The State of the Ecommerce Customer Service Industry 2019
Articles,  Blog

The State of the Ecommerce Customer Service Industry 2019


– [Derric] Alright, you should
be able to see my screen now and I’m gonna go really fast with this ’cause we’re already low on time. (chuckling) Perfect and thank you for letting me know you can see the screen. This is a report of over
780 Ecommerce stores with 131 survey responded. So we got some good data. It’s not flawless data. It’s not, you know,
impervious but it’s good data. Next up, the quick goals of
this report are to understand the challenges and opportunities
unique to Ecommerce. How is Ecommerce doing
versus the industry? We’ll touch on that just a little. I’m gonna give you some
benchmarks for success. So without wasting a single
second of time, as promised, I wanna get right into it. Let’s talk about the channels
that people are using for Ecommerce customer
service and support. Right now on the left side of my screen you’ll see that 90% of people use email and then all the way
down, I wanna focus on the most interesting one which
is that 60% of respondents to this survey offer onsite chat. Onsite chat is also, if
you look on the right side of the screen, most likely to be added for Ecommerce merchants in 2019. 55% of merchants said they’re
looking to add onsite chat in 2019 with SMS being
second and phone being third. So let’s take a moment to
reflect on onsite chat. And you’re gonna hear
a lot about onsite chat throughout this event. I’m quite certain that
Aaron’s gonna talk about it in just a minute as well. So I just wanna give you
my take on it really quick. In my opinion, onsite chat
provides a competitive advantage that will help you close sales
and resolve post-purchase issues before orders get
pushed to fulfillment. This means less cost on
return labels that people have to send product back to you and shorter, significantly shorter,
resolution times so that your customers are significantly happier. As we witness the fall of drop
shipping as a business model millions of consumers are
left feeling untrustworthy of lesser known Ecommerce brands. Maybe that sounds, you know, like you. You’re fighting this trust
issue that has emerged a little bit in Ecommerce. To prove your brand has real
people behind it, add chat. The simple act of being
available to talk can build the trust needed to get a
customer to complete an action. Alright, so that’s enough on chat. I also do want you to think about SMS and phone as we move into 2019. More people, we’ll have
sessions later today discussing all of these in more detail. But I think this is really
interesting to think 55% are going to be offering
onsite chat in 2019, 30% about in SMS and 24% in phone. And you can see the other
channels coming in here With Instagram DMs being a big one. That’s actually maybe
slightly inaccurate stat there but we’re waiting on the
technology from Instagram on that. I’ll talk about that in just a second. All right, let me give you some stats. First one that I really
love is, your CEO thinks you’re doin’ worse than you are. So 35% of CEOs gave their
customer service performance score a three out of five or lower. Whereas only 17% of heads of
customer service did that. And guess what? It gets worse. Marketing, the marketing department thinks you’re doing 300% worse than you are. So what does this mean? This means that, as a
head of customer service or head of Ecommerce,
it’s about communication. You need to agree on KPIs with your CEO and interdepartmentally and
report on them monthly so that your other departments have
good insight into the company. Everyone needs to be aligned on how the customer service is going. There should not be a disconnect
between you and your boss, you and your co-workers. A big tip that I recommend
for those working with the marketing
department, set up a weekly marketing customer service meeting. Every week you need to go
over new marketing campaigns and initiatives and figure
out how to proactively answer customer service inquiries
so that you’re not always scrambling to be reacted. All right, sorry for the
hub spot notification here. Go away. Next up we have automation. You ever feel like you’re
team is doin’ the same thing and it’s not movin’ forward? Your CS inbox is never
going to reach zero. You’re just kind of
crawlin’ over each other and goin’ in a circle, like
these two hamsters, I think. Well it turns out that 550%
more likely to feel creative if you are also very
comfortable with macros. If you’ve implemented a
significant amount of macros and automated responses you
also find higher creativity. I found this insight
counterintuitive because we tend to think that automated
responses are canned and generic and boring but the truth is, you’re able to create customization
to each specific issue that a customer needs and
then you can spit that out. It’s exactly in line with
what the customer wants and you can add more creative flare to it. On the flip side, if you’re
giving yourself a one on automation, you’re more likely
to have slower response times and cause way more problems
than you solve with a customized one to one
personalized message. So I’m all for having a
human touch but that custom response strategy will create
more problems than it solves. Key take away, automation is
not taken away from creativity. Invest in automation up front. I highly recommend it. So here on the left you can see this is the five out of five, this
is the one out of five. Also worth knowing, 79% of
Ecommerce stores do not know the cost of a customer support ticket. So I’m gonna do an entire blog
post on this in the future because I think it’s really
important that we understand the cost of the ticket and
how that affects your margin. Ecommerce stores care so much
about average order value and cost of acquiring a customer
that it’s surprising to me that you aren’t also tracking
your cost per ticket. It is an incremental to a cost
of goods sold, you could say. And I’m gonna give you some
metrics on that in just a second so we’ll leave you hanging for that one. I also wanna show you that 52%
of Ecommerce customer service teams are operating Monday through Friday, 9:00 to 5:00 with reduced
support during the holidays. To me, this is insane. Your store is open 24/7
but your support isn’t. Once you’re doing, I’d say,
over something like maybe five million in a year in revenue, I’d say 24/7 customer
support is mandatory. And even before that
you can use 24/7 support as a differentiation factor. So what I’d like to recommend
to you, as you go through these sessions, and you think
about the difference between things that you can actually
execute on and differentiate your brand and things that are
gonna be really, really tough to get buy in for and maybe
like creative loyalty programs and stuff like that, that
you’re gonna hear about. Those might be tougher
than just hiring enough support people to man
customer service 24/7. It’ll reduce first ticket response time. You close tickets faster. You’ll be able to answer onsite
chat questions that we’ve just heard are gonna become
very important in the coming months and everything works
better if you are 24/7 chat. Alright, I’ve only got two
minutes left before I have to cut myself off and go to Aaron Orendorff’s so I’m gonna go really quick. Tickets by channel, I’ll just
share this with you later. I’m gonna have, the entire report will be available to you online. I can bet you that email is
going to shrink over time. We’re gonna see Instagram DMs
and WhatsApp enter this space. SMS will enter into where
your tickets are being responded to so expect
big changes in this pie over the next 12 months. Here’s a fun one for you, 821
tickets per agent per month. This is, when we looked
at our customer base, how many tickets an agent
answers, on average, in a month. And this is probably
even a low-ball estimate. So what does this mean for you? It would be great if you
started your support agents with a goal of hitting
821 tickets per month. If each agent is held
accountable to this number you know that you’re operating
at least at industry standard and the more volume you
have, the higher you should actually expect this number to be. It’s, of course, the mission
of Gorgias to increase this number over time for
our customers, make it easier and easier for support agents
to answer more tickets. 1.76 responses to close a ticket. This means that if you
have a high number of touches to close, you’re probably
putting barriers to entry in your way that’s really
slowing down your response time. Figure out how to resolve tickets within one to two touchpoints. It’s also worth noting, the
industry standard across all of customer service is
about an eight on this one. Ecommerce stores get 36%
more efficient as they grow. Here’s something really interesting. Small store do about 88
support tickets per 100 orders or about one support ticket
for every $100 in revenue. As a store grows, you actually shrink the number of tickets per order. And you shrink by 300% the
number of support tickets per $100 revenue. This means that you
actually need to invest more in customer service up front
and over time you’ll have ticket mitigation strategies,
you’ll have happier customers that know how to use the product and you’ll actually see higher
returns from customer service and it’ll cost lower margin over time. So I think that’s really interesting and there’s a lot that
we could dwell on there. Really quick, preventative
customer service is the number one issue facing
most Ecommerce teams. I do wish I had more time to
share these things with you but I’m gonna skip through ’em. First response time doubles during Black Friday, Cyber Monday. How do you prepare for that support rush? And that is it. So really quickly, I’d like
to close out with a quick reminder call to action
for you for Gorgias. If you’re a Shopify store you can start a free trial at Gorgias.io. Ping our chat, once you’re in
the back end, with #LoveCX19 and we will get you an extra
entry into the giveaway for another chance to win
the 14k in Ecommerce prizes. Down here we have the link to download the State of Customer Service Industry report and I’ll also be sharing that
in just a second in chat.

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