If your online marketing efforts are generating more website traffic and business than you can handle, count yourself as one of the lucky ones. Of course, many of today’s online storefronts have the opposite effect, a problem that’s a bit harder to fix. In fact, the average small to medium-sized e-commerce site attracts fewer than 500 Facebook fans, and just a little more than 1 in 5 businesses are satisfied with their website conversion rates.
But while having a wealth of customers is better than having little to none at all, it does tend to create a set of time management challenges. For one, your marketing team must now — or at least should — take on the added responsibility of increased content creation and customer service duties, particularly if you’re a one-person or small team operation.
Is your business ready to handle an influx of online foot traffic? Here are four strategies to help you manage your e-commerce site more efficiently when you’re getting more traffic than you can chew alone.
1. Automate Your Content Marketing
Creating and distributing content (blog posts, white papers and website copy, to name a few) is one of the most time-consuming parts of running a website. More importantly, it can cut into time you could be devoting to performing customer service duties.
To win back some of this valuable time, look toward automating your content marketing strategy by adopting a content marketing platform, like Airtable or DivvyHQ. These outsourced platforms can help you automate the processes of developing a content marketing strategy, producing and distributing content, and measuring campaign results.
2. Add Self-Service Options
Customer service can be another time-consuming aspect of managing a website. But adding self-service options to your site can dramatically reduce the amount of time you spend on addressing customer service issues.
Today, consumers increasingly prefer to interact with online businesses through chat, social media and email as the fastest, most convenient avenues to solve issues. In fact, the number of consumers who use these tools increased from 67 percent in 2012 to 76 percent in 2014, according to Forrester.
In the market for some of these features? To create a more seamless customer experience, you may first want to add self-service features like a search bar and FAQ section to your site. With these tools in place, you can better monitor the questions your visitors seek answers to most, which can help prioritize any overlooked site features or functionality. Some of the more popular self-service platforms include Zoho Desk, Zendesk, Freshdesk and Desk.com.
3. Automate Your Customer Service Duties
Despite your best intentions, not all customer service inquiries can be answered through self-help options. That’s why it’s also important to employ live support options, such as around-the-clock phone support. You can reduce your live support workload by applying automation here as well.
Chatbots can help streamline live chat support duties by using artificial intelligence tools to:
- Initiate conversations with customers
- Handle basic customer service issues
- Route tickets requiring escalation to the appropriate department
Meantime, interactive voice response systems, including those sold by Aspect, perform a similar function via phone. Specifically, top-of-the-line IVR systems use automated greetings and menu options to more easily field customer calls, offer customers automated prompts to answer simple inquiries, and reroute calls that require human assistance.
4. Outsource Your Website Management
Outsourcing is another way to save valuable time and resources when managing your site. More specifically, third-party service providers can handle functions like search engine optimization, social media monitoring and content creation and distribution.
Today, the rise of cloud contact centers makes it easy for you to outsource customer service duties by using remote workers to handle live chat and phone call inquiries. By outsourcing these functions, you can focus more of your time on other aspects of running and growing your business.