5 Factors Driving eCommerce Brands to Adopt Chat as Main Customer Service Channel

In this post, we will study 5 reasons companies, now more than ever, are turning to chat as their primary customer care tool. 

 min. read
April 8, 2023
5 Factors Driving eCommerce Brands to Adopt Chat as Main Customer Service Channel

Every business must ensure they are always ready to chat because these 5-inch displays are increasingly serving as the primary point of contact for most firms, whether for adoring Today, chat is the most used form of communication. Every element of their lives is publicized through messaging, which they also utilize to socialize and spread the gospel, praise or blistering criticism.

There are many things to learn from e-commerce companies' implementations of chat platforms as one of the leading consumer touchpoints because they were among the first to do so. E-commerce companies are the digital representation of traditional retail.

In this post, we will study 5 reasons companies, now more than ever, are turning to chat as their primary customer care tool. 

1. Chat is the most natural form of digital communication.

The most popular apps on the market right now are messengers.

For the 61% of visitors who arrive via smartphone, e-tailers typically offer a difficult-to-find phone number, a contact form, or an email address as the closest support choices.

When using an e-commerce app, users often choose chat as one of their initial alternatives. This is so because messaging mixes the synchronous, real-time aspect of calls with the trackable, self-serving nature of emails and a FAQ page.

Swiggy (Food delivery) and Goibibo (Travel booking) are excellent examples of this (Travel booking). These enormously popular services have made chat their primary means of customer care integration.

-Chat is the primary customer assistance channel for Swiggy and Goibibo.

Why this works 

At the point of purchase, the chat option feels quite natural. It provides a smooth customer experience, which customers cite as a crucial brand distinction over low pricing and high-quality goods. According to Seshadri Vyas, Product Head for the service, "Customers who have used the chatbot for Goibibo keep returning to it for their subsequent questions or support needs. Our percentage of returning customers has climbed four times in the last six months!"

Chatbots offer prompt responses. The largest hotel chain in India, OYO Rooms, has discovered that a quick reaction time is crucial to a chat solution's success. According to Varitant Goyal, Product Manager at OYO, "People anticipate a reaction on chat within seconds. Even though we have strong agent reply rates, a bot will ultimately be responsible for success."

Consumers must be heard 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but running a fully staffed call centre is expensive. The ideal solution is a chatbot that provides e-commerce service around-the-clock. Businesses might save up to 30% on customer service expenses by deploying bots.

2. Chat enables vast scale through automation over time, yet humans always answer complex enquiries.

Although retaining a sizable, committed in-house workforce is a top goal for most businesses, there are more scalable strategies. However, only some companies can afford it. That is even before your account for sporadic seasonal surges in traffic when businesses experience higher-than-normal incoming traffic levels.

32% of social media users who contact a brand anticipate hearing back within 30 minutes. Human agents often need to catch up on this goal.

Chatbots are the ideal scalable support solution since they can quickly learn from an existing corpus of marketing data and can be implemented in a few days. They ensure that the customer service desk is staffed around the clock to quickly respond to ordinary, everyday inquiries and refer more complicated questions to human agents.

Chatbots come into play to handle most people who prefer chat-based customer care. However, businesses make it difficult to contact customer care desks with tools like IVRS to filter enquiries and make support cost-effective. Goibibo's GIA chatbot provides the first level of help and enables customers to rapidly find the answers to their concerns with Auto Recommendations and FAQs. The brand has developed a reputation for being customer-friendly because of its 24/7 accessibility.

With their app, Swiggy has already used this strategy. When a consumer has a question, the bot first intervenes to inquire about the problem and provide a preliminary remedy. The user can continue the chat or call to speak with an agent.

The dashboard of a chat agent and the Swiggy bot in action 

Why this works —

This results in an incredibly fluid handoff, and the agent can use the chat to summarize the user's issue quickly. For this, Goibibo has optimized its customer service procedures and resources. This enables their human agents to observe and control a conversation rapidly.

Goibibo gauges a bot's effectiveness using a metric called "Human Interactions Saved." 60% of the time, when a user sends two or more messages, GIA saves the conversation as a human interaction! Saves on staffing and training expenses.

It offers a 24/7 interactive self-service option superior to a static FAQ page. Aspect Software found that 73% of customers prefer to handle problems with products or services independently.

 3. Chat is a cross-platform, omnichannel experience.

Consumers interact with brands across an average of seven social media channels, and they increasingly use Twitter and Facebook to express their frustrations.

With more than 1.5 billion active users, WhatsApp launched its Enterprise Platform in 2018 to help businesses interact with their target audiences. One of them was OYO Rooms, whose WhatsApp bot has added conversation functionality to the hotel booking process. Even without significant marketing or PR efforts, the company has discovered that the bot receives thousands of chats daily. 

Since 2019, most e-commerce companies have had their WhatsApp channels to automate more customer support processes.

Why this works 

One of the most user-friendly apps, WhatsApp, ensures clients have a direct line of communication with your company round-the-clock, expediting the entire customer support process.

For the bots to be as helpful as possible, several platforms can be utilized to their full potential. For instance: Use Facebook bots to promote conversations, generate interest in new items, and use WhatsApp bots to send a post-transaction updates. Users can search for flights, pack their luggage, and more using KLM Airlines' artificial intelligence-enhanced BlueBot (BB) chatbot on Facebook Messenger and Google Assistant. Also, their WhatsApp bot makes booking tickets much more accessible.

4.Chat can be utilized to promote post-sale retention, gather feedback, and boost sales.

Each support issue is an opportunity to communicate with a consumer. With a personalized discount, a chatbot can be used to persuade customers to make a repeat purchase or to provide feedback on a good experience.

Chat's conversational format allows for a robust and intimate connection with the user that is difficult to achieve through other channels. As Seth Godin eloquently puts it in this sentence, marketers fight to be heard above the din. On the other hand, customer service representatives can hush.

It's a terrific method to encourage users to pair this everyday experience with a marketing tool like a discount code campaign, especially given how popular these promotional offers are.

Why this works —

The bots are entertaining. A chatbot or messenger that sends personalized notifications from your app or website increases app launches by 27% and engagement by 3x. 

Sales can result from presenting the appropriate offering at the right moment during the relevant dialogue. Upsells and renewals account for between 70 and 95 per cent of the revenue for small and medium-sized e-commerce businesses. Selling to customers genuinely interested in what you have to say is more effective than interrupting uninterested strangers.

5. Chat can be used to track and gather information.

More than finding and fixing customer service problems is required. After all, prevention is preferable to treatment. An excellent conversational analytics solution may assist businesses in understanding precisely what items customers are mentioning and their preferences, which can help them make better business decisions.

 As shown below for a restaurant ordering business, a conversational analytics platform may quickly track recurrent phrases and user journey funnels:

Why this works —

Recognize patterns in customer complaints so you can solve faults before they become problematic. This can guarantee that a business has the best possible first-time fix rate (the percentage of complaints resolved the first time), which enhances overall efficiency.

Make judgements on product warehousing and planning. Understanding precisely what clients want is a massive differentiator in e-commerce. Preparing for specific seasonal shopping peaks (such as the Christmas decorating season) might help boost sales and profitability.

In conclusion, any e-commerce business that prioritizes chat as its primary customer care channel needs to be updated. The experiences that Goibibo, Swiggy, OYO, and other e-commerce businesses have had support this, according to Seshadri Vyas, Product Head for Goibibo's GIA.