The customer-centric blog of Linc Global
The bar is moving higher for what constitutes standout service. Self-service content and smooth interactions across touchpoints are now considered must-haves for merchants; with them, customers’ expectations are fulfilled, while without them, brands risk falling behind.
With a plethora of channels demanding attention, aggressive revenue targets to hit and customer expectations growing by the day, why should retailers invest resources in Live Chat (Webchat) vs. any of the other customer engagement priorities requiring focus and budget dollars?
As shoppers increasingly rely on digital assistants such as Siri and Alexa, and as merchants use AI to deliver personalized service for routine inquiries, synchronizing the work of automated tools and live human agents is more important than ever.
Stellar holiday customer experience now requires that merchants orchestrate offerings across multiple boundaries. Not only must merchants follow shoppers as they move from touchpoint to touchpoint; they must also coordinate customer interactions with both automated systems and human representatives to ensure consistent, effective communication.
As merchants prepare to navigate holiday sales spikes, they should focus on proactive triage. By addressing common questions and straightforward topics before shoppers dial the call center, sellers save their valuable in-person live help resources for the most complex cases.
Heading into the 2019 holiday season, perfecting the customer experience is more important -- and more challenging -- than ever.
As featured in Forbes In our digital world, customer centricity, the customer experience and personalization separate the winners from the losers. So it’s not a coincidence that the companies that invest in collecting customer data thrive. The demand for personalized content is at an all-time high among consumers, according to Adobe. In fact, Epsilon found (via AdWeek) that around 80% are more likely to buy when a brand offers a personalized experience. By using real-time updates and improving the customer experience via text messaging, my company secured an opt-in rate of 33% for our client PacSun.
Cultivating potential loyal customers over one-time purchasers is the key driver for reimagining the retail CX relationship between buyer and brand. Increasing the number of customers and retaining them requires rethinking the customer journey from something linear and conversion-focused to a more holistic model of engagement and two-way conversation with the customer and having that customer’s expectations and channel preferences drive your interactions with them. Customer care AI isn’t a magic bullet that solves all of your CX challenges, but the right AI deployed strategically is a powerful tool for creating and sustaining profitable customer relationships.
Simply put, automated shopper assistance bridges traditionally siloed systems like customer service, social media management, logistics systems, ecommerce platforms, and email marketing by using AI to engage with customers across channels. Given that well over half of customers’ questions are standard queries, they’re well-suited to be handled by a chatbot or automated assistant instead of an employee paid to triage customer care interactions. This means that retailers can dramatically reduce customer care costs while increasing customer satisfaction by leveraging automation to handle routine inquiries and questions.
The linear customer journey–a straight line from research to engagement to purchase where everything hinges on conversion and where the brand shepherds the customer along a particular path–is dead. Today’s customer journey looks more like creating a landscape of physical and digital touchpoints across which your customers will roam, choosing when and where they’ll interact with your brand. Your job is to provide the GPS for this journey and ensure that each interaction they have with you as they traverse this landscape of touchpoints is both seamless and consistent.