Did you know that 61% of average consumers prefer assistance over the phone?
When your customers need their questions answered, your FAQ page may only get them so far. Although FAQ pages are great for standard questions about product returns, warranty, shipping and payments, you’ll find there are times when your products and services may require a little extra customer-hand-holding.
Having a dedicated phone line for your e-commerce store carries a number of benefits, and below we’ll explore 7 common reasons you need to consider having a phone number for your own e-commerce store.
#1 Improves The Human Experience For Your Customers
While there are a number of effective ways to communicate with your customers, such as online chat, email, and messenger for Instagram and Facebook, a study by Google showed that 57% of the reasons customers have called a business is because they wanted to talk to a real person.
Here are some other things you might want to take into account:
- Baby boomers may not be as comfortable using social media or online chats to communicate. They prefer to talk to you, a real human being.
Sidenote: Not your targeted group? You may want to reconsider because statistics show that 92% of baby-boomers shop online at least once a month, and they tend to spend on higher-ticket items too! (Source: The Shelf).
- An unhappy, unsatisfied customer can be diffused if they are greeted by a helpful & compassionate voice that is dedicated to solving their problem.
Be sure to put yourself in your customers' shoes, and let them know you understand the issue. Make their problem, your problem.
Sidenote: If you have the ability to solve the issue right away, do it. If you can’t, tell your customer when the issue will be resolved – this helps to increase a customer’s level of satisfaction if they know you are working to fix the issue behind the scenes.
#2 Provides A Great Way To Learn About Your Customers Needs
If you’re just starting out with your e-commerce business, there really is no greater way to learn about your customers than by speaking with them directly.
The goal should be to get to know your customers as ‘people’, not just ‘buyers’. You’ll find customers open up quicker during a voice-to-voice conversation than they will in other communication styles.
Speaking with your customers over the phone is an excellent marketing tool because you have an invaluable opportunity to quickly learn:
- how the customer found your business,
- what prompted the customer to choose your products or services over a competitor,
- details of any problems or issues they may be having with your products or services,
- how to improve your products or the ‘purchase experience’ you provide,
- what your customer's interests are,
- what other products your customers may want to see made available on your store, and even
- how you can improve your website, and the user experience your online store provides.
#3 Provides Opportunity For Faster Service
Customers value their time, and they want to know that you value their time too.
According to statistics from Forrester, 66% of US (online) adults say that valuing a customer's time is the most important thing a company can do to provide great customer service.
If a customer can’t find their answer/solution in your FAQ’s, or spends half an hour composing a detailed email (or numerous emails) to have an issue resolved, it may lead to an abandoned cart, or a frustrated customer who won’t purchase from your online store again in the future.
According to a study by Google, 59% of the reasons customers call a business (instead of using a website or other means), is to quickly get an answer.
In each of these scenarios, giving your customers the ability to pick up the phone and quickly resolve an issue or answer a question in a single interaction is key.
This not only gives you the opportunity to provide an exceptionally positive customer experience, but you also have an opportunity to create a repeat customer!
#4 Makes It Easier To Build Rapport With Your Customers
Giving customers the option to reach your business by phone gives you a greater opportunity to build better rapport than email, or online chat services can provide.
According to statistics from McKinsey, 70% of the buying experience is based on how a customer feels they are being treated.
When you connect with a customer in ‘voice’, you can show you understand their concerns, not only with your words, but in your tone. Being able to effectively communicate in this manner gives you the unique opportunity to turn a one-time customer into a customer for life!
#5 Makes It Easier to Build Trust For High-Priced Product Sales
One of the greatest fears for online shoppers is that your store is ‘fake’.
Customers who are unfamiliar with your e-commerce store or brand want to know that they are dealing with a legitimate business, especially if they are purchasing high-priced items.
Giving these types of customers the convenience of giving you a quick call to ask questions is an excellent way to build trust, and potentially make a sale that you may not have otherwise!
#6 Better for SEO Conversions
If you’re doing any SEO with Google, here’s some interesting statistics:
- 47% of mobile searchers say that if a business does not have a phone number associated with their search results, they will be more likely to explore other brands.
- 70% of mobile searchers have used click to call to connect with a business directly from the search engine results page.
- 61% of mobile searchers state that click to call is most important in the purchase phase of the shopping process.
- Adding a phone number to mobile search ads results in an average click-through rate increase of 8%.
#7 Provides A Unique Opportunity For Up-Sells
“The probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20%. The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%.” (Source: Groove)
When a current or potential customer calls you about a product or service, you have a unique opportunity to bring to their attention other items they may not be aware of otherwise.
Here are just a few ways you could implement an up-sell:
- “Did you know you can receive X% off your first order by subscribing to our newsletter?”
- “We have a special offer for new / existing customers, would you like to hear about it?”
- “Did you know that if you spend $X or more, you receive X% off your total order?”
- “Soon our <new product> will be available for online purchase in limited quantities, would you be interested in hearing about our pre-order opportunities?”
- “Have you joined our Facebook page yet? It’s a great way to stay up-to-date with everything we have going on here at <company name>.”
Are you ready to add a phone number to your e-commerce store?
Depending on your targeted customer, you may want to give your e-commerce store a ‘we’re in your community’ type feel with a local phone number in your area code. Or if you have a wider audience, a toll-free number is a great way to provide customers with a no-cost method of reaching you.
There a number of options you can explore in order to find the best phone number solution for your e-commerce store.
Do you already have a phone number for your e-commerce store? Comment below! We’d love to hear about your own success stories, strategies, and what call services you have tried.