31 Jan
9
min to read

Check These 10 E-Commerce Support Challenges With Solutions

Support Teams

While not a complete revolution (to put it this way would be overhyping), 2024 presents unique challenges for e-commerce support teams. 

As AI reshapes interactions, the "crisis economy" intensifies, and customer-centricity takes on new meaning, are you equipped to handle the surge in complexity and expectations?

This article goes beyond generic advice. 

We dive deep into the specific customer support challenges of 2024, offering actionable solutions tailored to the evolving customer inquiries and expectations. Learn how to leverage industry expertise and data-driven insights to not just satisfy, but keep your customer satisfaction metrics soaring even in turbulent times.

Without further ado, let’s move directly to the challenges 🚀

10 E-Commerce Support Challenges in 2024 With Applicable Solutions

Poorly addressed customer inquiries with automated chatbots responses

As more than 80% of e-commerce businesses use or plan to implement chatbots (and it pays off greatly ❗), a notable number of customers feels discomfort or dissatisfaction with these automated replies. And the core of the problem is the lack of empathy and inability to solve more complex customer inquiries that require advanced logical assumptions. 

So, how to respond to customer inquiries sustainably while still using chatbots?

Solutions: Keeping a balance between technological efficiency and personalized human interaction by:  

  • Flagging more complicated or sensitive issues for human support staff, while utilizing chatbots for simple and routine queries. 
  • Transferring customer inquiries from a chatbot to a human, ensuring the information is passed explicitly and without customer’s need to repeat all over again.

❗ Ensuring that customers don’t need to repeat information when being transferred from chatbot to real agents is indeed a turning point for excellent customer experience in e-commerce. Nobody wants to repeat twice.

  • Implementing customer feedback systems where customers can share their experience with both chatbots and human support. 
  • Keeping eye on the best chatbots in the market (with new using the latest ChatGPT technology appearing every week).

Keeping support quality high in multichannel e-commerce

Yes, multichannel ecommerce is still a must to strive in the competitive market. (Fact: Companies that have omnichannel customer engagement strategies retain nearly 89% of their customers, compared to 33% of those that don’t). But the challenge businesses face is ensuring uniform quality in e-commerce support across various channels.

❗Insightful data: Only 7% of the help centers that offer multiple service channels can transition customers between channels without challenges. 

Solutions:  There’s are three options to ensure multichannel support quality:

Option #1: A centralized platform integrating all multichannel support platforms. This allows for a unified view of customer interactions, regardless of the channel, ensuring consistency in responses and service quality.

Option #2: Scaling customer support team. If you lack resources to hire new in-house customer support representatives (with the average salary $17.98/hour for each + training costs), consider customer support outsourcing as a more sustainable solution.

Option #3 (the cheapest): Cutting off a few multichannel e-commerce support options. Yes, if you are on a very limited sources and can’t invest in e-commerce customer service software or scaling the team, less is more.

Ensuring high quality mobile shopping experiences

The m-commerce (mobile shopping) sales accounted for 43.3% of all e-commerce sales in 2023, up from 41.8% in 2022, and the trend is growing. Now, it’s among the most crucial e-commerce customer retention strategies. Not all e-commerce support teams are ready to adapt to the unique challenges of smaller screens and limited interaction options, offering traditional support channels like phone calls and lengthy forms.

Solution: By strategically merging accessibility with efficiency, you can transform mobile support into a positive touchpoint. Consider the following: 

  •  🗣️In-app live chat: Offer real-time chat support directly within your mobile app, allowing for quick and convenient problem-solving on the go.
  •  ✉️ Integrate social media messaging: Leverage popular platforms like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp for accessible support options familiar to most mobile users.
  • 📲 Mobile-friendly support portals: Ensure your web-based support pages are optimized for mobile devices, featuring easy FAQs and clear contact information.

Image Source

Communicating with cross-border customers

Global e-commerce continues to grows, and 65% of consumers would rather purchase abroad with a better price and choice. But the language barriers, cultural nuances, and varying expectations lead to misunderstandings, missed opportunities, and even lost sales. The crux of the challenge?  A "one-size-fits-all" approach simply won't work.

Imagine a French customer encountering an automated chatbot programmed for American preferences – confusion and dissatisfaction are almost guaranteed. With so many options available, a high-quality support in native language becomes a competitive advantage.

Solutions:  Cultivating a customer-centric approach that embraces cultural nuances and leverages technology while ensuring human connection:

  1. Support in the languages your target markets speak, with native speakers or culturally-attuned professionals handling communication.
  2. Being mindful of humor, tone, and imagery to avoid unintentional offense. Adapting communication styles to match local preferences. 
  3. Comprehensive training programs and guidelines in cultural sensitivity. In EverHelp, for instance, we ensure every e-commerce support representative has a deep cultural sensitivity training. 
  4. Setting up support teams in different time zones or offer 24/7 support through rotating shifts.

Insufficient self-service options for customer inquiries

Customers continue to lean towards self-service (with 81% of all customers choosing self-serv approach before reaching out to a live representative). Although it’s a growing trend, still many e-commerce businesses ignore investing many in top-notch help centers. 

Solution: Build a robust resource center, like an FAQ page or knowledge base, that tackles both fundamentals and frequently encountered issues. Take inspiration from Magic Spoon, whose FAQ tackles basic concerns like "Is it keto-friendly?", "Do kids eat/like Magic Spoon?", and "How does it taste?". To come up with the questions, put yourself into customers' shoes and pretend you here about your store for the first time. Which customer inquiries you might have? How to respond to customer inquiries effectively? 

And remember to test customer feedback loops for quality check.

Optimized FAQs Website Example
Source: Magic Spoon 

 

Lack of personal touch in cart abandonment emails

Today's shoppers especially crave real connection at every stage, not robotic reminders.  But many cart abandonment emails still read like automated scripts, failing to address the real reasons customers leave their purchases behind. At EverHelp, we help a particular attention to this point while optimizing customer service.

Solutions: To ensure your customers actually read the abandonment messages, consider the following steps:

  1. Analyze abandonment data to identify common reasons like high shipping costs, lengthy checkout processes, or product concerns.
  2. Segment your audience based on abandoned cart details and offer relevant solutions in your emails.
  3. Inject more empathy and personalization: greet by name, address potential concerns directly, offer discounts, show you understand their dilemma, highlight specific benefits or promotions based on the abandoned items, show unexpected benefits of the item left.

Card abandonment email example

Insufficient social commerce support

Social commerce is among the newest and steadily growing trends (and a potential goldmine for e-commerce ❗️). But social media’s direct messages are rarely supported by a solid e-commerce support, and agents fail to provide customer service interactions in direct on demand.

Solutions: Stay ahead of the game and ensure your store’s social media accounts can offer a solid customer support on-demand. The good news—social media try now to adapt to the growing demand. On Instagram, for instance, you can add a well-structured FAQs so customers reaching you in direct can get immediate help on demand:

Instagram direct QA Example

Growing customer inquiries and concerns about sustainability

The green wave isn't slowing down any time soon. A whopping 61% of executives believe failing to incorporate sustainable practices could spell long-term trouble for businesses worldwide. This translates into growing customer inquiries and concerns around your environmental and social impact. But most support teams are poorly trained to give essential insights.

Solutions: Make sure every e-commerce support representative is ready to openly explain your supply chain, materials, and environmental impact. Create a readily accessible resource for FAQs, eco-labels explanations, and links to detailed sustainability information, so every customer support representative has the same database and answers in the same way. 

 The lack of support in returns management

Today, e-consumers expect as simple and apparent returns process as never before. And the pressure is on customer support teams to ensure the questions about returns are addressed explicitly (and become a motivation rather than a demotivation for making a purchase). In fact,  49% of e-shoppers are likely to deter from making a purchase because of not understandable and poor returns policy. 

Solutions: To address this order management challenge effectively,  customer support representatives need to proactively reach customers and explain everything about return policies in advance. Also, a FAQs base for support agents with explicit policies and tested answers is a must-have for all e-commerce businesses. Lastly, adding customer feedback loops whether they are satisfied with return policies explanations can make a huge difference.

Dedicated support for e-commerce order tracking

Another key determinant of excellent customer experience in e-commerce is advanced order tracking, with the ability to reach a customer support representative at any time. 

Solutions: The competitive advantage here would be proactive customer support outreach. Integrate order tracking with customer support, allowing agents to quickly access order details and provide accurate information to customers. Also, what helps is making customer support accessible across multiple channels, including live chat, phone, email, and social media, ensuring support is available whenever customers need it.

Bottom Line: Turn E-Commerce Support Challenges Into Advantages

Yes, reaching excellent customer experience in e-commerce has become more complicated. However, by understanding all these challenges and proactively addressing them, e-commerce support agents can significantly contribute to CSR and increase the number of sales. 

If you feel too overwhelmed with all these trends and want a dedicated help to not worry about your business customer support needs, EverHelp customer representatives that embrace all these challenges and beyond can become your pill from the headache and customer support quality mark. 

Ready to turn your customer support into competitive advantage? Fill in a simple form to arrange a call with our success managers, and let’s tack about your potential e-commerce customer retention strategies in terms of customer support outsourcing. ❤️

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