Morten Küseler works as a Customer Success Manager at Sleeknote, a company that provides its customers with a platform to convert one-time visitors into email subscribers. Morten has extensive knowledge when it comes to eCommerce and customer service. Read on for his vision of both subjects.
What do you see as essential in terms of online customer service?
In my view, it’s essential for brands to offer quality and constant availability when it comes to customer service. Companies have to answer all customer requests whether they come from live chat, social media or emails: they need to be ubiquitous. But it’s not an easy task and some brands often forget about the quality of their services. It’s essential to find a balance between availability and quality in online customer service. This way, they will offer the best possible customer experience.
Could you give some advice to companies that are struggling to implement this type of customer service?
Brands should focus a lot more on the recruitment of their customer service teams. Their customer service cannot just be excellent on paper but also have to be efficient when they interact with customers. A lot of companies still believe that customer support is the same everywhere but it’s not.
Do you think offering social media as a customer service tool will change how business interact with their customers?
I would say that social media is a game changer in terms of customer service. All the other traditional support channels (the phone, live chat, emails, etc.) have been private in their interaction with customers. Social media enables public support and this can be great for a brand’s image if they are able to handle these kind of requests. But if brands are not able to handle them or if they receive a large number of complaints, it can potentially damage their reputation.
Therefore, I don’t think interactions with customers are going to change but companies are going to be extremely careful on how they respond on social media.
What resources are essential when implementing an online customer service strategy for an eCommerce website?
Customer service should be a priority for online retailers. More resources should be allocated to this department. Brands need to keep their best people in this department. They also need to find the right people to lead their team of customer service agents. Offering human and qualitative support online is key: your customer service team should be led by intelligent people, who love the product they are offering to their customers.
Brands always need to be available for their customers. The phone has become essential for customer support. But online, live chat and social media are definitely the most important. But the use of social media is going to change from one company to another. For example, at Sleeknote, we don’t use social media as a support channel because that’s not what our customers request.
Answering customer requests takes less time via chat or social media than using the phone or emails. Live chat is already popular among eCommerce websites but social media or Messaging platforms are not frequently used in Denmark. Companies are thinking about it and I would advise larger companies to start using these kind of apps if customers request them. Otherwise, their customers will buy from their competitors who are offering this kind of customer support.
Which tools are Danish brands actively using in their online customer service strategy?
Chat support is very popular in Denmark. I don’t think you have a Danish webshop that doesn’t have that on their website, it’s just the way it is. It’s one of the most important online tools right now.
Trustpilot is also used by most Danish companies to measure how well they perform in the customer service department. This company is specialised in customer reviews. I think that every Danish company with an eCommerce site uses it. It’s the first place where customers go, so you need to have a presence there.
Customer service and Marketing are now inextricably linked. What are your thoughts on this evolution?
I think it’s a natural development but it comes from an unhealthy development of how companies treated customer service before this change. Marketing and customer service seem close now because customer service is moving to traditional marketing platforms like social media.
It also comes from an unhealthy relationship within companies where customer service was a completely different department, far away from everything else. Even if companies say they want to offer great customer service, the larger the company, the further they move customer service from other departments. So I think it’s a very natural development and it’s healthy for the two departments to work together. It’s important to link the positive reviews received from great customer support via Trustpilot for the promotion of your brand: use your customers to talk about your brand.
As an eCommerce expert, what do you think of the conversational commerce trend currently booming in the sector?
I think it’s very exciting, I will keep my eye on it! This trend has some great potential for companies and their customers. Sales, marketing and customer service are now all linked together due to the emerging conversational commerce trend. Conversational commerce is going to be a transition period for companies: some are going to fail it, but the ones that come on top are bound to achieve great success from it. Brands can’t just hope it falls in line with what they’ve been doing until now. They really have to rethink their whole marketing, sales and customer service strategy.
Finally, what is some best practice for online customer service. What about future trends of online customer service in the next five years?
Always go the extra mile. It’s an easy thing to say but not an easy thing to do. What is the extra mile? The extra mile is different depending on the type of customer service you are offering. But going the extra mile for customers is what keeps them happy whether you are in the B2B or B2C sector.
It all comes back to your team’s recruitment: if you have good people, they will go the extra mile for customers.
Concerning future trends, conversational commerce is going to be something normal: you’ll have to respond to your customers’ questions within the hour, even if the question is difficult. They will expect you to do so. And of course, companies will have to find a way to provide customers with what they want: being available at all times (work days, weekends, evenings). Customers are requesting that and we need to adapt to their needs.