Online customer service refers to a system that utilizes IT such as digital technology to serve customers on the Internet instead of in real stores. The impact of the spread of the new coronavirus infection also extends to the customer service style in stores.
Online customer service, which is currently being introduced, is one of them.
While many companies are facing the problem of “decreased orders and customers visiting stores,” online customer service is attracting attention as a means of solving this problem.
In this article, we will give you an overview of online customer service, along with benefits and success stories.
<Table of Contents>
Online customer service that is being introduced ・What is an online customer
service ・Why online customer service is necessary
Four merits of introducing online customer service
・Improvement of the purchase rate
・Increase in customer unit price
・Acquisition of royal customers
・Expansion of the trade area
Successful cases of online customer service, cases
of the apparel industry, cases
of department stores, cases
of travel agencies, cases
of real estate companies
Online customer service is being introduced
With the rapid development of the Internet, shopping on EC sites such as Amazon and ZOZOTOWN is becoming commonplace.
The flow of DX (Digital Transformation) is steadily spreading to the apparel industry and department stores, and online customer service has been attracting attention in recent years.
What is online customer service?
Online customer service refers to a system that utilizes IT such as digital technology to serve customers on the Internet instead of in real stores. With the spread of the new coronavirus, the number of customers visiting stores has decreased, and it can be said that the movement to introduce online customer service is accelerating in various industries.
The main examples of online customer service are as follows.
・ Chatbot: An automatic conversation program that utilizes AI
・ Manned chat: Use a chatbot to increase customer satisfaction
・ Video call: Use a web conferencing system such as Zoom to serve customers online
When you browse the site, many people have experienced the message “Do you have any problems?” At the bottom of the screen. That is a chatbot.
AI has evolved and more and more chatbots can handle it, but it’s not perfect. In that case, manned chat that is complimented by humans will be effective. It is possible to increase customer satisfaction by providing detailed customer service that cannot be handled by AI.
We are also paying attention to online customer service using a web conferencing system such as Zoom, which is familiar to teleworkers. Recently, services that are easy to use, such as LINE video calls, have appeared for businesses, expanding the range of online customer service.
Why you need online customer service
As I explained at the beginning, the spread of the new coronavirus has greatly changed the customer service style. Product purchases on e-commerce sites, which have become widespread, are also accelerating.
An easy-to-understand example would be a net supermarket. It was natural to buy groceries and other items that are purchased every day at supermarkets and greengrocers in the shopping district, but as a result of the increasing number of people hesitating to go out due to the influence of the new coronavirus, demand for online supermarkets has exploded. It has grown.
This trend will continue even if the epidemic of the new coronavirus has subsided. With the spread of 5G, which is the next-generation communication standard, communication delays will be reduced, and online customer service through video calls will accelerate.
In the future, purchasing on EC sites will become commonplace, and it is undeniable that consumers may not be satisfied with prices and product functions alone. Therefore, what is important is online customer service that provides the same level of customer service as real stores. In the future, it will be required to improve customer satisfaction by properly using online customer service tools according to the needs of consumers.
Four benefits of introducing online customer service
It is expected that online customer service will continue to expand in the future. Let’s check four benefits of introducing online customer service.
Increased purchase rate
The important point in online customer service is how to provide customer service equivalent to that of a real store. I think many people have gone to the payment screen and left the EC site that does not serve customers online. By providing online customer service, it is possible to provide customer service equivalent to that of a real store, and it is possible to support consumers who are at a loss. As a result, the purchase rate of products will increase.
Increased customer unit price
Many companies that promote customer service DX are also focusing on “utilizing data.” By collecting and analyzing the data of consumers who have purchased at real stores and EC sites, it is possible to find out the purchasing tendency of consumers and related products.
The recommendation function “People who bought A also bought B”, which is often seen on EC sites, is derived from the data accumulated by companies. Online customer service with this recommendation function will increase the number of simultaneous purchases (cross-selling) more than in real stores, which may lead to an increase in the unit price of customers.
Acquire royal customers
If you focus on online customer service such as video calls, you may be able to win more than repeaters.
Although it is not a real store, it is possible to create a sense of security for consumers by providing online customer service such as face-to-face video calls. When interacting online, it will be easier to link with SNS such as Twitter and Instagram, and consumers may become advertising towers as royal customers.
Can expand the trade area
Consumers are not “location-constrained” when receiving online customer service. Some may take it for granted, but this is a breakthrough. For example, it is unthinkable for people living in Hokkaido to buy clothes at an apparel shop in Okinawa. With online customer service, you can easily receive customer service at home without having to visit the store.
For companies that serve customers online, there are more opportunities to attract more customers than when serving customers at real stores, and as a result, it is possible to expand the trade area.
Success stories of online customer service
Online customer service is being introduced in various industries. Let’s check the cases of successful online customer service for each industry.
Apparel industry case
Bay Cruise, which develops apparel brands such as IENA and JOURNAL STANDARD, has introduced online customer service using the Zoom app. It is an “online customer service” where you can consult with fashion advisors at real stores, and you can consult about the size of the product you are interested in, the texture of the material, and the coordination method. Some fashion advisors are influencers on social media, so they are highly favored by fashion-loving consumers.
Department store case
At the department store Mitsukoshi Isetan, we use an app called “Mitsukoshi Isetan Remote Shopping” to serve customers online. With a chat function, customer service reservation, video customer service, EC site, and online customer service, consumers can receive department store hospitality from home. Even if the product is not available on the EC site, you can purchase it as long as it is available at the Isetan Mitsukoshi store.
Travel agency case
HIS, a major travel agency, also offers online customer service via video calls. The staff of the travel agency has a responsible area, and it is the consumer’s need to know various information about the destination of the trip. To meet this need, HIS has built a system to automatically match staff who are familiar with the area according to the consumer’s desired travel destination.
Case of a real estate company
Even at the Apaman shop, which is a major real estate company, it is possible to receive online customer service that does not require a visit. Only local staff can visit the preview, which is indispensable for finding a property, and use the “online preview” to check the details on a smartphone or tablet. The explanation of important matters from the residential land and building trader, which is required before the contract, is also supported by the “online critical theory”, and it is possible to do everything from the decision of the property to the contract in a non-face-to-face manner.
Nowadays, with the spread of smartphones and SNS, it is commonplace to buy things on the Internet such as EC sites. This movement is further accelerating due to the spread of the new coronavirus, and “online customer service” that provides services equivalent to those of real stores is drawing attention.
Even if the spread of the new coronavirus has subsided, this trend will continue. To survive as a company in the future, it is important to dramatically promote DX, including online customer service. Let’s actively incorporate online customer service and expand the range of corporate activities.
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