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What is ecommerce customer service?

Ecommerce customer service (sometimes spelled e-commerce customers service) is a strategy for providing customer service to customers on online stores. When retailers invest in improving their ecommerce customer service, delivered via a call center, live chat, or other channels, they tend to be rewarded with more loyal customers, better conversion rates, and an advantage over their competitors.

Zendesk is fast and flexible so retailers can easily adapt to the changing landscape of consumer expectations and scale when they grow.

A different approach

Since the experience of online shopping has some fundamental differences to brick and mortar stores, online retailers must approach customer service slightly differently. One of the key differences involves customer context. When a shopper enters a store, a clerk or customer service agent can begin to identify some things that will help them decide how to provide support. Is the customer in a hurry? Does the customer appear to be in a good mood? Do they look determined to buy something or are they just killing time while they wait for someone? Having a sense of some of these bits of information will inform retailers how to best provide service, like whether or not the shopper wants attention or to be left alone.

Online shopping does not provide these types of visual clues, so when online retailers want to provide ecommerce customer service they must take a different approach. Context has to come in the form of data, which can be used to provide better experiences.

Best practices

While online retailers will not have access to visual context, they will be able to base the ecommerce customer service they provide on data. Doing so allows online retailer to:
  • Offer multichannel support. Different channels have different strengths and weaknesses. Measuring how customers use each channel will allow retailers to take full advantage. They might prefer direct support via chat but communication (like new offerings or sales) might be better through social media.
  • Personalize support and marketing. Since all activities, from browsing to buying to customer service, happens online, it’s possible to track and measure customer behavior. That means when a customer reaches for support, the support agent will already have access to information about the customer, including purchase history, which will allow the agent to treat the customer like a person.
  • Offer self-service. Since many customer prefer to help themselves, many online retailers benefit from offering a help center, which can include answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs), return policies, and more.

The right time

All online retailers should invest in ecommerce customer service. Providing a great customer experience is one of the few ways to genuinely standout in an already saturated online retail marketplace. Customers who don’t get the service they’d prefer can simply move onto to another store; it’s literally a click away.

How Zendesk helps

Zendesk helps retailers build great relationships with their customers by improving all aspects of the customer experience. Zendesk offers tools that handle everything from phone support to analytics, social media to internal operations. It’s fast and flexible so retailers can easily adapt to the changing landscape of consumer expectations and scale when they grow.

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