Ultimate Guide to Customer Support Apps for Shopify

Choosing the right customer support Shopify app is one of the top challenges ecommerce brands have. It’s more about identifying what your customers truly want and which Shopify customer support app works for your business. 

So, what do your customers really want? 

They want a solid customer experience—with 62% of customers even willing to pay 5% more for it. Although, at the same time, 74% of customers with a poor customer service experience will quickly shift to your competitor. As a result, US businesses alone lose $35.3 billion in customer churn.

Then, the question arises: what’s a good and a bad customer support experience? 

Customers desire highly personalized and empathetic customer support with quick resolution of their problems. It pays off, too. Customer loyalty increases 2.4 times if their issues are addressed quickly and efficiently.

However, the problem is meeting the demands of speed and personalization within a reasonable budget. Firstly, you’ll require a considerable customer support team. That comes with a hefty price tag.

The solution is to leverage AI-powered customer support Shopify apps. Customer support apps make customer service affordable. Overall, don’t compromise on the quality of the customer experience.

What is a customer support Shopify app?

Basically, customer support software is a tool to help you communicate with your customers. You can collect customer data, organize customer support requests, and keep track of the communication in one place with it. Hence, such systems in place for customer communication results in a better customer experience.

Where it began

Historically, customer support has always been a part of businesses. However, in the past, it was only limited to providing goods.

Businesses were concentrated locally, catering to people within the same local area. So, customers had personal connections with the local vendors, which led to quick problem resolution. Yet, customers had limited options and had to stick to the local businesses, whether they liked it or not. 

The advent of the telephone and the internet changed the face of customer support dramatically. People got exposed to more options via social media, referrals beyond geographical limits, and online forums. Now, they can make well-informed decisions before purchasing any product or service. 

Therefore, this leads to growing competition among businesses to acquire and retain customers. You must have a differentiator that goes beyond your product. The only viable option is to develop a strategic support system to increase customer satisfaction, thus, cultivating brand loyalty.

Customer support channels

From telephones to AI-driven chat, you can choose different channels to provide support. The best-fit channel depends on your business type.

Here are the most popular:

1. Telephone: Initially, this used to be the go-to support channel before the internet made its way. It’s still effective. Customers can elaborate on their issues, and the customer rep can assist them properly. Undeniably, it’s beneficial for older customers who might not be familiar with modern technology. 

Make sure you highlight your available hours on your website along with the number. For example, this is how we’ve highlighted our availability on our website:

Highlight your available hours
Highlight your available hours

2. Live Chat: Live chat is an efficient customer support channel that outweighs telephone conversations in aspects like speed and efficiency. Specifically, your existing and potential customers can contact the support team via your website to receive a response instantly. The highlighted section is an example of live chat:

Live chat example
Gorgias live chat example

3. Email: Emails are best suited for issues that might require an in-depth response. Additionally, it saves customers time since they can leave a message without requiring an immediate response.  For example, below is the MESA contact page. Completing a simple form will receive an email response.

Customer support email example
Customer support email example

4. Self-service: Customers are increasingly moving towards a self-service approach to solving their issues. In a survey, 88% of customers wanted to see companies having self-service support. Thus, having a self-serve system gives your business an upper hand in customer service. It comes in the form of FAQs or a knowledge base. Chatbots, video tutorials, and informative articles are also good channels.  

For example, this is the MESA knowledge base with the option to search for the desired article:

Self-service example
Self-service example

Why customer support is important

Retaining your customers is 6-7 times cheaper and more profitable than acquiring new ones. To be precise, an increase of 5% in customer retention can increase your profits by a whopping 25%. 

The reason is that the longer a customer stays with you, the higher their lifetime value. So, you’ve generated more value from the same customer without spending any extra dollars on customer acquisition cost (CAC). Excellent customer service helps you create a positive experience for your existing customers and keep them satisfied. 

What’s more, every bad customer experience is an opportunity for you to turn an unhappy customer into a loyal one. With fast customer service, you can still manage to keep a customer even if you’ve failed to meet their expectations. 96% of shoppers would stay with a brand if they sincerely apologized for a mistake.

Which Shopify customer support apps are the best?

Plenty of apps help you maintain a healthy bond with your customers by providing top-tier customer services. Here are the popular for business on Shopify:

1. Gorgias

Gorgias is a help desk for ecommerce stores, which gives your customers multichannel customer support. But you don’t have to juggle between apps to fulfill the customer tickets as you can manage all the activities in a single app of Gorgias.

Gorgias homepage
Gorgias homepage

Pros:

  • Easily manage the tickets from one spot.
  • Integrate it with 30+ apps, including Facebook, Instagram, Klaviyo, and Yotpo.
  • Works with Shopify, Magneto, and BigCommerce if needed. 

Gorgias connected to MESA offers you access to add popular automation templates. For example, you can automate opening a support ticket whenever a customer leaves a negative review.

Gorgias workflow template
Gorgias workflow template

2. Help Scout

Help Scout is an all-in-one customer service solution, providing live chat, email support, in-app messaging, and a knowledge base. 

Gorgias homepage
Gorgias homepage

Pros

  • Intuitive and clean interface for tracking and replying to customer tickets
  • Onboard new users easily
  • Integrate with 90+ apps for all the features available
  • Quickly scale as you grow
  • Personalize customer experience and create optimal individual performance

Use cases

  • Translate your knowledge base into the language of your choice
  • Plug webinars in the in-app messages for an upcoming event
  • Collaborate with your team by sending private notes
  • Send personalized emails and create templates for self-serve help

3. Zendesk

Zendesk is a customer-centric CRM tool with customer support and customer engagement features. It provides powerful and innovative customer experiences to companies regardless of their size. 

Zendesk homepage
Zendesk homepage

Pros

  • Handle support, sales, and general inquiries at the same place.
  • Create file requests automatically.
  • Divide communications into groups or departments depending on a variety of criteria.
  • Create a branded knowledge base for your employees, users, and customers. 
  • Integrate with not only apps but themes and partners, too. 
  • Perform customer satisfaction surveys and reports powerfully.

Use Cases

  • Maintain a detailed record of essential activities such as repairs, deliveries, replacements, and the history and health of your customer-focused assets and connected devices.
  • For better-tailored experiences, get a complete picture of the customer journey across all touchpoints, including third-party apps and external systems.
  • Account hierarchies and user interactions between your customers, partners, and sellers are modeled to reflect how your marketplace functions.
  • Knowing the complete product and order lifecycle in connection to each customer helps you manage orders, delivery, and warranties.
  • Capture user activity and click routes to gain a deeper understanding of in-product behavior, resulting in the type of data that can assist enterprises in guiding users to their desired destinations.

Best practices when implementing customer support

Once you have your customer support app set up, it’s time to implement the service with some best practices:

Maintain transparency with customers

Transparency breeds trust, value, and loyalty. To maintain transparency, a solid rule of thumb is to set clear expectations from the get-go to make sure your customers know exactly what they’ll receive. 

If you’re expecting to deliver a product in X number of days, don’t promise faster delivery than that. Once an expectation is set, you can’t go below it. Instead, underpromise by giving a delivery time including a buffer, then strive to over-deliver within the X number of days itself. 

Implement empathy-driven customer support

Empathy-driven customer support is the key to a close and personal bond with your customers. Empathy in customer service means understanding your customer’s problems from their perspective and interacting humanly. 

When you pay extra attention to identifying your customer’s needs and tailor a solution to them, you make them feel heard and valued. Remember, robots can never replace the personal human touch, which keeps your customers engaged and loyal to your brand for a long time. 

ClickUp, a project management tool, leads by example. To every customer grievance or request, they reply as a human rather than a robot-generated reply. See, for example, how ClickUp uses empathy-driven phrases such as “totally hear you” when answering a question: 

Empathy driven customer support
Empathy driven customer support

Automation is the key to business growth

While customer support has traditionally been seen as an extra expense for the business, new reports are debunking this belief. Today, 64% of customer service and support leaders aim to grow the business with their service. As customer retention and the customer value generated via customer support increases, the ‘cost’ pays for itself. 

For example, providing excellent customer support can increase your company revenue by more than 20%, with a boost in net profit margins.

Overall, follow these two strategies to enhance your customer support:

  • Identify patterns in the customer base and create strategies to attend to different customer needs.
  • Leverage customer data to identify who might require more assistance. You can mine past data and analyze the similarities among customers to estimate their needs.
  • Add technology that caters to your customer channels today and where you’ll be in the future.

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