How Chat, Email and Proactive Guidance Work Together
When you’re looking to provide superior customer experience – the old ways of doing it no longer work. Offer a mix of options to help your customers choose which they think is best for them. Afterall, your customers are diverse, why not your engagement channels?
Not only are customers coming online in greater numbers because stores and branches are closed, but many customers who did not regularly transact online are being driven to do so. Add to this the urgency that many face, either to acquire scarce goods or to get financial consideration. Customers often face extreme wait times to interact with a live agent. And that might not be the best route. Use this guide to understand how to make the most of today’s leading engagement channels – proactive guidance, live chat and email.
Break the Overwhelming Cycle by Addressing Contacts at Scale
Your customers are the most important aspect of your business, and they will always come to you with questions and comments. What you need to keep in mind today is your digital-first customers are now simply…your customers. As you look ahead, a tiered engagement approach that is digital-first puts proactive guidance at the tip of spear. This will cover the most ground to address that 80% of common contacts.
Follow this with additional automated engagement. When a customer enters a live channel, try once more to provide a self-service option before escalation to a phone or chat agent. When live agents are not available, offer email as a way to engage.
Finally, layer proactive chat on top. Use it to target the customers and situations that may benefit the most from an immediate live conversation. In the following pages, we break down examples of customers experiencing a mix of engagements for retail, banking and insurance. In all three examples you are able to be there for customers across their journey.
Retail Snapshot: Post-Purchase Questions
- The customer who recently purchased an item comes online to check the status of her order. Before she can even look for the phone number, or even before she begins the login process, she is greeted with an engagement:
“Welcome back! Are you here with a question around order status, to start a return, or about a warranty issue? Click here!”
Greeting her like this acknowledges the relationship and offers help for the top 3 contacts to the call center. If one of these represents her reason for her visit she’s immediately guided to her solution.
- Should she ignore or not find the proactive engagement relevant, instead opting to go into a chat, she’s asked what she would like to chat about. Maybe she enters:
“I would like help connecting my new laptop to my wifi”
After inputting her topic, CONTEXT looks to see if there is an article, video, or other tip that may help. It found a video called “Getting connected to the internet” which it presents to the customer. The customer clicks the video instead of proceeding to chat, satisfying her query and saving another routine chat inquiry.
Banking Snapshot: Too Many Account Choices
- A bank’s sales contact center knows that customers have a difficult time with product selection – there are over 20 different accounts on offer. Sometimes the marketing content on the site doesn’t compare and contrast accounts very well. While they lead with proactive guidance and follow up with chat deflection for most service-related use cases, the bank wants to use contextual proactive chat for product selection hesitation and struggle.
- Instead of spamming every visitor with a needless offer to chat, the bank decides to wait until the customer has bounced around between several of the product categories, or has clicked on the “More information” link before offering a contextual chat invite:
“Hi There, looks like you might need a little help understanding these account options? We’ve got an account expert standing by. Click here to chat”
By doing chat in this fashion, the bank can have both a robust self-service strategy for most use cases (the 80% we talked about above), while choosing to reach out to chat around the conversations that they really feel advance their business goals and best help the customer. No more one size fits all for chat – it’s now utilized in a case by case basis.
Insurance Snapshot: Quoting Questions
- Like many call centers, this insurer doesn’t operate theirs 24/7. It’s open from 8 am to 5 pm Eastern time. That works for many of their customers, but certainly there are customers who login for help or have insurance quote questions after hours. This is where email and messaging come into play. You can have email standing by for whenever chat is offline or simply not available because all of your agents are currently busy.
- When a customer is having issues with the quoting process – confusion around terms or payment methods – at 9pm Pacific time which is outside of call center hours, you can surface a similar but slightly different message:
“Hi There, looks like you might need a little help understanding these insurance options? Our experts will respond with an answer during business hours. Click here to send us a message.”
Leading with contextual proactive guidance, followed with Chat deflection and proactive live chat not only ensures operational efficiency, but provides the fastest answers and the best experience for the majority of customers. It also frees up your contact center to be used for the most unique service queries. After all, customers should not struggle to do business with you.