Linking Departments to Build Your eCommerce Business
The traditional commerce model, especially for a big business, rests upon specialization. Every task has a department, and these departments may not always have the best communication. For small and medium sized businesses, especially those focused on eCommerce, this traditional model is completely outdated and worse, can even harm your business because of its tendency towards infectivity, waste of resources, and damaging competition. We strongly recommend that eCommerce businesses implement a holistic brand representative team that does everything from managing pre-sales inquiries, to guiding shoppers, to offering customer service.
Moving away from the old model can be challenging, especially if it’s the system that you’ve come up in and that you’ve seen work for some of the biggest most established companies in the business. Those companies were built in a different era though and are aimed at a different type of customer than the modern eCommerce entity. Here are a few ways that the new model differs from the old as well as how you can make the transition.
Sales VS Service: A Losing Competition
When the sales and service department are separate, this can create a lose-lose situation for both the company and the customer. Whereas the line between sales and service was once clear, especially in a brick-and-mortar setting, this distinction can be harmful for eCommerce companies. For example, if a person visits your eCommerce site and has questions about choosing a product that suits their needs and their budget, this might seem to be a clear sales issue, since they have yet to make a purchase. However, shopping is not like it once was, these days shoppers are very likely to buy and return as online shopping leads to more discrepancies between expectations and reality than brick-and-mortar shopping did. In fact, research shows that up to 30% of customers return apparel and shoe purchases. This means that a salesperson who is pushing to sell, sell, sell without offering a high level of useful service to help the customer find the absolute best product for their needs is likely to find their sale returned and an unhappy customer on the other end. Providing excellent and helpful service at what was once the sales point can make a major difference in your bottom line over time.
Full-Service Support for Dynamic Needs
When asked what companies could have done to keep their business, the number one response was that they should create a ‘first contact solution’. Quite simply, customers hate being transferred and bounced around between representatives in order to get help and answers. In the old model, where there was a knowledge gap between different departments, this was the standard. However, the modern customer has almost no tolerance for this frustrating experience. Creating a holistic brand representative team makes it easier for your associates to answer any question that a customer may have upon first contact, and leads to happier customers who are more likely to become repeat shoppers.
Rep Your Brand, Foster Brand Loyalty
When your team believes in your brand, in shows through and customers are more likely to develop brand loyalty along with them. With the boom of eCommerce, fostering brand loyalty is more crucial than it has ever been before. It is easier than ever for shoppers to find what they are looking for, compare prices, and get great service. If you’re not the first brand that your previous customers go to when they need something, then you’re doing something wrong. The creation of a brand representative team, instead of separate departments, allows you to build a team that is committed to your brand, not to their departmental bottom lines. Their dedication will shine through and will help you boost your business.
Get Your Staff on the Same Team
Moving from the old model to the new model requires an attitude shift that focuses on the entire well-being of a customer. From the moment they arrive on your website, through the completion of a purchase, to the assistance they may need once your product arrives. Your team should be wholly committed to creating a superior customer experience and in doing so your business will be rewarded with a happier, more loyal customer. Start focusing on building a better holistic brand representative team and move your business into the future of eCommerce.