With customer experience becoming the main differentiating factor between businesses nowadays, there has been an increased need for simplifying the customer journey. To provide a low-effort, seamless customer experience, many companies have implemented solutions for real-time communication within their websites. The Web-RTC-powered technology allows for agents to gain an insight into customers’ previous purchase history and online shopping behavior. This includes which pages they frequently visit, what keywords they use during the interactions and more.
However, the online marketplace is becoming increasingly competitive, and this is true for every industry. Customers have grown accustomed to making quick purchases and getting their issues resolved almost instantaneously. If you are offering a more complex product or service, you might be noticing that your increased traffic rates don’t necessarily translate into actual sales. This means that there is an obstruction (or bottleneck) within the customers’ buying journey. The option to escalate online interactions will allow you to follow the customer’s buying journey and identify the issue that prevents them from completing a purchase.
Escalation refers to the ability of customer service agents to transfer an interaction from one platform to another, without affecting the quality of the browsing experience. If executed correctly, escalations are an effective way of supporting the customer before, during and after making a purchase. Enabling the efficient communication between agents and customers will not only gain you loyal clients, but it will boost your reputation as a brand that resolves its customers’ issues in an efficient manner.
Escalations can be used to improve conversions rates and the quality of the customer experience, or to surpass the limitations of a certain communication channel. Here are the different ways in which they can be implemented in your customer service interactions, to guarantee customer satisfaction and a seamless user experience.
While email has been the primary point of contact between customers and brands, it has started to lose its relevancy in 21st century’s customer service. Consumers today are not willing to wait 2-3 business days for a response to their email. Failing to offer multiple options for people to contact you on social media or directly within your website can cost you not only valuable customers, but also the opportunity to create a positive impression by resolving issues in a timely manner
The many benefits of live web chat aside, what can be even more beneficial to contact centers is the ability to escalate from one solution for real-time communication to another- providing support for the customer from start to finish- helping them learn more about the products, make their choice, and successfully complete a purchase.
Escalating from Social Media to Live Web Chat
Social media has quickly become customers’ preferred way of interacting with brands and it has been estimated that, by 2020, 90% of businesses will have integrated social media customer service into their operations.
Social media customer service can be effective in resolving the more straightforward customer queries but, in order to encourage customers to make a high-value purchase, escalating the interaction to your website is very much recommended. If a customer contacts you on social media because they are interested in your product, then escalating the interaction to a live chat on your website will help ensure that they actually make a purchase.
Escalating from Live Web Chat to a Web Call
Tom is a 35-year old lawyer who is looking to book a vacation for him and his wife. Up until now, his wife has been handling the hotel reservations, so he is unsure as to which travel company to choose. Having done some online research, he comes across your travel website and, seeing the good reviews, decides to learn more about your services.
Let’s say that Tom spends longer reading through your FAQ page- this can trigger a proactive web chat interaction, allowing the agent to provide support to Tom, at the time when he needs it most.
NOTE: Deciding on the triggers and chat rules that can initiate a proactive web chat interaction depends on which pages your customers visit most frequently and at what point of their shopping journey do they prefer to contact you
After the agent has introduced him to the offerings which match his requirements, Tom decides to browse further, for a hotel that would meet the family budget. However, the choice between 4-star rated establishments is overwhelming. That’s where the customer service agent has a chance to escalate the live web chat interaction to a web voice or video call- the goal is to provide Tom with the assistance he needs to make a decision, without him having to spend hours browsing through the options. Decision fatigue and the paradox of choice can lead customers to abandon their shopping carts in favor of a competitor, who might offer less, but better presented options. The escalation from web chat to a web call offers customers, like Tom, a more personalized experience and the reassurance they need when making a high-value purchase.
With your agent’s assistance during the purchasing process, Tom has found the best deal on a travel itinerary and a hotel, and he didn’t have to phone his wife even once! Managing to complete the whole process, (from getting familiar with the products to initiating a purchase), in one browsing session, John leaves the website satisfied with his customer experience.
Guess where John goes next? On social media, to share about his travel plans and positive customer experience with his friends.
Escalating from Live Web chat to a Cobrowsing session
While most customers do their research online before making a high-value purchase, 82% of them feel more secure finalizing the transaction in-store, rather than online. Shopping for big ticket items requires customers to have a longer decision-making process, which complicates the already fragmented customer journey. So, how can businesses reassure their customers and make them feel confident enough to complete an online purchase?
Integrating a cobrowsing solution within your website can reduce customers’ anxiety around making a high-risk, high-value purchase. The more complex your product is, the more sophisticated your customer service needs to be. While live web chat is a solution that can provide answers to more simple queries, cobrowsing is more suitable for dealing with complex, high-value enquiries.
Escalating from web chat to a cobrowsing session allows agents to provide a deeper level of support and guide customers in the process of filling out forms or using self-service tools. The cobrowsing session can be initiated from the page the customer is currently on, without disrupting the online user experience. Facilitating trust in the online purchasing process is easier when customers can be guided through it by an agent. The cobrowsing solution also provides an extra level of security, concealing credit card details and other personal data, but allowing agents to view any of the non-sensitive information displayed.
Blair Consular has improved their lead conversion strategy by integrating a cobrowsing and a web chat solutions within their QuickCert online certification portal. Having these tools enables agents to escalate interactions and resolve any arising issues when it comes to their QuickCert online service:
“Cobrowsing has transformed how we manage customer enquiries about Certificate of Origin forms. Complex enquiries can be solved faster, which saves us a lot of time.” - Doug Blair, Managing Director
Why should you consider escalations?
Bottom line is, escalations allow businesses to unify different communication channels and enable agents to provide an all-encompassing customer service. Deciding on whether to escalate from a web chat to cobrowsing, voice or video call will depend on the type of product being offered and the nature of the customer’s query. To be able to successfully escalate a conversation from one channel to another, the customer support agent needs to determine at what stage of their buying journey the customer is in. Knowing when to offer help and how to reassure the consumer is essential for executing a successful escalation that will result in a completed purchase and a satisfied customer.
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