Hiring a support team is an inevitable step on the way to becoming a successful eCommerce business. It’s a rite of passage during which customer queries are usually seen as a sales tax, and the newly formed team that deals with them is written off as the cost of success.
Over time, however, as processes become normalized, and expertise and workflows develop, the support team gains strategic importance. This makes sense. After all, providing the right solution first-time round makes for happy customers, and happy customers buy more!
The apprehension of most online retailers about hiring support staff is perfectly understandable though; even as the support team grows in strategic importance within the company, conventional wisdom tells us that customer support agents don’t make you money, so if lean times hit or seasonality rears its ugly head, you’re saddled with a growing cost center.
But what if that could change? What if your customer support agents could make you money?
This article will discuss how to empower support staff to contribute to your revenue.
Go BIG on Pre-Sale Queries: Always be closing
What are pre-sales queries and why are they important?
Pre-sale queries are key questions that customers ask to inform their buying decision. Think “does this come in blue?” or “do you have this in a medium”. Simple logic tells us that fielding potential customer’s critical buying questions in a timely and competent manner will have a profound impact on their likelihood to buy. As Alex Baldwin’s famous car salesman character in Glengarry Glen Ross tells us, ‘a guy don’t walk on the lot lest he wants to buy’. Similarly, customers don’t ask questions such as “Is this waterproof?” or “How long is the warranty” unless they’re seriously considering parting with their cash.
Speed is the key ingredient to cashing in on pre-sales queries
The Harvard Business Review recently found that companies with strong pre-sales capabilities consistently outperform their peers. Aside from the ability to provide accurate, helpful answers, speed is the biggest factor in determining a company’s pre-sales capabilities. Timely, accurate answers transform deliberating window shoppers into converted – money in the bank- customers. Further research sheds light on just how important speed is; if a pre-sale query is answered within an hour, the customer is 5 times more likely to purchase than if it were answered the next day.
The graph below shows the likelihood that a sale will ensue, compared with the time to answer a pre-sale message:
Online retailers are leaving money on the table
Given the exceptional importance of these queries surely their status should be elevated to top priority, right?
Well, the unfortunate reality is that in most cases, all incoming support queries arrive into a single unsorted bucket. And, while some teams may use rules and algorithms to tag or allocate tickets to certain specialists, such solutions are usually not able to distinguish between pre and post-sale queries. Therefore, in almost all cases, agents answer queries in sequence, based on when they arrive, assigning no priority to these golden opportunities, and therefore often squandering them.
How to ensure you and your team cash in on golden pre-sales opportunities
Whilst we know there’s enormous revenue potential in identifying and prioritizing pre-sales opportunities, even the most efficient customer support teams lack both the time and tools to scan through mails, flag pre-sales opportunities and then reply to them within one-hour opportunity window.
That’s where eDesk’s pre-sales feature comes in.
It automates the entire sorting process in real-time. Firstly, it identifies pre-sales opportunities and adds them to their own section within the eDesk mailbox. In order to immediately alert the support staff to the opportunity, the pre-sales section will appear within the eDesk mailbox the moment customer query arises. This all comes together to allow support staff to jump on the golden opportunities, reacting instantly with helpful responses and therefore, significantly increasing the likelihood of making a sale.
As with eDesk by xSellco itself, its pre-sales feature puts all the information support staff need at their fingertips;
- The warmth of the lead
- The marketplace the query came from
- The specific product which the potential customer is asking about
- The value of the product
Increase your sales by using eDesk pre-sales tool
eDesk’s pre-sales tool will cover your entire cost of customer support and turn what was once a cost base into a valuable contributor to the profitability of your business. If you’re ready to turn your support team into a profit center then try out a 14 day free trial of eDesk today.