When historians reflect on the COVID-19 pandemic in years to come, they will have a wealth of social phenomena to analyze. The impact of lengthy lockdowns on mental health. The evolution of office environments due to a rise in remote working. The role of social media in fueling conspiracy theories and the delicate balancing act of public health versus economic realities.
Then there is the industry that experienced unprecedented growth in the blink of an eye when the majority of the world’s consumers found themselves stuck at home – eCommerce.
To say online shopping has boomed during the pandemic would be an understatement. The United Nations shared that the global eCommerce market jumped to $26.7 trillion on the back of COVID-19, with consumers in emerging economies among those making the greatest shift to online shopping. As highlighted in the COVID-19 and E-Commerce: A Global Review report by UNCTAD and eTrade:
While such growth has no doubt been welcomed by individual operators, it has also presented them with fresh challenges. Cybersecurity demands, the need for more bandwidth and supply chain disruptions are among issues that have reared their heads, not to mention the intense pressure such demand has put on one of the most crucial facets of any eCommerce operation – customer support.
The best eCommerce businesses have a dedicated strategy for providing the service and support their customers deserve, be it through contact centers, live chat or other channels. A loyal consumer base is the foundation of any successful business and requires more than simply delivering a quality product. Organizations that invest in customer service put themselves ahead of their competitors and in a world of finite resources, it has never been more important to be savvy about how they make that investment.
More customers means more customer support – and more people to deliver it. The cost of hiring such employees locally is proving to be a burden for eCommerce operators large and small, which is why an increasing number are turning to outsourcing providers that specialize in customer support services. Employing a third party to manage enquiries, respond to concerns and facilitate positive ongoing relationships can take a huge weight off one’s shoulders, particularly for fledgling eCommerce entrepreneurs operating on tight budgets.
Unfortunately many eCommerce players delay outsourcing their customer support needs until it has become a headache. Having tried to maintain the status quo despite rising order numbers, they find themselves struggling to keep up with enquiries, requests and follow-ups and before long are dealing with an increasing number of unhappy customers. Smart operators know that a proactive approach to outsourcing can deliver numerous benefits including:
One of the reasons eCommerce outsourcing thrives is the sector does not operate on a one-size-fits-all policy. When it comes to customer support, providers can facilitate entire units that work under the guidance of a Team Leader or identify specific jobs that would help meet an organization’s individual needs. From Helpdesk and Technical Support staff to Inbound (customer enquiries, feedback and complaints) and Outbound Services (contacting customers with promos, bill reminders and satisfaction surveys), outsourced eCommerce solution providers are playing a key role in putting more smiles on customers’ faces – and, in turn, those of the business owners.
With COVID-19 likely to be an ongoing part of our lives, discover the eCommerce trends that are coming to the fore as millions of consumers embrace new online buying behaviors and habits.
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