The Why & How of Customer Engagement
The old days of customer service conjure up images of a dimly lit counter at the back of a store with an agent apathetically chomping gum while an enraged customer rants on about how the VCR that they bought yesterday has eaten their favorite VHS tape. Those days are long gone!
Today, customers hold the key to a business’ success or failure. Social media has forever changed the customer service landscape, allowing fans and haters alike to proclaim their experiences to the masses. In this cloud of peer reviews, businesses must rethink the way they interact with their audience and focus on transitioning from the old days of Customer Service to the new ways of Customer Engagement.
Customer Engagement is about more than simply changing how we think about our customers, it’s about finding and using tools that allow us to communicate with our customers effectively and efficiently. Live chat is one such tool that fosters customer engagement.
It’s All About Connection:
All cars have four wheels and an engine, so why do we buy (or aspire to buy) the cars that we do? Because there is an emotional connection – the way that car makes you feel, a representation of your personality or style, or maybe a reflection of your values (i.e. safety, modesty). Sure, features and price matter, but when it comes down to it, most purchasing decisions are based on perceived trust using gut instincts. In the online marketplace, where shoppers have all the control, live chat allows you to forge that personal connection and establish trust with your visitors.
Expand Your Reach:
The larger your audience, the greater your sales potential. In today’s omni-channel world, your customers are everywhere and so must you be (pardon the Yoda-ism). Think about extending your live chat presence beyond your company website, such as Facebook, Twitter and blogs, as well as across devices on mobile and tablets. Live chat allows you to engage with customers anywhere they can interact with your brand.
Proactively Engage with Your Audience:
One of the most powerful features of live chat is the proactive chat tool. This feature allows you to create intelligent, rules-based messages inviting your customers to engage with you before they have to ask for help. You choose when to engage your visitor, for instance after a certain amount of time or upon visiting a certain page, and what message to show them. You can even route proactive messages to specific agents within your organization.
Take Customers from Passive to Engaged:
Live Chat turns a casual website visit into a dynamic conversation between curious website visitors and virtual shopkeepers. Give customers the ability to engage in meaningful interactions and get answers quickly all while still browsing your website.
Close the Loop:
Live Chat sessions can take many different paths (including extended conversations on completely unrelated topics, but that’s an entirely different whitepaper – “How To Deal With Trolls.”). Looking beyond sales and conversion, perhaps one of the most overlooked benefits of live chat is its value as a customer feedback tool. When chatting with a prospect or customer, take the opportunity to try to gather important insights as to how people are using your products/services, what their pain points are, and what improvements they might like to see. You’ll be amazed at how listening to your customers can drive innovation and growth!