Close More Online Sales
Catalogers know the Web can be a valuable place to sell product. However, it’s likely that many are missing the chance to generate even more sales via the Web.
To boost your chance at success, pay as much attention to closing the sale online as you would in your print catalogs—perhaps even more so due to the nature of the Web.
Therefore, to convert more of your Web shoppers into buyers, consider three key points in your Web-shopping process: online customer service; shipping and handling; and order-taking and processing.
Online Customer Service
Here are two commonly held misconceptions about online customer service:
1. There’s less of a need for customer service representatives (CSRs) to let a customer know if, say, the shirt he wants to buy will match the pants he purchased from your paper catalog six months ago.
2. Every customer service issue doesn’t have to be routed through a call center, because undoubtedly there’s a handy FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page somewhere on your site that will answer all of your customers’ questions.
If you disagree with the statements above, and believe more traditional customer service is just as important online, you’re on the right track. Catalogers expect to generate an average of 25 percent of their total sales from their Web sites by 2004, according to industry statistics. So they’ll want to focus on closing sales that otherwise would be lost.
One catalog that’s excelling at online customer service is outdoor outfitter Cabela’s. The cataloger uses NetAgent™, which is part of the Divine Corp.’s software services division. Part of the NetAgent suite—and what Cabela’s makes sound use of—is a chat utility that allows one CSR to handle up to six online NetAgent sessions simultaneously. Question and answer scripts can be pushed to customers while they wait to be connected, and CSRs can transfer sessions to colleagues better able to handle specific queries.