A New Perspective on Customer Experience: Are You Missing Out on Real-Time, Real-People Engagements?

Digital Selfie Series
Posted by
Valerie-Ann Leary
LivePerson Contributor
Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - 15:50

Customers want to engage with a live person. They’re tweeting, chatting, calling, emailing – and each expects a personal, instantaneous response. In fact, the window of opportunity for a company to respond to a customer is less than 76 seconds. Wait any longer, and research tells us the customer has likely already moved on to a competitor.

LivePerson conducted an assessment of more than 200 executives in marketing, sales and customer service to see what they are doing to provide real-time support—offline and online. We found that roughly 30% of best-in-class businesses are taking advantage of real-time engagement opportunities; 70% of all other organizations are not.

Is your business part of the 70% missing out on real-time engagement opportunities?

 

Evolved Expectations: The Need for Real-Time Response

Some call it the “Age of the Customer,” others the “Participation Age.”  However you spin it, today’s customer has higher expectations than ever before.

With growing popularity of text and real-time messaging apps, like SnapChat, consumers’ preference to communicate with friends and family in real-time is clear. So, why couldn't consumers connect with  their favorite brands in real-time, in their digital channel of choice? 

LivePerson’s CMO, Anurag Wadehra, recently wrote an article for VentureBeat on the explosion of chat apps. He said, “Today’s consumers demand a different type of connection than they did just five years ago. They want direct, personal connections across any channel … and brands need to evaluate their engagement strategies to deliver on these evolving expectations.”

Real-time engagement builds better consumer / brand relationships. Fast, personalized responses from customer service agents brings the human touch back into the digital world. And, according to Google Think, engagement does make a financial impact: “…those who engage more correlate with those who buy more.”

On top of that, 84% of consumers say one positive experience could make them a customer for life, according to a LivePerson study. One online shopping destination, Gilt, significantly lowered customer service cost per contact by using live chat.

Looking to update your own strategy? The first step is knowing who to engage, and when to engage.

 

Connect When It Matters Most

Make customer calls and chats more meaningful by engaging those who need it, when they need it. Knowing “who” to engage starts by identifying what we call “high value visitors,” or those who show the greatest intent to purchase.

Oftentimes, these consumers can be identified based on behavior or demographic information. For example, it might be a first-time customer stalling at checkout and needs help to guide him toward a purchase, or a returning platinum customer who doesn’t want to wait in a long support line. Regardless, high impact customers find value in real-time support, and will be more likely to convert and return.

Take advantage of this opportunity to engage your high value visitors by defining when and where to provide those high touch communications. Key touch points will vary from business to business, but below are three common scenarios that often fall into this category:

1. Discovery. If you’re looking at a traditional marketing funnel, search is a primary part of the awareness phase. First-time visitors are impressionable, and more than likely, they’re also browsing competitor sites for information and pricing.

With intel, like predictive intelligent targeting, identify first time visitors and offer introductory blog posts or how-to guides through chat.

2.  Checkout. Cart abandonment is common at checkout. According to an infographic from SavvyPanda, 44% of shoppers abandon due to high shipping costs and 14% leave because there’s no guest checkout option. Another 11% said checkout was too complex. Regardless of the issue, it's a best practice to offer real-time support at checkout—especially to those with high cart values who may show signs of abandonment.

3.  Complaints. There are ways to anticipate customer complaints, and react in real-time. Monitor consumer behavior and flag those who are stalling on a product or FAQ pages. And, if the complaint has already happened, the best solution is a real-time, in-channel resolution. Directly connect the customer to an expert who can best address the issue.

Join our webinar, Digital Engagement Through A New Lens: How To Keep Pace With Connected Customers, on August 13th to learn more. Lindsay Green, SVP of Extraco Banks, will show how the Texas-based bank delivered a differentiated experience for its customers by integrating its SWARM Banking methodology into its digital channels, resulting in a 20% call deflection rate and a 90%-plus customer satisfaction score.  Register today!

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