What to Look for in a Digital Guidance Application
Are high abandonment rates hurting your online sales? A live chat service will only go so far toward converting visitors into customers, particularly visitors struggling with a specific feature or buying decision. While customer service chat is a cornerstone of eCommerce, the truth is that most customers don’t want to chat with a representative.
Digital guidance applications aren’t meant to replace chat entirely but are able to effectively (and cost-effectively) engage a much larger portion of customers. Studies consistently show anywhere from one-third to a half of customers prefer self-service over chat, email and phone. According to Forrester, self-service usage increased from 67% in 2012 to 76% in 2014, and Gartner predicts that by 2020, customers will manage up to 85% of their relationships with a brand sans human interaction. So, how do you choose a digital guidance application that reduces customer struggle and decreases abandonment rates? Here’s what to look for:
Wide-Ranging Engagement Rules
Digital guidance has a leg up on chat support, because it is able to engage customers in the right way at the right time. When a customer is struggling, you have a very short window of opportunity to save the sale. If you don’t offer a solution at a struggle point, it will be too late, for the customer likely will be gone. An application with versatile, customizable engagement rules will allow you to proactively offer information that’s not only helpful, but timely.
Even the most sophisticated portal can fail if it feels disjointed or disconnected from your website. Avoid sending customers to a new tab, much less a separate website. Also, be mindful of page load times and the short attention span that most customers have. Remember, the point of digital guidance is to quickly and intuitively assist customers, not put them through chutes and ladders that might exacerbate their frustration.
Business User-Friendly Configuration
IT departments are usually extremely busy and unable to give immediate attention to every issue. You don’t want to have to rely on your IT personnel to craft engagements that might be time sensitive, such as promotions, flash deals, coupon codes or any technical breakdown that might occur during high volume. The people who are responsible for driving and tracking conversions should also be responsible for writing, testing and deploying engagements. A drag-and-drop application is ideal for business users, for they can take complete control of digital engagement – in real time, all the time.
Easy Escalation to Chat
Again, digital guidance is not a replacement for live chat customer service, but rather, a complement to it. Some issues require human support, which is why it’s important for your contextual app to allow for a seamless handoff from bot to human whenever necessary. Most customers would still prefer a quick help chat over picking up the phone and waiting on hold, making live customer service a critical layer of support to keep struggling customers from abandoning. If there is any hiccup in the transition from self-service to a human representative, though, you will risk losing the customer before chat ever has a chance to make a difference.
We could bombard you with dozens of stats illustrating the need for mobile-friendly customer service features, but if you are in eCommerce, you don’t need us to tell you that mobile means everything to online sales. It should go without saying that your digital guidance solution and your website need to function properly on smartphones, tablets, and desktop computers.
To ensure everything runs smoothly, make sure to constantly and consistently stage your store’s applications and engagements on a variety of devices, and don’t neglect older operating systems! Not everyone uses the latest and greatest smartphone or tablet update. If someone is a release or two behind the most recent iPhone or Android, that shouldn’t prohibit them from accessing your customer support live chat and digital guidance tools.
A digital guidance application is only as powerful as the technology it supports. Likewise, browsers, operating systems, plugins and web functions are constantly evolving. Your online customer service infrastructure needs to be nimble and reliable across the board, and that means the team behind your eCommerce technology needs to be as committed to its customers as you are to yours. A software provider’s clientele can indicate much about its culture of innovation. Look to a company with an esteemed and cross-vertical customer base rather than an early-stage startup or industry-specific provider.
Meet Moxie Kbot: All of the Above and More
With the right digital guidance application, you can engage more customers with less labor compared to relying on live chat alone. If you’re looking to implement contextual customer support to increase conversion rates and customer satisfaction, consider Moxie’s Kbot application. It’s designed not only to automate assistance with many of the most common customer struggles in eCommerce, but also to empower business users to easily create tailored information snippets to guide customers through every step of the online buyer’s journey. See Kbot’s impact in a retail case study, and learn more about digital guidance.