One Simple Way To Improve Customer Engagement

Posted On April 21, 2018 by Chip Wilcox in Blog, Contact Center, Media

If you’re responsible for your company’s e-commerce platform, it’s your job to ensure that your solution is up to date with the latest and best technologies on the market. If it’s been awhile since you’ve had to consider upgrades, what types of improvements should you consider?

Let’s Focus On Customer Engagement

There are lots of things that help make an e-commerce service valuable to its users. You have to have the items people want to buy, your website or app needs to be easy to navigate with an amazing user experience, you need to surface compelling offers (even for cats) that may help customers “on the fence” actually buy, and so on.

One area that we like to target for our own customers is the quality of the customer engagement experience when things go wrong or users need help. If you’re like many e-commerce companies, right now your application probably lacks any real-time communication features or it’s limited to “live chat” only.

Temasys has always felt that one of the great promises of WebRTC is that it allows real-time communications to be embedded INSIDE applications and websites. This means that your users can communicate with each other (if you make it so) and your company, anywhere, live, interactive, using chat, audio, and video, without ever having to leave your site or app. This goes far beyond the simple “live chat” feature that we often settle for, these days.

We also know that forcing channel switching while trying to solve issues is a major dissatisfier for customers. By using WebRTC services as part of your customer service omnichannel suite, you can avoid the “channel switch drop off”, often lowering the time to resolution of problems, increasing retention and loyalty, all of which theoretically leads to higher average revenue per customer, and lower customer acquisition costs.

You’ve Seen This Movie Before…

Let’s say you are a financial services company or a bank. You have a website and mobile apps that your customers can use to access their accounts, and perform account management functions, or even to send and receive payments, or place trades. In the days before the internet, you had a toll-free number and many of your customers walked into physical branches or talked to actual humans on the phone to transact business. Nowadays you also have a website, mobile apps, along with your 1-800 numbers and brick and mortar agencies, and things are a lot more confusing for your clients.

When online, your customers have to provide a user id and password to log into your website. Perhaps they need to provide an additional measure of authentication by one-time password or token to access transactional services. But then, they hit a snag and they need help.

Typically, that means filling out a “contact us” form, which most customers assume will disappear into a black hole before it finds its way to someone who cares. If we’re “lucky,” we can start a live chat session and “talk” to an AI bot or perhaps queue up to chat with a real person. Maybe then there’s also another round of authentication/authorization and explaining what’s wrong (“Why are you contacting us?”). But then again, maybe the live chat channel doesn’t work or customers decide they’d still like to speak with an actual person.

Now they have to leave your website, pick up a phone, call a phone number, and likely they will start off in another queue with an IVR that starts by asking them for their customer credentials (“What, again?! @#*$%!!). By the time they get to a real person, the system has forgotten those details (it’s hard enough just to get you to the right department, maybe) and there’s yet another round of explaining the problem, but also another round of authentication (“Sir, for verification can you give me your date of birth, the last four digits of your social and the total dollar amount of the last three charges to your credit card?”).

When this happens to me, I’m never sure who to feel sorrier for, myself or the poor CSR who has to be last in line to hear me out.

And that’s if everything works the way it’s supposed to, the first time.

There Has To Be A Better Way. And There Is.

What if, instead of forcing customers to leave your website or app to dial a separate phone number, or open yet another application like Skype to contact you, we could help you engage your customers in a live chat (of course!), but then also help manage the escalation, seamlessly, to live audio, or to screen sharing or sending information like files back and forth with your customer service staff, without losing the context of the conversation or having to re-authenticate the user?

What if all of this could be accomplished with a single solution, and these interactions could be recorded and retained as part of customer records or case files? The fact is that it’s fairly easy to integrate these features and the outputs of these interactions to CRM and ERP or BPM and workflow systems.

And finally, how important is it that everything sent back and forth between your customers and you is secure, encrypted, and compliant with whatever privacy regulations apply to your business at that moment?

We would argue that in this day and age the ability to ensure the privacy and security or your customers’ data is table stakes for doing business with them, for most businesses.

That’s taken into account with WebRTC, by design. WebRTC mandates that all media exchanged between endpoints is encrypted to the highest standard available commercially. Temasys also adds several other methods to help secure real-time interactions powered by our platform.

Ready to get started? How, then?

Well, one way is to build it yourself starting with the WebRTC open source libraries, and then building up your own set of supporting services around that to support connectivity and call control, recording and archiving, and other complementary services. However, even for large, well-funded organizations, this is often not ideal. It can be technically and financially infeasible, even though more customers are demanding these kinds of services.

A better way might be to work with a Platform as a Service like Temasys. Temasys makes adding real-time interaction features to your apps extremely easy and affordable while maintaining security and providing the ability to scale without limits.

Our easy-to-use SDKs help make adding real-time features to any application a cinch. Those SDKs work together with our fully-managed infrastructure as a service to help you quickly deploy and scale live chat, audio, and video calling, in any app, on any device, almost anywhere. Because we have flexible, transparent pricing and you only pay for what you actually use, everybody wins, especially your customers, and ultimately, that’s good for business.  

To learn more about how Temasys can help your organization improve its e-commerce application, click here.

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