Online store support service through the eyes of the buyer

I love to buy online. No need to run to different stores in search of the right product, stand in stuffy lines, looking at pimply student managers at the checkout. You can choose, compare, read reviews, reviews, and pay without getting out of your favorite slippers. What I miss in modern online shopping is sensible and prompt consultation. We’ll talk about it today.

It happens that the description, detailed characteristics of the product (or service) is not enough, there are a couple of specific questions that even the guru for compiling the FAQ could not have foreseen. Sometimes it’s just laziness and you want to get your answer to your simple question, no less simple and human, and not climb into the depths of the site, wading through a bunch of hyperlinks and stationery.
Fortunately for modern online stores they have a ton of tools in place to provide operational advice online.

Online chat
Online chat, live chat (or online consultant) is one of the most popular methods of online communication of an online store with potential customers. There are some simple guidelines for using this tool.


The online consultation button (tab) is best placed in the visibility zone for the visitor of the online store - to the right or left of the content field, but not in the footer of the main page or in the contacts section (precedents happen). The client, being in any section of the site (product description, description of delivery conditions, order from the basket), should easily find the live chat button.


If you have installed live chat on the site, be prepared for the fact that this is an information channel of operational communication. Highlight the employee whose duties will answer visitors' questions. It is very unpleasant to see widgets for online consultations whose operators regularly disappear.

Operator's personal data

I don’t know about you, but I somehow feel uneasy when through a live chat of an online store from Novosibirsk, I am contacted by a white-toothed dark-skinned beauty clearly found in the vast stock photos. I am not a racist, much less have anything against white teeth. However, stock photos of American support service operators with their Hollywood smiles look a little strange when used in Runet stores. A real employee photo or logo looks more acceptable.

Do not get involved in funny nicknames. I regularly have to communicate with the support staff of one of the Runet payment systems, who are very successful in terms of humor. It may seem funny to someone to chat in an online chat with Roman Sutuly, Arnold Schwahenbaum, Snezhnaya Snezhkova and a dozen fictional characters, but the seriousness of the intentions of such a company seems less obvious. There is a feeling that “on the other side of the monitor” sits a company of schoolchildren who are more interested in having fun than providing a quality service. When a competitor is at a “click distance” from the customer, even such an unobvious minus cannot be ignored. The live chat nickname should be in the format "Store Support Service Operator", even better,

Informational content

Do not think that live chat is another reincarnation of a site map or search function. Often you have to face the fact that the support service answers a specific question with a link to a particular section of the rules. Of course, when it comes to the working conditions of the store, written on 15 PDF sheets, the link is justified, but if the support operator is asked a specific question, please answer quite specifically.


Everything is simple here. She must be. If it is not there, then neither a beautiful design nor excellent usability will save a positive attitude to the resource (be it a service or a store). As an example, I’ll give a screenshot of the dialogue via live chat with the support service for one resource:

This is another popular way to communicate with the client. The most common error encountered in 60% of sites: the time when you can get advice is not indicated next to the Skype button. The visitor can only guess when the support operator deigns to get in touch.

The operator’s working hours (with the time zone indicated) is a must if you use Skype consultations. You probably should not even talk about the Skype nickname in the form of the store’s name. Using a personal account for business purposes is incorrect (unless you are selling products under your own brand).

Email Contact Form
The traditional and most popular information channel for communication with customers. Progress of owners of online stores in mastering this toolkit on the face. Almost all sites use the ticket system in the correspondence (numbering of the message thread), this allows you to save the data of correspondence with users. Most online stores have switched to personalizing support services. When operator No. 7 deals with your question, and Julia Ivanova, a junior employee of customer support, for some reason becomes warmer in my soul.

A typical mistake encountered on the Internet, this is primarily the abundance of electronic mailboxes. More than once or twice I met online shops, where the main page was full of a variety of emails. There was also the address of the customer support service, technical support and sales department, delivery department, to top it off there was a contact form and an address of the format on the page about us. As a buyer, such a number of addresses led me into a dead end, in order to understand who to send my question to, it was necessary to conduct a real investigation. You will send your message to the sales department, but they suddenly will not understand, they will say that it does not concern them, you will send it via the contact form, it is generally not clear where your letter will come. As a result, I bought the goods in another store.

Someone may not agree, but the email address (or contact form) provided in the "Contacts" section on the store’s website should be one. The modern buyer has enough worries, so do not overload him with worries about where to send your question. Let your secretary do the sorting of letters, in the end, this nice girl will have something to do besides brewing espresso and reading the new Cosmo.

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