Online customer experience determines the future success of e-commerce businesses

Geomant’s Regional Manager for Hungary Adorján Bortnyák spoke at the Internet Hungary conference in Budapest last month, where Geomant presented the prize to the winner of the Best Support Service category. Adorján was interviewed about AI and the importance of online customer experience, a timely and compelling piece that has been covered in the Hungarian media. Here we translate the key points of the interview into English for our international audience.

“The rise of digitalisation has affected buyer behaviour in many ways, but one thing is certain – it has raised expectations of customer service and made consumers impatient. The expectation is now that there will be a quick and accurate response to any query made whilst browsing a website and if that’s not the case, your business will suffer. Indeed, 64 percent of online buyers will leave the e-commerce platform they are browsing on if they are not able to access help in real time. This means that e-retail business who do not invest in a slick online customer experience run the risk of losing over half of their potential customers.

The term customer service is often associated with the handling and resolution of complaints, and the sometimes long waiting times associated with it, however, experts predict that customer service will soon not only address problems but also actively engage in sales support.”

 

Customer experience is a key differentiator for e-commerce enterprises

“In an extremely competitive time for e-commerce enterprises, 89 percent of businesses want to differentiate themselves from their competitors based on customer satisfaction online. E-commerce companies are spending tremendous amounts of money on marketing, advertising and website development, driving visitors to their online shop in ever greater numbers. The problems arise when no one thinks about what happens once a customer is on the website and has a query about a product or service. Customer service is still seen as an area where businesses can cut costs, rather than somewhere they should be developing and fine-tuning their offering.

It is important to support the customer all the way through the buying process, including while they make their purchase. An online buying decision can be made very quickly indeed, but it can be lost just as quickly. Well-timed support and a clear, accurate answer to a question can easily convert a buyer from an intention to a sale.”

 

Artificial intelligence is a key tool for success

“According to a 2018 study, revenue from the largest retail outlets in England has grown by some 23 percent in recent years, and this trend can be linked to the successful introduction of artificial intelligence-based customer server tools built on digital e-commerce systems. Today’s e-commerce can be clearly activated through digital customer service and, artificial intelligence has a key role.

In customer service, artificial intelligence can be used to understand the customer’s intent and to respond as accurately as possible to queries, whether written or spoken. With the use of MI, chat-based or live-language systems can be implemented with much wider self-service.

Imagine the situation when a customer looking around a website can’t really decide which product is right for him. By identifying this moment, passive customer browsing can be translated into an active dialogue where we can clarify customer demand and support the choice of the right product. As a result of retaining and building a positive customer experience, machines have to perceive the point where the buyer needs live human support, so in complex requests, a human intervention and smooth hand-off from AI to a customer service agent will be essential.”

If you’re interested to learn more about Why AI and chatbots should be a priority for online businesses’ take a look at our informative webinar, available online now.