Top Three Customer Service Strategies to Reduce Cart Abandonment
Cart abandonment is a well-known issue that online retailers face. Abandonment rate is as high as 69%! While there are many lists of tactics to reduce cart abandonment, most of the focus is on technical aspects of the website and checkout process.
There is no doubt that ensuring excellent usability, using ad-retargeting, pop-ups, etc are all essential to optimize sales completion, but there is still room to not only increase sales completion, but to increase repeat customers and loyalty by honing your online customer service offerings.
- Conversational Content – While still technically a digital/virtual element, you can add a human element to the check-out process with conversational language. Replace dry, technical language like, “Fill out the fields below”, with more personable language like, “Let’s start with where you would like us to send your order.” Be sure to match the tone to your brand, but don’t be afraid to bring personality to the check-out process (and other areas of the site as well).
- Seamless digital to human customer service – Be sure a potential customer can get their questions answered in real-time. If you’ve done your job with excellent usability and transparency, and an FAQ page, you’ve already greatly reduced the number of questions, but customers can be in a hurry or distracted with multi-tasking and not see or have time to read FAQs or product details. With the 1-2-3 customer service punch of a digital bot that transfers to outsourced customer service who can then escalate a question or issue to in-house customer service if needed, you will ensure that any question or concern a potential customer has will be addressed immediately, increasing the likelihood they will complete their order. And if they find good reason not to complete the sale, you’ve just saved yourself the cost and loss of a return from an unhappy, unsatisfied customer.
- Personalized Follow Up Email – Should a customer abandon the cart despite all other efforts, the industry standard is to send a follow-up email to remind them of the items in their cart. As with conversational content, here is an opportunity to really personalize the email. There are many angles to take here. You could have a customer service rep actually write the email, or you could have a form email that goes out and is signed by an actual customer service rep who will be able to reply with answers to questions prompted by the email. Again, be sure that any personalization and conversational content are “on brand”.
Scout+ Bonus: Social Media Monitoring and Omni-Channel Support – once the sale has been made, turn returns and potential bad reviews into another customer service opportunity through omni-channel support and monitoring. With monitoring, you can catch the earliest stage of disappointment and use omni-channel support to communicate with a disgruntled customer on whatever platform they are on and/or communicating with you through. Whether that’s FB comments or messenger, or an Instagram message, etc.
Modern online retail has evolved, customers are savvy in navigating retail websites and the checkout process, but can quickly become frustrated when they can’t find answers to their questions, easily abandoning an order in progress. This is why customer service will never go out of style. No matter how good the technology, it never quite satisfies the human yearning to feel connected, special, and cared for in their transactions with businesses.
An excellent example is how Il Makiage handles follow up after orders. New customers are sent an email from a customer service rep asking if everything was expected with their order. If it isn’t, an actual person replies by email with an easy and immediate resolution.
Jennifer Williams is a Marketing Behaviorist at Verilliance.com, building lean marketing strategies based on consumer and decision science.