ComScore's Customer Experience Study shows that website customer service tools and information is among the key considerations of consumers while shopping online.

As part of its Online Shopping Customer Experience study, market research firm comScore found that customer service is a critical consideration for consumers looking to buy online. Thirty-six percent of the more than 3,100 respondents said the availability of live customer service is a major consideration in where they shop, and comScore noted that website marketing often fails to consider users’ post-purchase experience.

These findings are supported by results from Brafton’s recent content marketing poll, which showed that customer loyalty was one of the goals hardest to achieve through website content. Engaging content, in general, was cited as a top content marketing challenge.

Ensuring that site visitors questions and other issues can be addressed quickly and easily will help businesses improve their reputations. Fielding feedback, complaints and questions from consumers can help engage and convert site visitors, and the information gleaned can be used to improve overall marketing efforts of the company as well.

Specifically, using these common issues to inform content marketing plans can help businesses address a lot of the most frequently cited concerns before customers ask. Moreover, publishing frequent, relevant content can help marketers expand their web presence and boost an SEO campaign.

While consumers want answers to questions throughout the on-site buying process, another ideal channel for customer service is social media. Using Twitter, Facebook and other channels to address client issues can help businesses engage their audience and direct them back to the website.

Brafton recently reported that the average company responds to just 44 percent of all customer service-related Tweets, which means businesses are missing more than half of the engagement opportunities presented on social.

Joe Meloni is Brafton's former Executive News and Content Writer. He studied journalism at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and has written for a number of print and web-based publications.