Contact Center E-Commerce Sales Capabilities: Things You Have to Know

The eCommerce industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world. We have no need to repeat those banal facts such as “people are more likely to buy on the Internet” or “the future of the electronic commerce industry is based on personalization and speed of service”  - you already know it. The question is how to find new opportunities to get more sales, automate sales processes and be more competitive, and here the main thing to look for is software that can become the platform to improve all these processes. 

All eCommerce companies are disturbed by the main question - how to improve e-commerce sales? First of all, let’s say that we are going to talk about eCommerce call center solution’s benefits for e-commerce sales, and to overcome your doubts we can prove that an eCommerce call center is one of the most powerful solutions to increase e-commerce sales - both inbound and outbound. 

There is no need to spend time discussing boring theoretical topics, let’s find the answer to the main query - how can you earn more with your e-commerce brand using a call center for e-commerce sales? 

What are e-commerce sales?

This is an obvious question, we know, but it ought to be answered - e-commerce sales are sales, performed by the retailer on the Internet. That is the short version of the answer, but the long one is also present: e-commerce sales are all processes related to buying and selling operations on the Internet, including data and money transactions to process all purchases. Thus, an e-commerce brand is an e-commerce business that performs online sales, using digital platforms, such as its own website, marketplaces, social networks, and so on(some sell on forums or in apps, you know). By the way, e-commerce sales are not about very expensive purchases, for example, we can’t classify ordering a car on a car manufacturer’s website as an e-commerce sales example. The same is, for instance, with software vendors - they are mostly classified as high-tech developers and part of the IT industry, not as e-commerce companies, even though they still sell online. 

Therefore, we get a little collision in terms - on one hand, an e-commerce brand is a brand that sells online, but on the other hand, not every brand that sells online is a part of the e-commerce industry from the generally accepted point of view. But that’s chitchat, so let’s move to a more thorough part of our story: the stats and trends of e-commerce sales. 

E-commerce sales trends

E-commerce sales are going to reach an overall monetary turnover of around 6.4 trillion dollars worldwide. To make the tendency more comprehensive, let’s say that in 2020, before pandemic regulations and other negative factors, the whole industry has around 4.3 trillion dollars of monetary turnover. Four years - almost 50% increase. 65% of customers expect to use more digital channels or use existing ones more frequently in the future. In 2020, over 74% of all sales in the world came from online stores, and online retailing is growing much faster than offline(yes, it also is growing by 1-2% per year). 

Now let’s come to sales and calls and their connection. Let’s take a look at outbound sales calls first - according to the statistics, the average success rate of cold calling is around 1%. Moreover, 42% of call center representatives feel a lack of customer data before calls and 63% of sales agents state that the worst part of their work is cold calling. Looks like these statistics aren’t that great to convince you that cold calling is still working, are they? 

But let’s take a look at another side of the issue. 82% of buyers, if we talk about B2C, accept meetings when a sales agent reaches them, but on the other hand, it takes eight attempts to reach a lead. Anyhow, with such a great score of customers who are ready to accept the meeting, cold calling seems to be working and efficient. Thus, you need something to boost the conversion rate as 1% is too low, something to furnish agents with relevant customer data, and finally, something to ease call center agents’ work and fill their time with real calls, not manual dialing and reaching busy signals in most cases.

What if we say that the eCommerce call center solution is the tool that can boost the conversion rate up to 2,5 times, integrate CRM, and eliminate useless manual work? Sounds great, doesn’t it? But let’s discuss inbound sales calls first.

Inbound sales aren’t something that is performed by the eCommerce call center as a department or platform. We mean that when buyers reach you by phone with some questions, they’ve already found your product, compared it to some competitors, or just thought of its ability to cover buyers’ needs. Therefore, the first stage of the customer journey or sales funnel doesn’t happen in eCommerce call centers, people come to sales agents when they’re already ready to close a deal, or interested enough in your product. The main goal for inbound sales agents is to convince customers to make a purchase, and here is the field where an eCommerce call center solution is also vital and effective thanks to its features and capabilities. 

So, let’s find out how the eCommerce call center can help you earn more and make your customers more satisfied. 

Cost-effectiveness

You need a call center not only to make more sales but also to provide eCommerce service, it is clear enough. And you need an inbound call center just to process customer support requests, and as your e-commerce business grows, the capabilities of PBX or any other non-universal solution will not meet e-commerce business needs and cause harm to your business. Thus, the question remains the same as it always is when you need to invest money: how to save money and get what you want and need. 

Call center solutions can be designed in two main types: on-premise and cloud-based call center solutions. We don’t even want to discuss the efficiency of the on-premise contact center, because it requires you to purchase hardware, set it up, and maintain it - and that’s all for your money. The cloud-based call center is cost-effective - it requires no maintenance, offers great data security, works on every PC with Internet access, and has monthly or yearly subscription plans with affordable prices. What’s more, you can choose the type of subscription and pay only for the needed number of accounts and features. Is your business scaling up and there appears a need for more staff for the customer support team? Just pay for another account for each e-commerce agent, that’s all. 

Blended call center

We have already found out that you need an inbound line, and as we are discussing opportunities to make more sales, you also need an outbound line. By the way, a cloud-based call center solution is the tool that can easily cover both these needs - and what’s more, it offers great flexibility in e-commerce agent workforce management to deal with call volumes. 

How does the blended call center work and why is it called so? We have already learned that there are two call center types - outbound and inbound. Both outbound and inbound lines have their teams that work only on that line. Blended call centers are designed after taking into consideration situations where the inbound line is too unloaded with calls - in an eCommerce call center it may happen in some seasons, like before Christmas or summer holidays - and allow you to switch each outbound e-commerce agent to an inbound line to help other inbound agents deal with the call volume and avoid customer dissatisfaction. 

Powerful outbound dialing capabilities

Now we have reached the most interesting part. You want to sell more, don’t you? And we have promised that there is a tool that can boost your sales. Now let’s introduce the hosted auto dialer software that is included in the call center solution as a feature. What is it and what benefits does it offer? 

Hosted auto dialer is a software tool that totally automated dialing processes in outbound telemarketing. Thus, it can easily eliminate the issues outbound calling marketing suffers from - the e-commerce agent doesn’t need to spend time on manual(and stupid) work, the outbound dialer is connected with a CRM system, and the outbound dialer is offering around 2,5% of conversion rate. Moreover, it has three different dialing modes which are designed for distinct purposes and tasks. Let’s learn more about them. 

The Predictive Dialer is the most advanced and automated dialing mode that is perfect for outbound telemarketing, cold sales, cold base prospecting, old bases updating, and all other campaigns that are focused on working with cold leads. Why is it called the most advanced and the faster auto dialer? The predictive dialer got its name due to the peculiarity of its algorithm: it predicts when the ongoing call will end and starts dialing before it happens to link the e-commerce agent to the new call right when he hangs up the previous call. Predictive dialer predicts the moment to call by analyzing the average call duration of previous calls, and this makes it the fastest outbound dialer - around 100 dials per hour with a 75% of success rate. Nonetheless, there are some aspects to know - Predictive dialer can’t work properly with less than five customer service representatives working, and it can cause a little percentage of dropped calls because of wrong campaign settings. 

A Power dialer is a bulletproof solution for warm customer bases. It starts dialing only when the e-commerce agent is free, it can leave voicemails after each call, and it requires only one agent to work at full power. It can perform around 75 dials per hour, with a success rate starting from 50% - it depends on the lead quality of the base, so it can be over 80% in some cases.

A Preview dialer is quite similar to a Power dialer working algorithm, but it allows an e-commerce customer service agent to see a customer's card with all detailed information from the CRM system - previous interactions, previous customer reviews, purchase history, and so on. Thus, the Preview dialer is perfect for high-net-worth customers processing and for VIP calls, or just if you want to perform a highly-personalized campaign with loyal customers. 

All the auto dialers have features to avoid unsuccessful calls - for instance when an auto dialer dials the phone number from the lead base, it turns out that there is an answering machine. Auto dialer detects it, doesn’t link the call to an agent, and immediately starts dialing the next phone number. This feature saves time, and moreover, you get an option to set customizable redialing rules for all unsuccessful calls - no matter the reason, whether it is busy signals or out-of-zone, or anything else. Also, auto dialers can run multiple campaigns at the same time. 

Additionally, all auto dialers compile detailed reports for each campaign to help you analyze its success and make needed changes to boost the performance of outbound campaigns.

Call scripting

How to make agents more efficient? Yes, you can invest more in agent training or coaching, implement internal mentorship, and create a great internal knowledge base, but this won’t work without a call script. Your eCommerce call center needs to use every single sales call with maximum productivity because it can be your deal or your failure. Call scripting works greatly for both outbound and inbound calls, both eCommerce services and sales, and surely it works for cold voicemails that can be sent via Power dialer.

Call center solution doesn’t only offer you to use existing call scripts, it has a multifunctional call scripts editor that can edit, construct, or import call scripts. If you are interested in working tips to create really great call scripts to create a seamless experience for a customer, read this guide. 

Automated calls

A great way to send reminders, special offers, customer surveys, and other kinds of messages to just show customer care without the involvement of human agents. Automated calls work as pre-recorded messages sent via IVR technology, another great feature of a call center solution that we are going to discuss below. Automated calls are absolutely effortless - you just need to record a message, import the lead base, and start the campaign. For an e-commerce call center, automated calls can be a great way to add some personalization and make eCommerce service a bit warmer and more humanized. 

For instance, you can send such messages as confirmations of purchases or other customer interactions. Additionally, you can use this tool to gather customer feedback and get higher response rates than if you send those surveys via SMS or whatever else. Automated calls are also a great e-commerce call center follow-up option and even an up-selling tool that can be used in any occurrence. 

IVR technology

Yes, the IVR system can send automated calls, but it’s not its main purpose. IVR technology is one of the greatest customer service tools for both self-service, eCommerce service, call-routing, and other call center services, and it works as an interactive menu with an option for customers to choose sections that relate to their customer support issues. The IVR system works either based on dual-tone multifrequency technology(DTMF) that requires customers to press buttons on their phone to select menu sections or based on voice recognition technology that requires customers to pronounce their requests. First of all, the IVR solution is the first thing that begins each customer interaction with an e-commerce call center. This tool is great if it is properly designed, menu sections aren’t too long, and especially if you use a great voice recognition system - this can lower average response time and provide a positive experience.  

Also, the IVR system is vital for intelligent call routing. You need to collect customer selections of menu sections to understand the nature of his request, and the IVR system performs it perfectly. The next stage on the way to ideal call routing and agent selection is ACD technology - the system that performs the call routing itself based on IVR selections. 

Conclusion

As you can see, call center technology is really beneficial for eCommerce service and eCommerce sales. You can not only boost the conversion rate and get more revenue, but you can also positively influence customer satisfaction, and customer experience, build customer loyalty and boost customer retention to increase current customers' lifetime value and get more outcomes in the future. Moreover, call center technology also has many features for workforce management, deep analytics capabilities, and third-party software integration to make your business more unified. Social media, email communication, messengers, chatbots, and other communication channels are also managed and maintained by the contact center software. 

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