messages are threaded together, you can see the full picture and respond faster.

A centralised customer support dashboard instantly pulls in all customer messages from all of your channels, meaning you don't have to waste time accessing different channels. You have an instant overview of all of your support activity and can deal with issues quickly, as they arise.

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Topics: eCommerce Best Practices