When you operate an e-commerce business, you may never have the opportunity to connect with your customers face to face. As a result, your customer service is a critical function to helping you build customer relationships, earn referrals and establish a brand identity that convinces prospects and return customers to choose your e-commerce business over another. Here’s a look at how sales order processing software can help you create — and guarantee — exceptional customer service.
Ensure a consistent customer experience. Data reported by Zendesk reveals that more than half of customers surveyed will recommend a company based on their perception of the service it provided, regarding it as a higher priority than product or price. In fact, 85 percent of respondents to the same survey would be willing to pay up to 25 percent more for a product, in exchange for customer service they can count on. Despite how well you structure internal operations to minimize the risk of human error, it’s inevitable when you have manual processes. Data entry issues, time delays in processing, miscalculation of order totals, discounts, taxes, commissions and misinterpretation of inventory in stock are all costs of doing business when you rely on manual processes. In fact, Ungerboeck Software reports that any business relying on manual processes should figure at least a 1 percent error rate.
Sales order processing software automates those processes so you can eliminate human error entirely, and free your staff to provide the service that truly enhances the customer experience. You can automate processes — like how you collect and validate customer and shipping information received in a host of formats. These include paper, fax, email and phone, which eliminate manual data entry and enhance efficiency — automatically transferring front-end and back-end data for expedited fulfillment.
Empower your staff with breadth of knowledge. When you sell online, customers cannot experience the product in person. They rely on the information you provide online, and via your customer service team to be accurate and complete. Sales order processing software empowers your customer service teams with the insights they need to speak intelligently about products. Providing them with information about each specific customer — including past order history, quotes with negotiated pricing, and details for customers who may require special shipping or packing arrangements. Your business isn’t reliant on one specific representative to help a specific customer, and your team has the tools it needs to interact with customers confidently.
Speedy delivery. Zendesk cites data revealing that 60 percent of online shoppers regard shipping speed as a key factor that dictates their perception of customer service. The more successful your e-commerce business grows, the harder it is to manage order fulfillment and shipping manually. Sales order processing software can help you:
- Automate the collection of orders placed through multiple channels.
- Indicate real-time inventory levels on your e-commerce site — so that customers aren’t made to complete order entry only to learn that an item isn’t in stock, or find that total costs exceed their expectations.
(According to Statista, 56 percent of online orders are abandoned because of unexpected costs.) Once the order is placed, your sales order processing software can send the customer automated status updates throughout order acknowledgement, packing, shipping and delivery.
In the world of e-commerce, customer expectations are high and the room for error is low. Sales order processing software makes your processes more efficient and accurate, and your staff more productive and empowered — so you can deliver the consistent customer service that earns you rave reviews, customer trust and loyalty.
Author bio: As U.S. Chief Operating Officer at Esker, Steve Smith is responsible for all operations in North, South and Central America. Esker is a global leader in document process automation, helping organizations around the world automate their manual business processes and increase their workflow and productivity.