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Customer service is important for online shoppers

24 September 2015 - 10:39 by Sarah Collinson

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Consumers who regularly shop online prefer it when retailers are able to offer them efficient, helpful support when they have any questions or issues with their order, according to a report from eDigitalResearch.

Over two thirds of those questioned said that the speed with which queries were responded to by retailers offering safe shopping online was the crucial element that determined whether or not customer service was adequate.

More than half of respondents also pointed out that they would prefer to be able to get in contact with retailers without having to pay for the privilege. So support lines which are charged at a premium are not in favour among the majority of shoppers.

Almost a third of those who said that they had abandoned an online cart in the past admitted that the key cause for their consternation was the failure of a retailer’s customer support service to meet expectations.

There are, of course, a number of ways in which support can be provided, especially when retailers are attempting to offer safe shopping online which meets the expectations of modern consumers.

As well as providing direct engagement with support staff, the study also looked at other solutions, including asking respondents to say whether or not they would be in favour of answering one another’s questions.

Sixty two per cent said that this crowd-sourced approach to customer support would be amenable to them, although retailers will of course need to moderate any interactions that take place, to ensure that the right information and advice is being passed on by users.

The lack of human interaction that comes with shopping online can be seen as a problem when it comes to customer service, but retailers are getting better at catering to consumers as the market matures.