Mia Bobak: Customer Service as Marketing

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We had Mia Bobak of Gorgias on the show to discuss the role customer service plays in building brand loyalty and growing sales in eCommerce.

The lines between sales, marketing, and customer service are getting blurrier as the roles overlap and bleed into each other. Every interaction a customer has with a company adds to their perception of the brand and can affect their purchasing decision. 

Gorgias is a leading technology in the customer support automation space for eCommerce. We thought it would be great to hear from, Mia Bobak, who’s a Technology Partner Manager there, and Adam Vaira, Optily’s Client Strategy Consultant, on the role customer service plays for businesses.

During the half-hour discussion we covered off a lot, including the following themes:

  • The role of live chat in the pre-purchase step
  • Using automation to supplement human chat
  • Consolidating cross-channel support communication

If you have time to listen to the full episode, I know you’ll get a lot out of this high-energy conversation with Mia. But if you’re short on time, I’ve pulled a clip below and summarized a few of the key points we chatted about.

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Proactively reach out and creating connetions with your customers

There’s a fine line between intrusive, generic chat functions that create unnecessary friction and helpful customer service. There is definitely a time and place for live chat pop-ups. The trick is figuring out when and where.

Once a customer is browsing your catalog and engaging with a product, Mia says this is the time to send a targeted message. 

If you have a sale on a particular product going on or it happens to be a bestseller, that’s when you want to reach out and talk specifically about the offer. Otherwise, it’s good to give the user some time on your page to browse around. And then, once they’ve shown clear intent by being active on-site for a couple of minutes, do you want to shoot out a friendly message asking them if they need any more information.

People have higher expectations from brands and want to be heard. They’re looking for genuine connections and to form communities, so customer support will continue playing a huge role as a profit center in the years to come.

Leveraging the power of automation in support

A lot of the questions asked of support agents can easily be automated. Things tied to post-purchase logistics, like package tracking or returns, oftentimes don’t need the human touch. Using automation to free up time for customer service agents allows them to focus on areas where they can have a more positive impact, like in the pre-purchase stage.

For the most part, customers would rather have a self-serve solution anyhow. If they’re looking to make a return, they generally don’t want to wait around for an agent to send back their label and instructions. What can be automated, should be. It’s easier on the customer and on your support staff.

Connecting all your communication channels

Clicking into a million different tabs is something we’re all familiar with, but it can be simplified. When it comes to customer engagement and support, it’s really important to be quick to respond. If your brand is present across the major social media channels, has live chat, SMS, a contact us form, and email support, this can be a lot to keep track of with a lean CS team. 

Being able to link together all your channels into one customer support platform is key when you need to be on it. If someone messages you about your sizing chart on Instagram, you might not see the message for hours. That customer is long gone and might not be interested anymore. Or worse, they could have gone to your competitor who was able to answer them quicker!

Staying efficient and organized is the key to not getting overwhelmed in the fast and competitive world of online retail.

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