Understanding What Online Customers Really Want


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You can have a lot of traffic, beautiful website, good prices, and product selection – but if your website does not give your customers what they really want when they need it, then all of these things are meaningless. And what do they want? Take these results from a recent global study of consumer expectations and desires:

• 83% of online users admit that they need some form of support during their online journey.
• 71% expect to be able to access help when purchasing online within five minutes, and 31% expect the help to be immediate.
• When asked what makes a great customer service experience, 82% believe that getting their issue resolved quickly is most important.

Now, let’s frame those points in another way. Your beautiful site might have a good first impressions on your customers, but if all of the flashy graphics and menus make it so difficult for online customers to find out how to obtain assistance that they abandon the purchase, your expensive website will be all for nothing.

Now, let’s say you are offering very competitive prices; your customers would probably notice that, but without being able to answer their questions accurately and quickly you will lose them as well. About half of customers will abandon a purchase due to poor service even if they found what they needed and at a good price. This leads us to the important conclusion that customers are willing to pay more for a brand they trust and have a good customer service experience.

In short, online customer service has become the single most-important issue facing your business today. The rise of efficient, global supply chains and the accessibility of eCommerce platforms significantly increased the competition in the online retail industry.

So, we can confidently say that quality customer service has become one of the best ways to differentiate yourself from your competitors. And what exactly your customers mean when demanding “great customer service”?

• 56% believe that resolving the issue in a single interaction makes for great service.
• 59% of global users would like to have more choice in how they contact online brands.
• 93% seeing real time help being of use in at least one online shopping scenario.
• 51% stated that they were more likely to purchase from a website if they could get answers via self-service or live chat.

In short, customers want the availability of help via numerous channels to resolve problems and receive answers quickly. They are looking for the freedom to choose the channel based on their preference or a specific need which may vary from one situation to the other. For this reason, a multi-channel customer service strategy where all channels are aligned is crucial for success today. Otherwise, you risk losing business via your underperforming channels and customer service representatives.

So the bottom line is that you must provide your customers with a great customer service that relies on real feedback from what your customers want to know and ask. It should include instant but accurate answers, choice of channels and consistency throughout your channels. In the end, all of these factors relate to the level of trust that your customers have (or not) in your company – which is based on how well you can help them. And that’s what your website customers really want.

Roy Goffer
Roy Goffer is nanoRep's Director of Marketing. He has over 10 years of experience in B2B marketing and a strong passion for online marketing and website optimization. Roy writes about online customer experience from both the marketing and customer service angles. nanoRep is an online customer service solution that improves customer experience through intelligent engagement and BI, which increases conversion rates, satisfaction and loyalty as well as lowers customer support costs and abandonment. Twitter: @roygoffer


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