Online store visitors can be finicky. If all of their questions aren’t answered instantly, they can move away from your site never to return. Shopify live chat is one tool that can help keep shoppers on your website longer. Use this Shopify help chat guide to find out which tactics leading customer support teams are employing.
You’ll be able to leverage some of these ideas to use on your Shopify store, and the rest you can learn from. We’re going to take a look at several Gorgias users and explain what they did to improve their support productivity on the Shopify platform.
What is Shopify Help Chat?
Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of these brands’ support campaigns, let’s define the tool. Shopify help chat, also known as live chat or chat support, is an eCommerce customer service channel used by online store owners to provide shoppers on the Shopify platform with real-time support.
So, every online shopping platform should employ the use of chat support to optimize their customer relations. It is a surefire tool for enhancing the shopper experience (as long as you use it correctly). Now, learn what some of the leading successful online stores are doing to make their help chat strategy work.
Tactic #1: Reduce Customer Support Resolution Time
The time it takes to resolve an online shopper’s problem can play a major role in their satisfaction level. Reducing your Shopify help chat resolution time can increase customer loyalty. Here’s an excellent example from Marine Layer.
Who is Marine Layer?
Launched in 2009 by Mike Natenshon, Marine Layer is a San Francisco lifestyle brand. Natenshon realized, after his girlfriend threw away his favorite t-shirt, just how much meaning a piece of cotton can have.
So, he got his best friend, Adam, to join him on a journey to create a major brand known for “absurdly soft shirts that are perfect for a 7-day weekend type of lifestyle.” They jumped in a ‘69 Volkswagen van, traveled up the west coast, and sold their shirts out of the back of it until their dream manifested.
Image source: Marine Layer
But, Natenshon’s story, his Shopify store, and his 40+ brick and mortar stores nationwide aren’t the only aspects of the business that power Marine Layer’s success. Seamless customer experiences are a major driving force behind the company.
How Marine Layer Reduced Customer Support Resolution Time
To understand the company’s success, let’s look at Marine Layer’s strategy. In the simplest terms, in 2018, the brand chose to implement a live chat feature, all but replacing the traditional ‘Contact Us’ link at the bottom of their online store’s homepage.
Marine Layer wanted to implement a digital retail strategy that would come as close as possible as talking to a retail salesperson in-store. But, there’s more to it than just allowing a shopper to open a chat box to ask a question (though that is an option).
Alongside their basic live chat features, Marine Layer runs “ice breaker” campaigns. Depending on the URL of the visitor, previous communications, and the time spent online, various messages pop up to invite shoppers to take certain actions.
They also use macros to harmonize communication and decrease first-response time. Macros are triggered live chat messages that can be used to keep shoppers updated, even when a customer support agent isn’t available to respond.
Adding these tactics have given the brand a 68% decrease in response time and a 75% increase in online orders. Use macros to increase your response time and watch your sales boom!
Tactic #2: Integrate Live Chat with Facebook Messenger
One of the most popular live chat app integrations on the market today is Facebook Messenger. In some regions, social commerce appeals to more shoppers than online stores. If used correctly, you can generate more sales from Facebook messenger than from your website chat box. Here’s how Ellana Cosmetics makes it work for them.
Who is Ellana Cosmetics?
Established in 2008, Ellana Cosmetics was founded with Coney Avellana’s vision of a world where healthy skin is synonymous with the pursuit of beauty. After years of searching for the perfect makeup for her problem skin, Avellana discovered mineral foundation only one year prior.
After that, she decided that she needed to come up with a less expensive, tropical-climate-friendly option that could be used by other women in her home country. She enlisted her friend Theresa Carbonell Benaflour to help in her research. Soon, the most popular cosmetics brand in the Philippines was born.
And, as you know, it takes more than a great product that fills a demand to build an empire like this. Ellana Cosmetics is now owned by Vivanti Executive Advantage Inc., who has taken the customer support strategy and brand awareness to the next level. Find out what they’ve done to reach the ultimate level of success.
How Did Ellana Cosmetics Leverage the Facebook Messenger Integration to Enhance the Shopify Help Chat Experience?
How did they make it to the top? Check out Ellana Cosmetics’ approach to find out. In a nutshell, they’ve matched Facebook profiles with their Shopify data to build a Facebook Messenger and live chat experience that fuels their marketing campaigns. Their strategy is brilliant.
Ellana Cosmetics knew that the majority of their market was shopping via social media and needed a solution to best serve their target audience. A Facebook Messenger integration with the ability to merge shopper profiles and provide convenient payment options on multiple platforms was key.
The company switched from Zendesk to Gorgias because Zendesk’s Shopify integration did not have the capability to recognize a Facebook user and match them with the eCommerce platform customer data. The switch allowed them to match customer data and partially automate the merge between shopper profiles.
In addition, it enabled Facebook payments, allowing customers to pay online. In the Philippines, online store transactions are handled as cash on delivery (COD). The ability to pay for items at the time of the order increases efficiency and gives the company instant access to the funds released by the credit card processor.
90% of Ellana Cosmetics’ customer queries now come through Facebook messenger as opposed to the online store’s live chat box. And, the company’s resolution time has decreased from 24+ hours to 13 hours (54% quicker).
#3: Use Unified Campaigns to Power Subscriptions
Whether you’re growing a subscription-based eCommerce business or not, targeted campaigns can help power sales. To do this, you need an integrated customer support solution. Merging your communication platforms and targeting your campaigns will help you collect more leads and drive more sales.
Who is Bokksu?
Danny Taing’s passion for food and travel manifested into a powerful idea when he launched Bokksu in 2016. Taing had lived and worked in Japan for many years and became passionate about the country’s variety of snack foods.
When Taing eventually returned to the US, he became frustrated with the lack of available snacking options. That’s when he set out to create Bokksu, a team of foodies who hand-select various Japanese snack food options to send out to subscribers monthly.
Bokksu is a way for subscribers to discover Japan through authentic snacks from throughout the region. Yet, the food and flavors aren’t the only parts of the business that make it successful. The customer service strategy has helped the company to skyrocket their success.
The Targeted Campaigns Bokksu Delivers to Grow Subscriptions
The company has many moving parts, all of them working as a unified machine to delight customers and continually scale the operations. Their targeted campaigns delivered via live chat and integrated communication platform have helped drive sales and collect new leads. What can you learn from Bokksu’s Shopify help chat campaigns?
Not long after the company launched, they were experiencing rapid growth, seemingly unable to keep all of their operations organized. With a history in tech, Tiang knew that the problem could be solved through software. So, he set out to find out which of his operations could be streamlined through automations.
In doing so, he found that his customer support software might be lacking for his individual operations and that he needed to enable more features if he wanted to stay on top of his resolutions. Inspired by another Shopify store’s chat box, he decided to check out Gorgias’ platform.
He realized he could leverage Shopify’s ReCharge actions from the helpdesk. With this, there was no longer a need to have multiple windows open at one time. Also, because the company is a subscription-based service, most customers ask the same questions over and over. With the new platform, he was able to utilize smart tags to automate a large portion of the live chat communications.
The above tactics save a ton of time. But, Bokksu has also taken its operations to another level by using the chat box as a lead generation tool. By enabling the Shopify help chat email capture feature, Bokksu has grown its lead gen list tremendously.
Bokksu has experienced 10X growth over the past couple of years and now drives more revenue for the business. In addition, the response times, since implementing the tactics mentioned above, have been decreased by 50%. Growth and retention are booming as a result of these targeted customer support campaigns.
Tactic #4: Provide a Consistent Customer Experience (Across all Channels)
It doesn’t matter which channel customers shop on — whether it be through an online store, in-person, or via social media — they want a consistent, personalized experience of your brand. Consistency is trustworthy and trust builds long-lasting relationships.
Who is Try the World?
Another food-based subscription service Try the World was launched in 2013 by Kat Vorotova. Angel investors helped raise $800,000 to launch the company whose customer base is 70% Millennials.
After the first year, the company was able to raise an additional $2.3 million in seed money from new investors, and they’ve maintained consistent growth. In 2015, revenue was $7 million and doubled to $14 million in 2016. The evolution of the American palette is attributed to the success of the company.
People like to try new flavors and startup capital helps when it comes to growing a successful company. But, preferences and money aren’t the only aspects of Try the World’s success. A large part of how they have been able to grow is through an expert customer service plan.
Try the World’s Unified Customer Experience Strategy Overview
How are only 20 total employees running a multi-million dollar company able to fill over 100 tickets per day on multiple platforms? Turn to Try the World’s strategy for the answer — they unify conversations and display Chargify and Shopify tickets in one dashboard
In the beginning, Try the World’s support agents were spending about 20% of their time moving from platform to platform to find and read conversation history with users. This just wasn’t working because it left a ton of room for human error and impacted shopper satisfaction for the worse.
Customers were annoyed with the fact that agents didn’t seem to know who they were talking to. The strategy needed to be more consistent. So, like Bokksu, Try the world updated its platform to integrate with the other tools they were using. So, they found a solution to enable the company to view all of their support records in one dashboard and record communication history.
Just by being able to read Shopify, Chargify, Email, and chat box conversations on one screen during communications, Try the World’s support agents have increased their resolution capacity. Where they once could resolve 80 tickets per day, they can now resolve 120. And, their response time has dropped to less than 24 hours.
Tactic #5: Leverage Automation Features
When running an eCommerce business through Shopify, automation will save your life. Automating your customer support can save you time and reduce the instances of human error. Speed and accuracy will help you create satisfied shoppers.
Who is Love Your Melon?
Two University of St. Thomas students, Zachary and Thomas, manifested Love Your Melon in 2012. The company was born from a desire to launch a venture with a positive social impact. The original idea was to somehow put a hat on every kid battling cancer.
That goal was reached when the company had gifted 45,000 hats to young cancer patients. After that, another goal was set — to donate $1 million to pediatric cancer research. Since it’s launch, the company has given 160,000 hats and $6.1 million. They are thriving.
Love Your Melon sells hats, socks, and other cozy clothing and accessory items. 50% of their profits are given to nonprofit partners in the fight against pediatric cancer.
And, while this is a philanthropic idea, it must be more in order to thrive. Not only is Love Your Melon founded on service to humanity, but their customer service strategy also keeps shoppers happy.
Which Shopify Help Chat Automation Features is Love Your Melon Using?
Believe it or not, Love Your Melon only has 3 customer service agents who respond to up to 300 tickets per day. A feat like this is only possible with automation. So, turn to Love Your Melon’s Shopify help chat strategy to find out how they do it. It’s prety incredible and makes live chat processes as streamlined as possible.
Love Your Melon is a large Shopify store, hence they need many apps to manage their processes. From inventory management and shipping to support and communication, they use a full suite of tools. They used to use a variety of customer support tools to ensure that they were able to communicate with every shopper who tried to reach them.
The processes needed to handle their operations like above were tedious and additional support agents needed to be hired during the busy season. Not only was it more money to pay for more agents, but onboarding and training were draining the company’s reserve energy during a time when they didn’t have it.
Of all solutions they looked at, a fully-automated customer support strategy was the only feasible solution. Let’s take a look at a before and after example of the automated approach to customer support.
Example Customer Problem:
Imagine that a customer orders an item from your online store and then realizes that they’ve used the wrong shipping address during checkout. Panicked, the customer tries to log in to their store account, but can’t remember their password. So, they reach out to your Facebook Messenger chat agent to explain what has happened and ask for help.
1. Example of Internal Support Operations Without Automation
If a customer comes to your agent with a problem like this and you’re not implementing a fully-automated strategy, this is what the process might entail.
Step 1: Reply to the customer on Facebook and let them know you are updating their account information.
Step 2: Open a new window.
Step 3: Find the customer’s order information inside the Shopify dashboard.
Step 4: Update the customer’s order information.
Step 5: Press “Save.”
Step 6: Double-check to make sure the customer’s order information has been updated.
Step 7: Open a new window.
Step 8: Move to the email dashboard.
Step 9: Compose an email letting the customer know that their order information has been updated and what changes have been made to it.
Step 10: Send the email.
Step 11: Re-open the Facebook chat window to let the customer know their information has been updated.
Step 12: Ask the customer if there is anything else you can help them with.
You get the idea… Customer support doesn’t have to be a long-winded, 12-step program. Rather, in an ideal world, support happens instantly. Automation is the only way to streamline the processes.
2. Example of Internal Support Operations With Automation
If a customer comes to you with the same problem, yet your processes are automated, here are the steps your agent will need to take:
Step 1: Press “Send.”
That’s really all there is to it. Using an optimized platform, you should be able to automate simple and common requests with the push of a button. This way, you free up time for your support agents to work on the complex issues manually.
By utilizing an approach like the example above, Love Your Melon has automated 25% of their support tickets. The automations are expected to reduce response times during the busy season to just a few seconds, as opposed to what previously took 10 minutes.
In the digital era, there are so many ways to optimize your eCommerce business processes that it’s unwise not to leverage them. So, keep your support resolution time to a minimum and integrate your live chat with Facebook. Unify your campaigns and provide a consistent experience for your shoppers. And, finally, leverage automation to the fullest extent of its capabilities.
Following this advice will throw you leaps and bounds ahead of your competition quicker than you can imagine. Luckily, we can help you make it happen. Start your free trial today and find out exactly how your customer support strategy improves your bottom line.
CEO and Co-founder at Gorgias
This article originally appeared in the Gorgias blog and has been published here with permission.