This article is sponsored by Oracle
Customer service is not a department, it’s everyone’s job. ~ Anonymous
E-commerce startups looking to scale their business are finding exactly what they need in Oracle’s Service Cloud offering, which helps small, medium and large businesses seamlessly acquire, engage and retain customers while running the entire operation efficiently.
At the recently held Oracle Service Cloud Seminar in Bangalore, Nitin Singhal, India Business Head, Oracle CX, outlined the benefits of the offering for ecommerce startups looking to scale effortlessly without running the risk of becoming impersonal in their customer care. His views were echoed by Vikram Bhat, currently CPO at abof.com and previously with Myntra, who spoke about 10 things that businesses must address via customer service (see box: 10 things to ensure customer delight:).
Key things you can do to create a “wow” customer service experience:
- Make sure you have a kickass differentiator for your offering; one that benefits the customer. Abof, for instance, offers instant refunds when you return a product. This policy increased trust among their customers, in turn leading to better sales.
- Be proactive. If you foresee a delay in delivery, inform the customer. Most will appreciate the gesture even if they are upset about the delay.
- Use assisted sales or telesales to help regional language speakers get comfortable with buying online. This will expand your reach significantly.
- Try using text messages or WhatsApp as a customer interface and converse with customers in their own language.
The panel discussion that followed featured BigBasket’s VP of Product Management & Design Chintan Mehta, Zenify Co-founder and CEO Sudarshan Purohit and Abof’s Vikram Bhat. The discussion threw up some interesting takeaways for startups exploring how to achieve excellence in customer service. Every panel member stressed on ensuring convenience, quality, availability of product/service shopping and delivery experience as key factors in repeat purchase behaviour. But beyond that, they emphasised the need for empathy toward the customer, which will be based on inputs for all departments.
Chintan spoke about Big Basket’s technology algorithm which determines trends in the market and ensure the customer is viewing the latest and the items he is most likely to purchase while navigating the site, just like they would in a supermarket. He also spoke about how BB delivery boys carry plenty of change to make sure customers paying cash on delivery don’t face a problem.
The panellists were unanimous that positive word-of-mouth recommendation can literally help a company grow exponentially. Loyal customers can also be a brand’s best ambassadors – abof.com has taken this one step further by engaging them as aides in their business by the way of influencer marketing. These customers have a strong sense of fashion and are influential in their circles, so their stronghold on the community is effectively utilised on social media to amplify their products to the target audience.
In the business of property, Sudarshan spoke about how they extended the duration of the customer relationship by keeping in touch with them through greetings on various occasions and helping them with better pricing on other transactions.
Caring where it counts the most
Sanjiv Mahesh, Head Pre-Sales for Oracle posed a fundamental question on customer service to the audience: Are you providing care at the point of need? He then explained how customer service encompasses all stages, right from customer acquisition, to retention and delivery, and how it is the quality of customer service that ultimately ensures that the brand promise is met.
Oracle Service Cloud’s approach is to equip both customers and businesses with all the resources they need to ensure resolve queries effectively and therefore provide a consistently superlative customer experience across channels, be it chat, email, or phone. The Oracle Service Cloud customises solutions to help a company help their customers by providing:
-branded self service
One big advantage of the Oracle Service Cloud is how it helps you maintain (and even further improve) your customer service experience as your business scales, through self-service across channels. International clients who use the Oracle Service Cloud include Nike, TMobile, LinkedIn, eBay and more. Among ecommerce firms, Beachbody, Cabela’s, drugstore.com, beauty.com and Hallmark, use Oracle’s Cloud-based services. Oracle Service Cloud has over 2,000 customers worldwide, clocking over 2 billion daily transactions across 180 countries.
Abhay Kacker, who leads the Oracle Service Cloud across APAC, demonstrated Oracle’s cloud services in typical customer handling situations, including handling agitated customers. The whole process is made smoother when the agent has the entire customer history at their fingertips – past transactions, online behaviour patterns, social media presence – which can be leveraged to ensure customer delight.
The last presentation was of the promising three startups that won the “Wowed a customer?” contest that YourStory ran last month. InnerChef’s Head of South India Minu Jain, Furdo Co-founder Arvind Singh, and Chai Point’s Head of Customer Experience and People Experience Diksha Pande shared interesting anecdotes of customer experiences they have encountered and how they ‘wowed’ customers. The key to success lies in a blend of honesty, patience, focus and persuasion. But none of that matters if customers can’t reach you and get what they need, when they need it and through the medium they prefer. Oracle’s Service Cloud offering allows you to do exactly that.