We have provided 24/7 live chat teams for a lot of e-commerce stores for the last 5 years. But as our clients have scaled up revenue or focused on staying lean while growing, the need for more efficient and scalable customer service support became clear too.

We provide dedicated customer service teams for ecommerce stores, working directly with their internal teams and systems. This enables the client to easily scale, while keeping costs lean (vs hiring in house). 

In this post, I’ll callout the typical initial areas we see a lot of opportunity to streamline for clients so you can do the same with your own in house customer service process. 


Split Tier 1 / Tier 2 and Analyze (Deeply) To Find Efficiencies

We took over customer service for one client recently and were able to find a ton of efficiencies by doing an in depth analysis of the tickets.

Some of this can be automated based on content of the ticket. We pull a lot OUT of the help desk for this level of analysis.

At a high-level, what we did is categorize the tickets by type (order question, shipping issue, product, etc), and then look at which were the highest volume.

Then within those ticket types, we broke them out into subtypes.

This helped us see clear areas to automate or completely eliminate with small tweaks to their customer processes.


Automate and Eliminate Tickets

Once you do a deep analysis, it’s possible to automate and eliminate quite a big chunk of tickets.

For example, if you have products occasionally go out of stock, especially during these crazy economic times, you might get questions about when they will be back in stock.

This seems to be a lot more prominent on sites where the audience is very engaged with the brand. One client we have got over 20 tickets like this every single day and they pile up fast.

By integrating an “email me when the product is back in stock” option on product pages, you can eliminate this type of ticket while also building up a solid email list with purchase intent. Many more people will subscribe to this than those who would actually take the time to email you.

This is sort of obvious example, but there are bound to be other types of tickets piling up in your helpdesk that could completely eliminate (or automate) with a few process changes / addition of some tech.


Fix Your Clunky Home Grown Processes ; )

This might sound blunt, but we’ve encountered so many stores that use outside spreadsheets and random home grown processes to keep track of certain parts of the support process.

For example, we have a client that gets products from a wide range of suppliers. When there are shipping issues, they previously logged these in a separate spreadsheet to ease their ability to send multiple issues to the supplier at once.

We are in the process of saving 30% – 50% of the time they used to spend on these tickets by better managing this process within the HelpDesk with tags and other organization methods.

The Takeaway

In this crazy economic time, you probably fit into one of two boats…

1. You need to stay lean to preserve the economics of your business through this time.

2. You need to rapidly scale to capitalize on sales that are coming in based on your niche, ad strategy, etc

In either case, improving the efficiencies of your customer service process is key. I hope this post has sparked some ideas of how you can do that. 

Need more help? See how we help ecommerce stores scale customer service teams here

Jon Tucker

CEO, HelpFlow.com

Jon Tucker is CEO of HelpFlow, a provider of 24/7 live chat and customer service teams for 100+ eCommerce stores. Launched in 2015, their team of agents has produced nearly $100M in chat revenue for a wide range of stores using a conversion-focused approach to live chat.


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