For e-tailers! How to boost customer service and sales with online chat? - TELUS International Europe

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  • For e-tailers! How to boost customer service and sales with online chat?

    July 15, 2015

    By Boriana Dimitrova


    In Europe, E-commerce sales grew by 18.4 % last year to €156.28 billion. Industry sales are expected to increase with the same growth rate in 2015, so it will be worth €185.39 billion at the end of the year (Source: RetailMeNot). These figures pose a tremendous opportunity for e-tailers to grow their customer base and provide top-notch customer service and sales within the online environment.

    According to Forrester, when it comes to customer service, email, IVR and voice are all on the decline, while the use of chat, mobile apps, social media, video and web self-serve continue to rise across industries. Looking at chat specifically, this may not be surprising—especially with evidence of increased sales ROI, as well as higher CSAT scores over voice.

    What is surprising, however, is that a number of leading online retailers do not offer chat specifically for sales. And when chat is offered, the overall customer experience can still be improved.

    Customers demand 24/7 support and they expect it anytime, anywhere and from any device. Online chat has reached critical mass as more consumers turn to the Internet to resolve their issues before picking up the phone. Today’s customers expect to receive full resolution of their problem in timely fashion all that accompanied by high quality experience.

    Why online chat?

    Our experience as a multilingual customer care provider servicing 15 E-commerce companies shows that chat is increasingly preferred among a rapid growing segment of online customers as it offers a quick, low-effort and personalized way to interact with a brand for sales, customer care and technical support.

    Customers prefer online chat compared to other customer service channels because:

    ■  It is easy to use. Live chat is perceived by customers as a very clear and concise form of communication.

    ■  You can multi-task. Customers don’t have to leave their PCs, pick up the phone or interrupt their activities.

    ■  It is immediate. Live chat responses are immediate compared to the possible waiting time that might result in email or phone support channels.

    ■  You don’t have to talk. Live chat is perceived as the simpler and easier way to get things done compared to a long conversation on the phone with an agent.

    ■  It is cost-efficient. When it comes to international providers and remote assistance, customers prefer to discuss online via chat because it is less expensive than an international call.

    How e-tailers can benefit from online chat?

    ■  Improve conversion and sales. Often online shoppers abandon their shopping carts due to confusion and complications at checkout. With live chat they can address questions and concerns during the sales process, thereby increasing conversions and sales.

    ■  Increase up/cross sales through personalization. Providing timely recommendations for what customers want or haven’t found during their shopping is a great opportunity to increase up/cross sells.

    ■  Improve customer loyalty. Online customers prefer live chat to the phone. By offering them the experience they want, you make them happy, incentivizing loyalty and repeated purchases.

    ■  Improve customer insights. Get valuable information and understand your customers’ concerns and needs easier thanks to a written log that can be mined for data.

    ■  Reduce cost of customer support. As live chat eliminates the need to maintain toll-free customer     support numbers, fewer support representatives are needed as their time would be used more efficiently.

    ■  Gain competitive advantage. By giving your customers the experience they demand, full resolution in timely manner, you keep them happy and on your site, while your competitors might be a click away.

    Sales chat – still a limited channel? 

    Despite the benefits and the general appetite for online chat among the public, online chat specifically for sales is often unavailable and/or the customer experience can often be improved. While there have been significant developments to chat platforms, technical aspects of the chat channel often overshadow the importance of the human aspects of the customer service engagement. Correctly implemented, chat can re-introduce the “human element” into the online interaction to significantly enhance the quality of the total customer experience provided by the e-tailers.

    Let’s talk about chat!


    Boriana Dimitrova is Marketing Content Manager at TELUS International Europe






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