In this podcast episode, we discuss how you can optimize your customer services during peak seasons through a combination of human touch and automation. Our featured guest on the show is Jordan Brown, Founder at Omnie Integrated Services Inc. at https://omniecsr.com/
On the Show Today, You’ll Learn:
- Why customer service is vital for ecommerce success in Q4
- What challenges merchants do face with evolving customer expectations
- How automation can help small and medium enterprises scale in Q4
- Why ChatGPT is capable of streamlining customer support
- What strategies boost sales through personalized customer interactions
- Why personalization is key to generating revenue from customer support
- Tools and strategies that enhance customer experience and loyalty
Links & Resources
Shopify App Store: https://apps.shopify.com/omnie-branded-live-support
About Our Podcast Guest: Jordan Brown
Jordan is an innovative leader in customer service with a solid foundation from Club Med Resorts and Carnival Cruise Lines. He managed service teams across five continents, gaining expertise in hospitality and earning a respected reputation. Jordan channeled his knowledge and forward-thinking mindset into Buyatab Online Inc., revolutionizing customer service and helping the company become Canada's fastest-growing technology company. Known for his expertise in customer service, management, and leadership, Jordan brings diverse perspectives and insights to every endeavor.
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Claus Lauter: Hello, and welcome to another episode of the e commerce coffee break podcast. Today, we want to talk about customer service as we're going into Q4 and things become really, really business, a really important topic. Now, obviously keeping your customers happy and satisfied is one of the most important things for your business.
So customer support is a key element to convert customers into superfans. For that topic, I have Jordan Brown, founder of Omni Integrated Services with me at OmniSCR. com. He is an innovative leader in customer service with a solid foundation from Club Med Resorts, Carnival Cruise Lines. He managed services teams across five continents, gaining experience, expertise in hospitality and earning a respected reputation in that field.
So in a nutshell, Jordan has a passion for world class service and is the right person to talk to. That's why I come into the show. Hi, Jordan. How are you today?
Jordan Brown: Hey, good, good. Thanks class. Thanks for having me on.
Claus Lauter: Jordan customer service, not an easy topic because there's so many different channels that merchants have to deal with.
Now you're in that field every day. What are the biggest challenges that you see that merchants have to deal with?
Jordan Brown: The modern customer is constantly evolving it used to be phone, a lot of phone support, email support, the phone is going to the wayside and it's more digital channels, social media, live chat, text messaging, WhatsApp, line, WeChat, the opportunities to communicate with your customers are endless.
But a lot of those times, I Those channels are siloed. So I want to talk about what is an omni channel experience. A lot of e commerce brands right now have multi channel. So it means that the solutions are there. The channels are there for customers to contact you on, but they're completely siloed.
Oftentimes social media with a marketing team, phone, and a call center and a Gmail inbox. So that's really difficult to manage and can really result in a poor. Customer experience. So an omni channel is having all of those channels available for your customers, but all funneling through to the same place.
And that really creates a cohesive and harmonious experience for customers, regardless of how they choose to communicate with your brand. And then that gives the agent and the business a full 360 degree view of the customer, regardless of where they're coming in from. one of the major challenges that businesses have is really just.
How to put that together and how to make that a good experience the customers as
Claus Lauter: well. Now, good key question. So how do you put it together? Because as I said, you have all these different channels and you're looking into one or the other app just to check. And as I said, you want to have everything in one place.
And obviously the customer expectation is to get a answer to the question or request whatever they have as quick as possible. How does that work?
Jordan Brown: there are lots of platforms out there that we build and integrate these tools together so that everything's flowing through the same place.
And like you said, a lot of customers expect a really quick response to their interactions, but it really depends on the channel. So live chat, a customer is on your site, probably looking to purchase. Those should be prioritized over an email that is perhaps post purchase. Customers don't necessarily respect an instant response through email, but through live chat, they expect that in probably under a minute phone calls as well.
So having all those come to the same platform and then prioritizing them based on the channel. It is really important. Otherwise, like you said, you're logging into a WhatsApp phone and a Facebook account, and that's really hard to manage and prioritize the appropriate channel and lots of tools out there to integrate these channels.
If you have a development team, or here at Omni, we build , these platforms for
Claus Lauter: businesses as well. Now, when it comes to the manpower, that's a different topic. , a lot of small and medium enterprises, , they do not just have the manpower to reply in time specifically in Q4 when there might be a ton of questions coming in.
, I think you have a solution there that can help them. How does that work?
Jordan Brown: So that's why I wanted to come on now, leading up to Q4, because this is when e commerce businesses start thinking about Q4 and how to scale up. So automation , is really key. So if you're scaling up short term for holidays, automating the low hanging fruit, like where is my order?
Where do you ship to? , I want to return my order. Those are really easy requests that could be automated 24 hours a day. So that when the agents come in the morning, they're dealing only with customers that need a white glove service or more complex issues. , so I guess that's the first layer of automation to help cut down on the Q4, , interactions.
And through live chat, through our brand partners, we automate anywhere between 50 and 75% of chats. , as soon as they enter the chat widget. So that's really, really key for, Q4. And then from there, we like to layer in chat GPT, which is obviously super popular and evolving every day. So what we do is we've, we focus chat GPT on a particular brands, Shopify store.
So all their product pages, their variants, their content pages, their FAQs. And what that does is it populates a draft. For the agent. So when they get to an email, they just simply review the draft and chat GPT tells you how confident it is that that draft is accurate and the agent fires it off. So if it says, compare these two products for me.
Instead of the agent going and typing it out and comparing the price and putting in links, puts it there, the agent skims through it three seconds, four seconds, it's gone. And that's all done in the brand tone and the brand voice. Automation can be very robotic, and that's not a really good experience.
Canned responses, hey, read this article. Look at this two page document to try and find your answer isn't good enough for customers anymore. They want their question answered. Quickly into the point, not directed other places to look for those answers. So having that in the brand tone, the brand voice and firing that off and it looks personalized is a really, really good experience.
And then on the agent side. , forget automation, anything that can't be automated, you're still going to need additional agents to get you through Q4. What's really great is if you can have a tiering system with your support team. So there's some teams that have where everybody works on every request, but there are easier requests than others.
So if you do have to scale up for two, three months. hire temporary workers that deal just with tier one. So returns, exchanges, stolen packages, anything that's super complex can stay with your tier two team and product knowledge. Anything that's a little easier, like live support, , on the website can be done by a tier one team.
So training is quicker, less room for error that might cost a business money and you can onboard them quite quickly. And. Oftentimes using an outsourcing partner like us or somebody else can get your team members really quick, trained up for a short period of time so that you're, you don't have to buy additional equipment and
Claus Lauter: that kind of stuff.
Okay. Well, there's a ton of good tips in there. So that's a little bit unpacking , this whole thing, because I think one topic that I want to dive a little bit deeper in is also that obviously a good customer store can make you money. , not only money that you already have in the bank, but extra money.
I want to dive into that in a second. Very interested in the chat, chat GPT solution, the AI solution. I have never heard anything of that because this is not really something that versions can use on a day to day business. , you said a little bit, or you talked a little bit on, on how it works now. How long does it train, , or how long does it take to train chat GPT on your business, on your products?
Jordan Brown: Yeah, so straight up. So what it does is it indexes every Shopify product, the variance, your pages, your content pages, your blogs, historical interactions as well. So straight out of the box. Anything that's pre purchased, it's very, very successful on. So compare these products, where do you ship to? Anything that's available on your website or your FAQs that the customer didn't look for, , that's a hundred percent successful.
Anything over and above that, like returns or fringe cases, , once the agent replies. Manually that first time it's going to index that response so that the next time that question comes in, it's going to be automated. So how long does it take to be successful? It really depends on when those questions are coming in.
And when an agent replied, it's going to index that every time. We can also add content through Excel files, even, or index links anywhere on the web. It can be quite successful quickly, depending on how many tickets that you're getting in. Now,
Claus Lauter: when it comes to volume, you said, the ticket, the level of agents that you have, basically someone dealing with a easy ticket, someone dealing with the more complicated cases.
In regards of numbers, do you have any kind of case study or some tips for merchants? It's like how many agents would you need per, I don't know, order volume or something like that?
Jordan Brown: it's tough because, some businesses have more tickets per order than others. Businesses we see as high as 0.
6 tickets per order. That's really, really high. If you have anything over one ticket for every four orders, that's too many tickets. So about one ticket for every four orders is good. An agent can completely solve. We believe it should be between 40 and 60 tickets in a eight hour day. That really, and that's completely solving the request.
Sometimes there's some back and forth before a ticket can be solved, but they should be solving between 40 and 60. If the cases are really transactional, because you have no automation, like, where's my tracking? They can do a lot more than that. But typically. With programs that we manage, we automate so much the agents are working on are more complex and take more time.
So anywhere between 40 and 60, which is about 7 or 8 minutes. To close a ticket.
Claus Lauter: Okay. Now that sounds great. I mean with immersions getting the automation in saving time on that side, still making people happy. And now the other part is having an agent, not being only a support agents, but also a salesperson.
And I want to dive a little bit into that. How do you get a shift over there to really make money out of customer support?
Jordan Brown: Historically customer service is considered an expense. So we have some partners that come to us and say, why do we need you? We have a person answering emails 2 hours a day, and it's fine.
That's not good enough for customers that are on your site. So if a customer is on your site. And they're looking to purchase something and they have a question and the only option is email. They're going to email you and you're going to get back to them the next day. They may have already bought it somewhere else.
They may not come back to your site. So having live chat on the site and just being available is a good step towards converting site visitors. But it goes over and above that. So you can use the chat to pop out on the page. And if somebody is looking at a product for too long, Hopping out and say, Hey, you might have some questions.
What can I help you with? We use it in, so I guess the first layer is, Hey, you're looking at this product, you must have some questions. , the next layer above that to generate revenue would be a customers that purchased this shoe also purchased this cleaning kit with an add to cart button directly in the widget.
They just click it. They may not have even known that kit existed. It's on a different page. One layer above that would be really, really personalizing. The revenue generating pop up. So we work with a shoe brand. I'm going to keep using shoes as an example, but we work with a shoe brand in the UK.
And if we notice that the person on the site is in the UK, it rains 200 days a year in the UK. We're going to say, Hey, we see you're in the UK. You're going to want to protect these shoes from the rain, add this to the cart. And that's really going to resonate with that customer. Over and above that, sometimes just generating really, really positive relationships with the customers will bring in, revenue as well.
So, we like to personalize every pop up, every chat that we have. So, if somebody does chat with us, we force them to put their email in, so we know who they are. And with our integration with Shopify, if Klaus is chatting with us, and we know that Klaus spends 700 a month with us, We're gonna welcome them back.
Hey, Klaus, welcome back. Hey, how was your last purchase? So they have that relationship already, and you can even prioritize requests based on the lifetime value of the customer. There are also other tools that we use, like exit intent, if the mouse is leaving the page, popping out and saying, hey, where are you going?
Here's free shipping. Lots of different ways to get those visitors or those site visitors across the finish line.
Claus Lauter: Okay. There's a lot of, tools that you're using, to make it more a personalized experience for the customer and lead them to really become super fans. Now, how does it work if I want to work with you guys at Omni Integrated Services because there's so many things you do, what's the onboarding or how do I get started?
Jordan Brown: Yeah. So at Omni, there's a lot of tech solutions out there. That like CRMs that a business would build themselves and optimize if they can, if they have a tech person that can do that. And then there's a lot of staffing agencies where they say, here's a bunch of people, you hire them, you train them, you manage them.
What we do is everything under 1 roof. So we eCommerce businesses come to us and, hey, I'm a. A couple and we run really lean. We just want to sell our products. We don't want to do customer service, so we build. All the technology for them. We implement the tech. We just make sure it's branded and, , helps them reach their goals, whether that's just being available or generating revenue, and then we hire team members as well.
To support their customers, we do all the training, we do all the hiring onboarding is around three weeks, and that's mainly to find the team members to support the program and help us build the technology, but that's three weeks of work on the Omni side, not on the client side. And then, the brand can be as hands on or as hands off as they like.
We have some, we've tried last summer, we tried to contact a brand of ours. three weeks later, they replied. They said, sorry, I was skiing in Switzerland and it was peak season for them. So those are the kinds of stories I love where they don't even have to worry about customer service during their busiest season.
Claus Lauter: example. Not sure if I would follow that, but I agree a hundred percent that a lot of merchants, , see customers for a little bit of a pain in the neck. Unless obviously if you can outsource that, if you can generate extra money with it, , that might definitely, , shift , the idea on that one,
Jordan Brown: We can track if a customer comes in, chats with customer service, and then goes on to purchase during that same session, that's the, that's tracked as a conversion. So businesses will often see much higher conversion dollars than they're spending on customer service.
So it's a program that pays for itself.
Claus Lauter: If it's completely hands off, , how do I get as a merchant? What kind of data do I get out? Because you obviously on your side, you're making a huge learning curve with the customers. You probably know the customer, hopefully not, but maybe better than the merchants themselves.
And there's a lot of value in that. What kind of reporting or data exchange do you offer there?
Jordan Brown: We can report on anything, but the customer's blood type. How long they're in the queue, the wait time, the volume. The really important one is why customers are contacting you. So as a product knowledge, as a returns exchanges, if 60% of customers are contacting you for product questions.
You need more information on the product page so that they're not reaching out, , everything from customer sentiment. So did the customer chat? Were they angry? Were they happy? Were they curious? , we can track, , like where the customers are calling from the products that they're contacting about. So we have 400 standard metrics and then over and above that we can report on anything with custom dashboards.
So everything that you'd need. Thank you. , for your customer service and not just to improve customer service. The customer service reporting sheds light on every aspect of your business. Why are they returning products? So, hey, this customer returned a product. What was the product? Why did they return it?
So you can see trends. Hey, this product's being returned. 60% of our returns are this one product. Why is that? , we work. An example is we work with. I'm going to keep using the shoe company. As an example, they had one pair of shoes that kept getting returned for sizing and they turn. It turns out customers weren't reading the sizing guide.
They were just assuming this shoe is going to match what they're wearing on their feet right now. So we used chat to pop out every time they would add that shoe to their cart, we would pop out and say, Hey, don't forget to look at the sizing guide. And they would look at the sizing guide often change their size and reduced returns.
For that particular shoe significantly. So that's what we do with our client success team is make sure that we go through reporting with the client. We don't say, here's your reporting. We sit down with them and make sure that they understand it because it can often be new. For a lot of brands, they don't know what to look for.
Yeah. You don't
Claus Lauter: know what you don't know. So I think working with somebody who is an expert in that field and pointing things out that you don't know is pure gold. Tell me a little bit about the pricing structure that you have.
Jordan Brown: We offer all sorts of different pricing models based on somebody's budget.
So we have a shared program. So we have a shared platform with lots of agents that take on a lot of the small brands that have very few requests a day. And that way you have live chat on your site for during business hours. , but you don't need to staff somebody full time. So if you had a customer service agent sitting there 8 hours a day staring at the wall, that's very expensive.
But we have agents that are managing many small programs. So if you only get a couple chats a day. Those are being handled really quickly, and all you're doing is paying per ticket that comes through. Once you reach the 40 ish tickets a day, a dedicated team member is the way to go. So, dedicated team members , are a really good experience for your customers because , they work with your brand alone.
They understand your brand tone, your brand voice, your product. So it's really quick handle times and they sound just like an extension of your brand. , and we work with team members. We have offices across North America office in the Philippines as well. And we offer both kind of team members in the Philippines and team members here in North America, the big driver of the price or is where the agent sits is the languages and the price.
So we support, , partners in 18 countries, so we support , any language required. , but typically Philippines is really, really popular for English speakers. And then we have some offices in North America that can support, brands if they prefer a North American agent. And it's simply an hourly cost for the agent's time.
All the onboarding, the hiring, the training, any professional services, like. Changes to the chat bots or, , optimizing chat, G P T for example. Brands are not paying for that. It's simply an hourly cost for the agent. So there's no surprises for them. Very, very black and white. Okay. Excellent.
Claus Lauter: Now, who's your perfect customer?
Obviously you, you work with Shopify and other platforms. , who's your perfect customer?
Jordan Brown: Yeah, so e-commerce is 98%. Of our partners and Shopify is the biggest one for us. and the perfect customer is medium sized businesses that are scaling up and they're doing support on the side of their desk, or they have a team that's just jumping in when they can and they're deciding whether they want to do it in house or outsource it.
That's the perfect partner for us because they're, if they're spending 2, 3, 4 hours of their day working on customer support, they're not working on marketing. They're not. Focusing on selling their products. And so they're going to decide, Hey, do I want to get a bigger office and two computers and hire people and manage them?
Or do I want to outsource it? Have a better experience with experts and save money. That's our perfect customer. When we find them when the timing's right.
Claus Lauter: I think it's a bit of a no brainer, whoever has been in a situation of growing a team quickly knows how much pain points or how much pain that can create.
It's better to work with an expert. Before we come to the end of our coffee break today, is there anything that you want to share with our listeners that we haven't covered yet?
Jordan Brown: People think that customer service is important from when a purchase is first made to 30 days after the purchase.
But there's 6 steps of the customer journey, so it starts with awareness. So a customer lands on your site. They have maybe they have some questions about your product. They have a great experience with your customer service team. Really great , for brand awareness. And then the next stage is consideration.
They're looking around, maybe at some of your competitors, determining where they want to make this purchase. And they're going to remember, boy, now I had a great conversation with Klaus over at this brand. And now I trust that if I purchase, I'm going to have that same great experience till post purchase.
And then they go through decision. They come back, they try and purchase. They might have some questions for you. You try and get them across the finish line while they're on the site post purchase. Order information like order tracking needs to go out. It needs to ship on time. There has to be great communication on when the package is going to arrive.
And then over and above that, it's retention. Make sure you have loyalty programs. Make sure that you're sending personalized marketing emails based on their past purchase history. And then from there, advocacy is the last step. You want them telling their friends and family that you're the right person to purchase from.
But that's really, people think that it's just, hey, once they make the purchase, that's when customer service kicks in. The entire 6 step, , customer journey, , that's really important. And once you have advocacy from a customer that's telling their friends and family, you've almost skipped step 1 and 2 when that customer visits the site, they already know that.
trusted friend or family members had a good experience with you. , and that's really how you grow your customer base and stand out when there's so much competition out there. Customer service is a big differentiator.
Claus Lauter: Yeah, a hundred percent agree. If you , can't get customer support right on the first purchase, you will never come up to the point where you have retention.
Jordan Brown: Because you get a lot of new customers that, Hey, I may not wear this shirt, but I have a friend that wants it for Christmas. So I'm going to go to that site for the first time. And you may be back. You may have a five day backlog. They're not going to think, Hey, it's Q4. They're busy. They're going to think that that's the experience all year round.
So having Q4 quick responses during Q4 is really important. You're going to have a lot of first time customers buying for other people.
Claus Lauter: Excellent. Jordan, where can people find out more about Omni?
Jordan Brown: So you can find us at omnicsr. com. So O M N I E. CSR. com or just search Omni and Google O M N I E, and we'll be right up there at the top.
Hoppy to, if any of your listeners want a second opinion or just want to chat about their customer service strategy going into Q4, happy to jump on a call with them.
Claus Lauter: Cool. I would put it in the show notes as always, and you just one click away. And my recommendation to our listeners, listen twice to the episodes.
There are so many golden nuggets in there. If you really want to scale and make your customer support better, listen to it again and get in contact with Jordan. Thanks so much for your time today.
Jordan Brown: Thanks so much.
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