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Neldi Rautenbach Neldi Rautenbach

Dont go breaking my heart

Enchanting customers to fall for your business

Neldi Rautenbach Neldi Rautenbach Wednesday 1st February 2017

And just like that, the first month in 2017 is over. January sales are being replaced with cupid arrows, hearts, and messages of love. Whether you love Valentine’s Day or think the hype doesn’t justify the occasion, your customer experience strategy should swoop in and enchant customers to fall for your business every time they interact with you, regardless of channel.

Continuously nurturing relationships with your customers is crucial to growing your business.

Love-hate relationships

Unlike our mixed feelings towards Valentine’s Day, most of us love the convenience of our connected world. However, we appear to have a love-hate relationship when it comes to online service.

According to Baymard, nearly 70% of shoppers will abandon their online shopping carts. Shocking until you realise that many users are window shopping, comparing prices, saving items for later or exploring gift options.

However, Forrester reports that more than 50% of customers will abandon their online shopping cart if they can’t find answers to simple queries and switch to a competitor’s website. Customers become so accustomed to doing most things online, it’s no surprise that Coleman Parkes reports that 75% of us prefer online support above any other channel. However, customers hate struggling to find accurate and consistent answers to their questions.

The Silent Treatment

Efforts to prevent potential customers from abandoning their e-commerce carts, have had many businesses implement live chat support. A study by Forrester Research found, “Many online consumers want help from a live person while they are shopping online; in fact, 44% of online consumers say that having questions answered by a live person while in the middle of an online purchase is one of the most important features a Web site can offer.

An emarketer.com survey found that 63% were more likely to return to a website that offers live chat. The report goes on to say: “62% reported being more likely to purchase from the site again. A further 38% of respondents said they had made their purchase due to the chat session itself. All these attitudes were even more prevalent among respondents who bought online at least weekly.”

As it turns out, live chat can offer real-time support, while also adding significant benefits to the staff and bottom line of companies. It is however important to consider that live chat poses some challenges. Customers are not bound by normal working hours when looking to make an online purchase or find support. Having live chat available with no-one to answer, might do more harm than good, frustrating customers with time-wasting silence.

Great CX

Multi-channel technology can assist in creating omni-channel customer experiences.

Here are some of the key trends for 2017 that predicts love from customers:

  • Consistency across channels is key to a great overall experience. Trust is created when front-line staff, support staff and online channels all over the same consistent answers. Having an integrated knowledge-base across your website, contact centre and social channels
  • Ease: If it’s easy to find answers, purchase, get support, customers will return.
  • Mobile: We take our smartphones everywhere with us. In a study by Search Engine Watch, 67% of participants said they were more likely to make a purchase when visiting a business’s mobile-friendly site, versus 61% who said they’d most likely leave a site that wasn’t optimised for mobile.
  • Personalisation: Make identity an enterprise asset. Identifying customers at every touchpoint will result in a long-term relationship.
  • Virtual Agents: 24/7 customer service with a smile. A semblance of personal service, NLP artificial intelligence combined with a graphical representation, can be a powerful additional contact channel (not a replacement for human interaction). Virtual Agents can raise the online customer service effort bar. Always on, ready to offer customers who wish to self-serve answers, an engaging, appropriate, and conversational automated interaction.

Conclusion

In our own lives, we appreciate that we cannot expect close relationships, family relations, or a marriage to survive and flourish if we don’t put time and effort into maintaining it. A business’s relationships with its customers is no different.

Will 2017 be the start of a beautiful customer experience journey for your business?

More expert advice for engaging customers can be found on our website here.

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