Shopify Ecosystem

The Ecommerce Guide To Pre Sales Support 

the-ecommerce-guide-to-pre-sales-support 

Pre-sales support can grow your business by providing prospective customers with fast answers that positively influence their buying decisions.

If you neglect pre-sales support because you think it costs more money than it makes, your company is missing a huge opportunity. Pre-sales support grows your business by providing prospective customers with fast answers that positively influence their buying decisions.

The easier it is for prospects to access pre-sales support, the better. That’s why most of your competitors now provide live chat on their websites. According to statistics curated by 99Firms, 79% of shoppers prefer live chat because it offers almost instant responses. 63% of these shoppers will become return customers after using live chat on a site.

Let’s take a closer look at what pre-sales support means and how you can use live chat to your advantage.

What is pre-sales support?

Prospective customers try to find out as much as possible about your products or services before making a purchase. Through pre-sales support, you can provide them with answers and convince prospects that your products are the best for their needs.

Besides helping you win over new customers, your pre-sales support team can inspire brand loyalty and boost customer retention. Your pre-sales support team can only accomplish this if it consists of experts that fully understand your company and products. These experts are in the best position to answer customer queries about shipping, pricing, refunds, and other factors that drive a shopper’s purchase decision.

Remember that prospective customers probably have browser tabs open for other companies selling the same products you offer. With live chat, you can provide fast answers to customer queries and stop shoppers from leaving your page to research products on other sites.

The difference between pre-sales and post-sales support

Pre-sales and post-sales are equally important for guiding a customer from being a prospect to being a satisfied shopper. Pre-sales support mostly covers answering the questions customers ask before making a purchase. It also includes leading customers through the sales process and closing deals.

What happens if your pre-sales team cannot provide satisfying or convincing answers or takes too long to respond? It affects engagement, leading to a low conversion rate as prospects lose interest in patronizing your business.

Your post-sales team handles customer care after a sale. By creating a good impression through quality post-sales, customers are more likely to become return shoppers. According to a study by AMA, you can use live chat to improve early-stage sales development by 32% and post-sales customer support by 39%.

How to boost revenue with pre-sales support

A Harvard Business Review study revealed that businesses with strong pre-sales have win rates of 40 to 50% new customers and 80 to 90% return customers. Another study revealed that almost 80% of companies witnessed increased customer loyalty, sales, and revenue after implementing live chat. 

You can be proactive and set up a chat prompt for visitors who have been on the site for a while:

Use pre-sales support to:

Optimize your sales process

Your pre-sales support team must use its thorough understanding of your product and customer needs to keep clients engaged and well-informed throughout the purchase process. Having support at every step will reduce customer uncertainty and abandoned carts.

Gain useful insights

Interactions between your pre-sales support team and prospects provide valuable insights into customer preferences. Use that information to improve your website’s content and user experience to boost conversions and sales. You can also use that information to automate your responses.

Convert prospects 

If a customer has second thoughts about making a purchase, the pre-sales support team must quickly provide valuable information that rekindles the customer’s interest. Pre-sales support can also engage with prospects checking your ads and social media posts. Doing this drives more traffic to your website and ensures the success of your ad campaigns.

Ensure unwavering customer satisfaction

If a customer enjoys the entire process of shopping on your website, they will most likely return for a repeat performance. It’s up to your pre-sales support team to ensure customer satisfaction at every stage of the sales process.

While your customer support team members aren’t sales reps, you can help them think like a salesperson and respond in a positive way.

Key types of pre-sales tickets 

Below are examples of pre-sales tickets you can create to ensure that prospective customers convert. Some products have a longer sales cycle than others, making your responses to the following questions even more important. 

Product detail questions

  • Will you get this back in a medium?
  • Does this include refills?

When trying to identify the best product for their needs, customers typically ask questions about size, color, durability, warranty, user-friendliness, safety, and so on. Another common question is how the product compares to its competitors.

Your pre-sales agent must answer these questions and point out how each product feature will add value to the customer’s life. If necessary, the agent can recommend other available products that might be a better fit for the customer’s budget or other requirements.

Shipping questions and technical support

  • Do you ship to my location?
  • Is free shipping available?
  • This page isn’t working, can you help me?

Your pre-sales agent must provide honest answers when answering these common shipping questions or risk dealing with negative reviews and losing a return customer. If you offer immediate or express shipping, mentioning it to the customer can motivate them to check out faster. 

The technical aspects of your website might not seem like part of the pre-sales process, but they are. If your team can address technical issues quickly, they can save the sale.

Sourcing or ethicacy concerns

  • Do you use fairtrade and sustainably sourced materials?
  • Are your operations eco-friendly?

More and more customers prefer getting their goods and services from socially responsible companies. Pointing out that your company adheres to ethical practices can convince your eco-minded prospects to convert.

Pricing frustration or confusion

  • Can I get a discount?
  • When is your next sales day?

Most customers are looking for a bargain, so it’s not unusual to hear questions like the above. If a customer complains about prices or missing sales, the pre-sales agent can offer a coupon to get the customer to make an immediate purchase. If giving a coupon is not feasible, inform the customer about upcoming sales.

Alternatively, prove to the customer that the product is worth the price by explaining its unique selling points (USPs). You can also sway undecided prospects by offering free returns if the product falls short of their expectations.

Doubts about product efficacy

  • Will this help my hair grow back?
  • Will this really help me lose weight?

When a potential customer doubts a product’s efficacy, telling them the product works is not enough to clear their doubts. Convert the prospect by listing the product’s ingredients or qualities and explaining how each one can deliver the results the prospect seeks. The pre-sales agent can also provide the prospective customer with case studies and positive reviews that showcase the product’s effectiveness.

How to boost revenue with great post-sales support

One-time customers are not enough to grow a business. You need repeat customers that make you the first stop for their needs and gladly recommend you to friends and strangers. Post-sales support is an effective tool for ensuring that this happens.

After a customer places an order, keep them at ease but eager to keep shopping by sending:

  • A thank you: Appreciating a customer goes a long way in showing that you value their patronage.
  • Review request: Asking for feedback shows clients that their opinions matter to your company.
  • Product suggestions: Product suggestions are a great way to keep customers engaged while awaiting their orders. Sending them product suggestions that match their searches also increases the chances of the customer making more purchases.
  • Other communications: Send shoppers shipment updates until their order arrives. The updates can contain personalized alerts about ongoing discount offers, upcoming promotions, and more.

How to effectively automate responses to important tickets

Today’s AI, chatbots, and automation technologies can help you automate not only basic customer support (like where do I track my order?), but also responses to more complex questions. Even important pre-sales tickets.

With Gorgias, you can create rules and automations to generate well-crafted responses to all sorts of questions. 

Here’s how:

  1. Review your company’s live chat transcripts from the past 1-3 months, searching for all pre-sales related questions and concerns.
  2. Batch these pre-sales tickets into categories. Group them together so you can provide quality support with fewer automated responses. For example, “Is this sustainable?” and “Do you use sustainable materials?” could be grouped together.
  3. Craft on-brand customer service script templates and load these into Gorgias. With Gorgias, you can even add personalization into your auto responders, which can be great when communicating with existing customers. 

No two customers are alike, but fortunately their pre-sales questions often are. So take the time to automate responses and watch your conversions rise.

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