Relational Shoppers: The BFF Of Any E-Commerce Store!
Current mainstream wisdom tells us all shop owners should strive to offer unbelievably awesome support to every single customer, all of the time, and constantly exceed their expectations — so attaining service nirvana.
In reality, while exceeding customer expectations may (depending what any single customer values most) delight some, it will actually result in ever-spiraling costs and definitely not make your business any more profitable.
There are three reasons for that.
First, not every customer has the same expectations.
Second, when you exceed someone’s expectations, you set higher ones in return.
Third, meeting customer expectations gets you almost the same loyalty benefits as exceeding them.
The business logic is rock solid. But no matter which argument you prefer to believe, your starting point should be the same.
In line with our three principles of great customer service, you need to purposefully build knowledge about your customer’s needs and expectations to close the service gap.
Transactional Shoppers typically constitute around 80% of your store visits. These shoppers are:
Focused only on “today’s” transaction, thinking little about future purchases.
Fearful of paying more than they need to.
Lovers of the shopping, comparing, and negotiating experience.
Researchers — and not really interested in the help of an expert.
Only going to buy when they get the great deal they’re looking for.
Going to tell everyone about the great deal they get.
Not dependable — they’ll leave the instant they find a better deal.
So Transactional Shoppers expectations are simple.
They want a quick, straightforward answer to their question. Most likely, they’ll fire off a quick question (usually via e-mail so they can compare costs later), sometimes during a 30-second chat.
What about Relational Shoppers?
Relational Shoppers typically constitute around 20% of your store visits. These shoppers are…
Thinking about today’s purchase as one in a series of many future purchases.
Looking for the right place from which to make their purchase.
Fearful of making a poor choice over anything else.
Not enjoying the experience of shopping or negotiating.
Looking for expert advice so they feel secure about their possible purchase.
Going to buy once they feel secure.
Going to come back — once they have made a purchase, feel you’ve taken care of them, and are in need for the same type of product.
Relational Shoppers’ expectations are very different. Even though they first approach you with one question, in reality, they have a whole different bunch of expectations.
They’re looking for reassurance — expert advice, friendly interaction. They want a completely personalized service. They want to feel 100% certain your product and brand will follow through on its promises. They also want to feel connected with your company on an emotional and values level too.
That’s a whole lot of stuff to cover in one interaction. And that’s why these customers prefer live chat; it’s the easiest and simplest way for them to get all their questions answered in one shot.
So which set of customer expectations should you focus on? Those of Transactional or Relational Shoppers?
The business value of the Relational Shopper
Transactional Shopper questions typically make up around 80% of your traffic, and their questions are quick and easy to answer. But they also visit many stores in search of the best deal.
They’re frankly not too interested in your brand as long as you are cheap! And as soon as your offer is finished, or they find someone cheaper, they’re gone.
The Relational Shoppers are a different story.
They convert easier than Transactional Shoppers. They spend more. And they’re more likely to be loyal too!
As a web store owner with an outstanding product and cool brand — rather than a “bargain brand” — it’s a no-brainer: 80% of your business comes from just 20% of your customers. And they are Relational Shoppers. That’s why they’re your BFF!
How to identify Relational Shoppers
We’ve outlined four characteristics that will help you identify your Relational Shoppers earlier in their decision-making process they go through about you and your brand.
Once you’ve identified shoppers with these characteristics, share them with your team. Ask them to look out for Relational Shoppers in any new service interactions.
By offering Relational Shoppers some very special customer service attention, you can actively nurture them towards loyalty — and quickly too!
We’ll show you how to build trust and loyalty through your service interactions next, in The Human Conversation.
The four characteristics of a Relational Shopper
Highest volume of questions or queries.
Broadest variety of questions.
Longest average interaction time.
The highest average order value.
It’s the combination of these four things that identify a Relational Shopper. Once you’ve identified them, share those characteristics with your team. Ask them to look out for them in their service interactions.
As soon as you identify them, offer them some very special service. They deserve it! We’ll show you how you can do that in The Human Conversation, coming up next.
One last tip
If you’re not sure who your most valuable customers are, make sure you’re using Retention Grid! It helps identify high-value loyal customers and determine their behaviors and preferences; it offers opportunity alerts too.
ROBIN integrates with RetentionGrid. This means that for ROBIN users – on Shopify and Bigcommerce – every customer conversation is automatically labeled with the phase of the customer lifecycle. This enables your support team to make more insightful decisions.
Now we know who our most valuable customers are, let’s take a look at how you can meet Relational Shoppers’ expectations through adopting what we call “The Human Conversation.”