An efficiency boost in service that the e-commerce world can profit from

efficiency in online customer service webcare OBI4wan

Last week I ordered something from webshop x. Something went wrong with my order. The package disappeared and I turned to the customer service of the relevant webshop. To my surprise, the channels available to me were only phone or email, the most expensive and least effective customer contact channels there are. After half an hour on hold, my problem was resolved, but I was not left a satisfied customer. It took way too much time and effort to get my problem solved.

Focus on service has never been more important

This example is an everyday thing that almost everyone recognises. The danger of these experiences is that the consumer will most likely choose a different webshop next time. After all, online competition is fierce and webshops are popping up everywhere. In every corner of the internet, consumers can find an alternative provider who delivers cheaper products or better service via webcare (also known as online customer support). Why would you order again from webshop X if you were given the runaround?

Accenture’s international survey of 25,000 consumers in 33 countries shows that 46% of customers walk away when they experience poor service. 47% of these consumers don’t even return. In this day and age it’s especially important to focus on good customer service. Harvard research into the effect of the pandemic on service suggests that we do need to be concerned. What seems to be the case? During the pandemic, waiting times have gotten longer, consumers more anxious, and conversations tend to escalate faster.

So? Focus on good service has probably never been more important. Important factors for satisfaction are speed, convenience and service through the customer’s preferred channel. Reason enough to take a closer look at the service process of your webshop. Are you making the most of all the opportunities?

The most ideal webcare channels for webshops

The big question organisations face is: with webcare, do I have to be active on each and every channel? The channel most suitable for your webshop depends on several factors. The channels through which you should provide service is largely dependent on the wishes of the customer, the strategy chosen and the (technological) developments within the customer service landscape.

Take a good look at the latest developments in social media. Which platforms are growing in popularity and which platforms should you perhaps leave out? Newcom research shows that WhatsApp is the most popular messaging channel today. At the moment, no fewer than 12.4 million Dutch people are using this channel. Is WhatsApp already part of your customer contact strategy? Channels like Pinterest and TikTok are growing enormously. Is your target audience on these channels? Then it’s certainly advisable to research the possibilities these platforms offer.

Do or don’t: phase out email

The requirements in terms of speed, convenience and quality mean that more and more organisations are looking to phase out email. Email is expensive and often has too long a response time. As a result, it’s not possible to respond to the customer’s initial emotion. Satisfaction with regard this channel is also far behind other channels. By stopping offering a channel, customers are forced to look for another, more suitable, channel.

Whatever you choose, it’s up to your organisation to outline expectations and carefully respond to them by offering appropriate channels. You can do this, for example, on your contact page, where customers are the first to go when they have a question or complaint.

Manage expectations on the contact page

Wehkamp is a good example of a webshop that has mastered service. The contact page of this online department store clearly communicates through which channels they can be reached and what the expected response time is. It is clear that calling and chat are their primary focus. Facebook Messenger and Twitter are presented slightly less favourably with a response time within 2 hours. This method ensures that customers are more likely to choose the first two channels with their questions.

The convenience of live chat

We are seeing more and more the successful implementation of live chat on e-commerce websites. Live chat offers a lot of opportunities when it comes to service. It increases conversion, because the threshold for customers to ask questions is lowered, which allows you to help the customer earlier in the purchase process. Live chat also ensures lower costs on service, because the channel is more efficient and faster than many other channels. With telephone contact you also have quick and real-time contact with the customer, but you are limited to being able to have only one conversation at a time. Live chat makes it possible to engage in multiple conversations simultaneously, without compromising the personal character of the service.

Have you ever thought about a virtual assistant?

It’s not always possible to deal with all customer queries immediately. The pressure on customer service employees is very high at many e-commerce organisations. What can you do to reduce the pressure on your customer service department and at the same time increase customer and employee satisfaction? Chatbots offer the solution! Research firm Gartner predicts that by 2022 no less than 70% of consumers will have a daily conversation with chatbots.

These virtual assistants can handle first-line questions and do the preparatory work for the customer service agents. By having the chatbots answer the frequently asked questions, webcare employees have more time to answer the more complex questions. This not only makes the work more interesting for the employees, but also ensures a nicer interaction for the customers who really need the help.

In practice, we see an increase of 24% in customer satisfaction after the implementation of chatbots! Because an average of 40% of the calls are automated, organisations see their costs decrease by at least 36%. Want to know more about chatbot applications? Click here.

All your service channels in one easy online overview

With a tool like OBI Engage you can easily keep an eye on all your webcare channels: from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, review sites, chatbots and live chat to WhatsApp. All conversations are clearly presented in one online environment, which helps to improve efficiency. Is your webcare department meeting the high demands of your customers? Are you offering all the convenience, speed and quality expected from you?

Efficiency? Go for it!

In times when service is more important than ever, the focus needs to be clear. Is there still room for improvement regarding the efficiency of your webcare team? OBI4wan is an expert in the field of customer contact and happy to help you improve efficiency. Whether it concerns reducing the pressure on the service team, reducing costs or optimising speed, you have come to the right place at OBI4wan!

Curious what OBI4wan’s solutions can do for your organisations? Request a free domo via or call +31 (0)85 210 50 60.

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