How Chatbots Can Boost Customer Support and Shopping Assistance in E-commerce
Chatbots are becoming an essential part of customer support services for e-commerce platforms. They can help customers with various issues, such as finding products, resolving queries, and collecting feedback. However, chatbots also face challenges in meeting the high expectations and diverse needs of online buyers.
A leading chatbot provider wanted to determine the optimum user digital experience in a B2B2C world for chatbot. They also wanted to identify opportunities to create products that help their clients provide the best experience via chatbots to their customers. They approached us, Ethnity, a user experience research company based out of India, to conduct a comprehensive and insightful study on this topic.
We designed and executed a qualitative, one-on-one interview study with online buyers from different cities, genders, and shopping habits. We used a mix of devices (desktop and mobile) and platforms (D2C, B2C, social media, etc.) to capture their online shopping behavior and preferences. We asked them about their:
- Customer support: Most used channels, common issues, time spent, resolution time, switch of channels, request for human interaction, use of rich media, language preferences.
- Assistance in shopping: Use of customer support channels to find products, discounts, etc.
- Feedback collection: Frequency, process, and impact of feedback.
We used our expertise in conducting UX research studies across India to recruit and interview participants in a wide range of languages, cultures and technologies.
- Chatbots, calls and emails are the most commonly used customer support channels by participants to resolve various issues when they interact with different e-commerce platforms.
- When participants face urgent/critical issues or related to a high-ticket purchase, they prefer to contact a customer support agent instead of a chatbot.
- Participants rarely switch between support channels unless they are dissatisfied with the resolution or asked to do so by customer support.
- Participants use simple English language for customer support chats and calls. Some participants suggested that a chatbot that understands the Indian language with the English script could be useful for their family members who are less acquainted with typing in English.
- Participants didn’t take much help from customer support to find products or discounts as they were able to find them on their own or through other sources.
- E-commerce companies regularly ask for feedback via call, SMS, email and in-app survey. Participants rarely noticed any changes based on their feedback.
Based on our findings, we provided the chatbot provider with actionable recommendations to improve their chatbot products and services. Some of the recommendations are:
- Explore ways to enhance buyers’ confidence in chatbots’ query resolution capabilities and respond to issues that are not pre-set in its system.
- Integrate query-ticket management across all the channels to avoid inconvenience for buyers who switch between channels.
- Consider exploring scope of ‘personalised deal recommendation’ feature in chatbots based on buyers online behaviour.
- Consider feedback collection via the In-app section to maximise the fill rate.
We also helped them improve their user experience strategy and online performance through insight generation, training and workshops. We delivered a detailed report with findings and recommendations along with a presentation deck and video highlights.