4 Reasons Your Ecommerce Store Needs Phone Support In 2021


Exceptional brands use phone support to deliver faster customer support and personalized experiences. Here's how it can benefit your store.

Wondering if your team should add phone support to your ecommerce channels this year? You’re not alone. 

12% of our customers currently have a phone integration added to their account, and we’re watching that number rise with the new release of our native phones

While voice support may feel like an “outdated” channel in the age of live chat and social media, this tells us that ecommerce support teams are increasingly finding value in offering it to their clients. 

Here are 4 benefits of adding phone support to your ecommerce store: 

  • You can achieve faster first response times and faster resolution times. 
  • It’s easier to express empathy with customers.
  • Having a phone number builds trust and brand quality. 
  • It makes your support more accessible. 

You can achieve faster first response times and faster resolution times. 

Phones are an immediate communication channel, so it’s not surprising that adding voice support can boost your first response time. What we weren’t expecting, however, was by how much: 

Our customers with phones have a first response time that’s 7x faster than merchants that don’t offer voice support. (30 minutes compared to 4 hours.) 

What’s even more important to note, however, is that adding voice support doesn’t decrease resolution time (like many support managers fear). In fact, it makes quite a positive impact: 

Our merchants using phones have an average resolution time that’s 34% faster than customers who don’t. 

So not only does this channel help you respond to customers faster, but it helps you resolve their issues faster. That means your team can work more efficiently and spend up to 66% less time resolving each ticket. (Imagine how that could help increase your store’s revenue!) 

It’s easier to express empathy with customers (which can lead to better Satisfaction scores).

Talking (literally) to shoppers and hearing their tone of voice is the best way your agents can adjust their responses to create a great customer experience. 

While you can do your best to read clues in email and chat, it’s always going to be easier to match the customer’s tone when actually listening to them on the phone. 

And when your agents can express empathy and solve the problem accordingly, you’ve got a better chance at getting that 5-star review and positive customer feedback. 

Our customers using phones have an average Satisfaction score of 4.56 out of 5. 

While that score also depends a lot on your support agents and their personal approach to customer service, there’s no denying that actually speaking to clients is helpful for both parties in those moments.

Having a phone number builds trust and brand quality. 

Especially if you sell high-end products or have VIP customers (like wholesalers buying in bulk), having a phone number adds a level of legitimacy to your business. 

Since most online stores don’t immediately add phones as a support channel, it will stand out to customers when your shop does offer voice support. 

Phones add a sense of maturity to your business (and especially if you’re using an integrated solution like Gorgias’ native phone), there’s not much cost involved to elevate the status of your store like this. 

It makes your support more accessible. 

While the internet has come a long way over the years in terms of accessibility, the truth remains that phone support may be an easier and more comfortable contact method for some of your customers than digital channels. 

Test your live chat experience with a screen reader, for example. What’s the experience like? (And how does it compare to dialing a phone number and talking verbally to someone?) 

If there’s a chance that voice support is more approachable for a part of your customer demographic, you’ll create a better shopping experience for them by adding a phone channel. 

Now that you know the benefits of phone support, how do you actually add it? 

The first thing you’ll need to decide is who on your team will actually be answering the phones. 

A few options to explore: 

  1. Having your existing support agents answer phones. This is best if your agents aren’t already too busy, or you have someone who’s particularly good at verbal communication. 
  2. Hiring a new agent(s). This is the situation many support managers find themselves in — they want to add phones, but don’t feel like they have the right staff yet to manage it. Hiring someone new can help, but we also recommend following these tips to keep resolution times fast and phone processes efficient. 
  3. Outsourcing phone support. If you’re expecting a large amount of call volume and don’t feel you can internally staff the team to support it, outsourcing to a call agency is always an option. This can be expensive upfront, however, so it may be best to try one of the other options and consider this as a last resort. 

Next, you’ll need to choose a phone platform. 

If you’re adding our built-in phone channel to your Gorgias helpdesk, all you have to do to get started is log into your Gorgias helpdesk and create a new number (or forward an existing one, if you happen to have one already). 

Phones are included in our Pro plan and above, and unlike other providers, there’s no annual contract fee and no minimum seat requirement. 

This makes it a great option for teams looking to add phones for the first time or who want to manage all communication channels in one place. 

Plus, our ecommerce integrations save your agents time by displaying callers’ shopping history right in the helpdesk, so they don’t have to go searching for the last order, for example. 

For more tips on how to create efficient phone processes and increase resolution time by 34%, check out this article. 

Finally, once you’ve set up your team and chosen your provider, all that’s left to do is make your number visible. 

If you’re offering phone support for all your customers, you might place it in the footer of your website or all transactional emails. 

If you’re piloting phone support or using it exclusively for a segment of shoppers, you might save it for smaller email segments or place it only on dedicated landing pages just for them. 

Wherever you decide to put your number, just make sure it's easily accessible and clearly visible so your shoppers can start calling, and your support team can start delivering even better customer experiences!

Morgan is a Product Marketing Manager at Gorgias, helping top ecommerce brands offer exceptional customer support. She believes good UX is everyone's job, and has seen first-hand how great service leads to loyal customers.

Special thanks to our friends at Gorgias for their insights on this topic.
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