German e-Commerce Market (2017-2024): An Increasingly Booming Success
Within the Eurozone monetary union – 19 European Union (EU) member states (Austria, Belgium, France, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, etcetera) that have adopted the euro as their primary currency/sole legal tender – one country stands with the largest, most influential economy and consumer market; Germany’s economy/consumer market (especially the retail/e-Commerce sectors) have not only stood the test of time successfully during the COVID-19 pandemic – but are gaining such momentum that they’re expected to grow significantly in upcoming years. During the long period of 2017, 2018, and 2019, Germany’s average e-Commerce market growth was only around 11.3 percent – averaging to around 8 billion U.S. Dollars; this market growth amount pales in comparison to the growth that the country received in 2020 – a whopping 14.6 percent in just 1 year – up from approximately 86.2 billion to 98.9 billion U.S. Dollars (a market growth of 12.7 billion U.S. Dollars give-or-take). With Germany’s market value growing at a strong, consistent rate with such momentum, we’re expected to see higher market figures by the end of 2024, strongly passing an e-Commerce market value of approximately 142.4 billion U.S. Dollars, stretching with long strides to top off at 166.1 billion US$.
Germany’s eCommerce Market Growth Success: Solid Opportunities for Cross-border eCommerce Expansion
With Germany’s rapid boom last year in e-Commerce market value which continues to steadily augment and look to break market barriers by 2024 to place it amongst the 1st in rank of all Eurozone states in reference to gross domestic product (GDP) at approximately 4.9 trillion US Dollars, we must emphasize that market-expanding eCommerce sellers looking to penetrate Germany’s eCommerce market have a solid long-term sales success chance since over 80% of the German population purchase goods and services online regularly. To take advantage of this high German eCommerce buyer tendency, it’s vitally important that eSellers consider the grand necessity of providing top-notch customer service (CS) that exceeds customers’ pre-sales/post-sales customer support expectations – an endeavor with the capacity to strongly increase customer acquisition/customer retention numbers and ensure that high brand loyalty leads to a fierce competitive drive in the global eCommerce market, bringing long-term sales success and financial stability.
Rapid Customer Service, Clear Communication, and 24/7/365 Availability: the Key to German Customer Loyalty
To provide high-quality customer service that hits home with German eCommerce customers, it’s important for cross-border eCommerce sellers to consider that German consumers are positively-influenced via omni-channel communication that provides quick, efficient pre-sales information/post-sales solutions in such a way that German e-Commerce consumers not only enjoy wonderful CS experiences – but also motivate others to purchase products/services from the same e-Commerce business via word-of-mouth marketing. German eCommerce consumers value native language service that’s formal, quickly-given sales information/sales solutions that meet needs right away, and – because of their rapid service preference – omnichannel telecommunications platforms such as the phone, e-mail, and live web chat are vital to German customer engagement, meeting them where they’re at and exactly when they need help – without service barriers.
Native-language Customer Service via Inbound/Outbound Phone Calling: the Most Effective in Augmenting German Customer Loyalty
While the e-mail and live chat Telecom platforms successfully meet German e-Commerce customers’ needs, inbound/outbound calling proves to be the most effective – reaching around 80% of all German eCommerce shoppers – because it allows German customers to remain formal (consistent with culture) while speaking to real customer service representatives (CSRs). According to chief executive officer, Bret Helenius, of AdvantiPro – a German-based publishing house/advertising agency – German shoppers find automated operators to be a major nuisance; rightly exaggerating this point, he mentioned that screaming “operator” into the phone until neighbors hear you is not worth remembering. To significantly augment German customer loyalty, cross-border, market-expanding eSellers must provide regular CSR availability, rapid service, and must uphold honesty and reliability.
The Extreme Importance of German Phone Call Etiquette (Inbound/Outbound)
To maximize on the customer loyalty gains that come from regular CSR availability, rapid service, and the prioritization of honesty and reliability, upholding the high service expectations of German e-Commerce customers, understanding how to take Germany’s cultural peculiarities into consideration when it comes to CSRs’ everyday communication with German customers is vital; failing to do so can: (1) make conversations with German eCommerce customers strange, and/or (2) lead to complete communicational breakdown. Germans have distinguished quirks that differentiate them from other cultures – so, eSellers must incorporate customer experience strategies and follow German phone etiquette standards that take cultural nuances into consideration so that stellar customer service is possible.
To provide such top-notch service and utilize the high phone preference of German eCommerce shoppers to your own advantage, we at Callnovo Contact Center would like to provide you some of the most important German phone etiquette tips which can help your eCommerce business take into consideration Germany’s cultural distinctions in order to meet their service expectations and ensure their long-term loyalty; these German phone etiquette tips can be found below
- German-language Necessity – over 70% of all Germans want native German-language speakers and German Text-to-Speech (TTS) menus; while English may be the world’s 1st universal language – a ‘de facto’ official language in 4 countries, ‘de facto’ and ‘de jure’ in over 50 countries, and ‘de facto’ – but not official – in over 18 countries, delivering great German CS requires a team of German CSRs who can handle calls seamlessly in a rapid, straightforward fashion.
- Information Exchange – in Germany, eCommerce callers exchange information in a specific way – which should appear as natural as possible amongst CSRs so that Germans consider them as worthy of listening to; for instance, German phone callers give phone numbers in double digits – meaning that CSRs should adopt that same habit. Furthermore, Germans approach conversation directly – they don’t bother much with pleasantries; being overfriendly is an absolute ‘no-no’ as German business protocol demands directness and formality – so, have your CSRs get to business right away instead of investing time in exchanging pleasantries.
- Directness is Preferred – The phrase “don’t beat around the bush” is a good representation of the German preference of having situations taken care of directly in rapid form. Generally-speaking – with an emphasis on conflict resolution within the realm of CS, Germans detest chaos and uncertainty, including ambiguous statements, disorganized conversations, poor planning, etcetera – anything that inhibits eCommerce customer inquiries from being handled promptly. As German e-Commerce callers likewise are sticklers for rules and innately follow policies/procedures to the “T,” CSRs must: (1) try their best to provide concrete customer service solutions during the first phone call, (2) make sure that facts are verified before presenting them to the caller, (3) provide resolutions that adhere to your business’ policies and also accommodate caller interest, and (4) in the event that solutions cannot be provided upon the first call, make sure that German e-Commerce consumers are given accurate, clear information regarding the next step of the resolution process, as well as the best timeline possible, so that customers aren’t left in the dark and can confidently trust their post-sales issue to be handled with care and as soon as possible.
- Proper Identification – before requesting German callers to give their reason for calling, CSRs must curtly and directly identify themselves using their company name, last name, and greeting – for instance: “Callnovo, Lupe, Guten Tag (good day); this imhibits German customers from perceiving CSRs as rude and will give a good 1st impression to the caller.
- Name Usage – 1st name usage in Germany is reserved only for family and close ones; formality in accordance with German customs is the business norm – thus, addressing German callers appropriately is crucial, greeting them using their titles and surnames. “Herr” and “Frau” are generally used to respectfully address men and married/widowed women; the usage of “Sie” and “Du” merits careful consideration since “Sie” is formal and polite while “Du” is simply informal; unless CSRs know callers well enough, they must stick to “Sie”.
Native-language Customer Service Outsourcing: a Viable Option for Successfully-meeting German Customers’ Service Standards
As seen above, meeting German e-Commerce customers’ high customer service standards requires CX strategies without barriers in the way of quality German customer care; while it may be possible for e-Commerce businesses to accomplish an acceptable level of this standard of clear, rapid CS in-house – it isn’t feasible without considering the advantages of call center customer service outsourcing; a reachable level of high customer service standards via localized, omnichannel 24/7/365 CS in the German native language without language barriers and service limitations is guaranteed.
Our very own Callnovo Contact Center – an internationally-leading customer service outsourcing expert with 16+ years of experience in 40+ different industries – can skillfully provide omnichannel customer service in 35+ native languages (i.e. English, German, Japanese, Malaysian, Spanish, Mandarin / Cantonese, French, Indonesian, Korean, Russian, Turkish, Arabic, Portuguese – amongst others) to ensure that German eCommerce customers receive top-tier service as needed. Furthermore, through our detailed 6-step hiring/onboarding process with rigorous soft-skills training throughout the entirety of each agent’s time onboard – including constant monitoring of KPIs through our highly-customizable Global Omnichannel SaaS Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Platform – businesses like your own can rest, assured that they’ll have what it takes to create strong customer loyalty amongst German consumers so that strong global sales market competition is achieved at a higher level.
With Germany’s strong market value outlook over the next few years and acute need for concrete CS that rapidly meets German consumers’ pre-sales/post-sales needs, global eCommerce sellers can build their sales future through outsourced customer service that meets the German phone etiquette standards, limiting language and service barriers and ensuring customer experiences that build trust amongst German eCommerce consumers and augment customer satisfaction in such a way that customers remain long-term loyal shoppers; we urge businesses to consider how our very own customer service outsourcing solutions can help their market expansion efforts reach the next level, creating opportunities to build strong brand loyalty within Germany’s eCommerce market and further increase their long-term financial success.