Delight Your Platinum Customers When it Matters Most

Posted by
Amir Shub
LivePerson Contributor
Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - 14:28

As consumers we know that when we’re making an online purchase, we want the experience to be intuitive, easy, and quick. We want to be able to research and buy seamlessly… but there are a few critical circumstances where access to a support agent is necessary, and we want that support to be relevant, and in real-time.

While great self-service tools on your website may work most of the time, there are certain moments when your customers need digital support from a live person. According to LivePerson research, an overwhelming “88% say having live chat makes the digital experience better.”

Yet, many businesses still don’t have the live, human resources to deliver personalized chat to every customer. This is where the ability to intelligently (and proactively) prioritize certain customers in certain scenarios helps businesses align resources. We call it the high-impact scenarios. In the words of my colleague, Alon Waks, high impact customers have the “highest intent to purchase, are the most valuable and provide the most impact to your bottom line.”

To complete conversion and avoid cart abandonment, customer service and sales reps must attend to a business’ most high-impact buyers at the right moment, with the right message. There are many scenarios when the stakes are high, but for the purpose of this post, we’ll focus in on how to best engage the platinum customer at critical moments in their journey.

Before you can begin to strategically engage this customer, you must first accurately answer the question: Who is your platinum customer?

Identify Your Platinum Customer

Typically big spenders, the platinum customer is likely to have a significant impact on business ROI. These customers identify with your brand, and they often seek a more meaningful experience while shopping. Ultimately, your platinum customer has great potential for high lifetime value.

Platinum customers shop more often than your average consumer. Consumer research indicates that, in general, shoppers check out about 4 different brands, and also frequent a website several times before making a purchase. It’s valuable to track repeat visitors, as well as visitor behavior, and use this information to forecast a purchase decision and guide engagement online.

Take inventory of platinum customer key behaviors (past and present) including:

  • Have they made a previous purchase?
  • Has the customer engaged a customer service agent via chat / voice / etc.?
  • Does he or she have high cart value?
  • What product specific keywords are being used?
  • What is their geographic location?

(See how LivePerson’s cloud-based customer engagement solution can track and display all of the above data for use in marketing and ecommerce activity.)

The platinum customer has high interaction value, especially at checkout. All engagements with these customers must be planned strategically to make a lasting, and more meaningful, connection. Below are 3 ways to give the platinum visitor VIP treatment on your website.

3 Ways to Engage the Platinum Customer

1. Provide Real-Time Engagement.

Platinum customer engagement is time sensitive. In a survey of more than 6,000 shoppers, LivePerson found that online consumer will wait for a maximum of 76 seconds for customer support before giving up. (2013). As a result, we’re seeing today’s top marketers are catching on and “adjusting real-time offers based on context.” (IBM, 2013).

Take Amazon for example. They are reshaping customer expectations online with more innovative engagement strategies. Amazon recently launched a new live engagement tool called the Mayday button, which offers real-time support in no more than 15 seconds. Marketers who offer live engagement will maintain a competitive edge when it comes to customer service.

With the platinum customer, you must go a step further. Engagement must be real-time, as well as on-time. Platinum customers are likely familiar with your brand. They probably don't need to chat with a customer service agent within the first few minutes. These customers must be engaged at checkout.

To track these customers (and all others), we recommend predictive intelligent targeting. Predictive intelligent targeting enables intelligent insight into customer activity on your site. You will be able to score and filter visitors according to your own individual criteria. This way, when a platinum customer lands in checkout, you already have the customer prioritized in your queue, and can react accordingly if needed.

2. Choose a Preferred Channel of Engagement Coupled With a Meaningful Message. 

A 2013 survey from Harris Interactive and inContact found “that consumers are less likely to make buying decisions based on brand loyalty, and more likely to choose a company that offers personalized customer experience options.”

Choose your engagement channel wisely. To create the ultimate personalized experience for your platinum customer, it’s key to engage him or her their preferred channel.

Shoppers with high cart value who are apt to abandon need high-touch attention. Consider live chat, supplemented by screen and file sharing, or live chat with the ability to seamlessly shift from screen to voice.Real-time interactions humanize your brand, and ultimately, bridge the gap between in-store and online shopping.Historically, live chat has been a favorite of those looking for quick resolution to a problem onsite.

Platinum customers want to be recognized by your brand and rewarded for their loyalty therefore it’s important to tailor the messaging according to previous activity. This may include, but is not limited to past purchases, pages visited or specific product questions. If your platinum customer has viewed a product page several times, offer related deals or similar products. Meaningful interactions bring added value to the holistic shopping experience.

3. Customize the Checkout Experience.

Aside from offer real time, meaningful support, you can proactively troubleshoot problem areas during checkout, simplify the process and, ultimately, reduce cart abandonment rates. From KISSMetrics:

“If shoppers have committed to buying a product, your job is to get them through checkout as swiftly as possible. To do so, ask as little of them as possible.”

Below are a few tips to keep your checkout process easy and quick:

  • Utilize smart forms so customers don’t have to give previously provided information.
  • Keep the process short (and one page)!
  • Don’t force customers to register to purchase (MarketingProfs, 2012).
  • Reduce additional charges if possible, like shipping charges (MarketingProfs, 2012).
  • KISSmetrics also suggests using algorithms to automate credit card type and location information.

“84% of online users say brand trust is a primary result of a positive online experience.” (LivePerson, 2013).

Consumer expectations are higher than ever before. Marketers and ecommerce pros must engage meaningfully in real-time to engage high impact customers, and successfully guide them through the entire customer journey.

How do you engage your most valued customers? Please feel free to share in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!

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