Treating a symptom is never as effective as treating the cause. Besides being unable to prevent future problems, it’s usually inadequate in solving the current problem, as well. Unfortunately, business operations are often rife with bandaid solutions – as teams struggle to pinpoint the underlying cause.
In this post, we’ll highlight 3 process symptoms that are indicative of larger and more serious operational problems and show you how to drill down to the core cause.
Symptom #1: Uptick in Returns
Customers return products for a variety of different reasons. Roughly 20% of returns are the result of a damaged item, while 23% result from receiving the wrong product altogether.¹ And in 22% of cases, the product simply doesn’t match the marketing images.
Regardless, it’s not enough to correct errors and move on – especially if you’re noticing an uptick in your product returns. To avoid long-term revenue loss and potential harm to your company’s reputation, you need to get to the root of the problem and correct it.
If you trace the issue back to a supplier, you’ll need to work on it with them or replace them with a vendor who will deliver higher-quality products. But if you find the problem is due to mishandling in your fulfillment centers or by your carriers, you can simply modify your processes in-house.
The trick is figuring out which one is actually creating a problem for your customers. And to do that, you need data. By digging into your customer service interactions, you can discover which issue is popping up for your customers most often.
Symptom #2: High Call Volume for Order Placement
Customers like to be autonomous. So, if you have a lot of shoppers calling your customer support team to place an order, you know something is wrong.
But since the trouble can be anything from confusing check-out instructions to distrust of online payment systems, lack of payment options, or surprise costs related to shipping and handling, it’s difficult to know how to respond.
By reviewing and digesting data from your check-out pages, portals, and channels, you can successfully identify the trouble spots your buyers are experiencing. With this data in hand, you can resolve customer issues much faster in the moment, and fix aspects of your website that aren’t intuitive.
Symptom #3: Rising Product Inquiries
Another symptom of chronic customer experience issues is product inquiries, as customer outreach typically means one of two things. Either your customers can’t find the information they need to make an informed buying decision, or they don’t understand it.
Either way, it’s important to get to the heart of the issue and proactively solve it for all of your customers – rather than continuing to respond to the same product inquiries over and over again.
Here again, data can be a boon for retail and eCommerce businesses because it allows you to dig deeper into your customers’ experiences. Often, this data will need to be extracted from one-on-one interactions between your representatives and your shoppers. However, with the right eCommerce customer analytics platform, you can easily pinpoint customer sentiment and key pieces of information from live chats and phone calls.
The real question for retailers and eCommerce brands is: how do you glean these important insights from trillions of data points that flow into your organization from every channel and location?
Simple. You work with a customer service outsourcing company like Radial that can both handle customer inquiries on every channel and leverage eCommerce customer analytics to get to the root of every problem. With Radial, data analysis for eCommerce shopping is within reach. And you can use it to dig into the symptoms your customers are experiencing and uncover the deep-seated underlying problems.
¹ “E-commerce Product Return Rate – Statistics and Trends [Infographic],” Invesp, April 2021