Customers today are becoming more digital. Instead of picking up the phone when they have a query or issue, they’re jumping first to a company’s website or app. That’s why so many businesses are now investing in chatbots and other digital channels to assist customers online. But there are a lot more businesses could be doing to engage their customers on the web, Senior Business Consultant Rickard Janz from Puzzel tells CX Today.
Digital Engagement in Customer Service
Advanced digital engagement tools now enable companies to really get to know their customers and deliver more proactive and personalised services online, Janz explains.
“Businesses can pinpoint exactly what a customer’s expectations are from the moment they click on their website. And they can follow that customer throughout their entire journey on the site,” he says. “An example would be visiting a website and the business welcoming you to it, having picked up your identity. A bot might then offer to help you with your shopping using information pulled from your past customer journeys. In this data, you might also be tagged as a priority customer, meaning you’re offered a more personal live chat or video call.”
In short, online customers browsing a website can now be offered the same level of attention and care they would receive in-store – minus the physical queuing. This will become increasingly important in the post-COVID world, as more customers choose to shop and seek help online, Janz says.
“For many brands, the idea of digital engagement was an awakening when COVID hit. Now it’s a commodity, with the pandemic having compelled companies to move away from phone enquiries and to more automated and digital channels. And customers have realised digital engagement isn’t scary or challenging — it’s essential in everyday life.”
How Does Digital Engagement Work?
Digital engagement tools work by building a visitor profile of every customer who visits a website. These profiles are formed based on the customer’s interactions and browsing behaviour. If the customer logs into the website, they can also be enriched with data from other systems such as CRMs, ERPs and billing platforms.
With this information, the customer can then be offered the most efficient solution or contact channel for their specific errand. They might be invited to chat with a chatbot for simple or repetitive self-service tasks or offered a video call with a live agent for higher value queries. The solution could also be providing the customer with a phone number if that’s the best way to handle their request.
Janz explains how this could apply in an online retail context.
“A big problem online retailers can have is too many customers abandoning their shopping carts,” he says. “The way most companies deal with this is by putting a chatbot in the checkout process. But these chatbots are often very generic, giving all customers the same options and support. They lack that personalisation that’s so important in digital engagement.”
“Solving this problem actually requires analysing the customer journey. You need to find out why they abandoned their baskets and get to the root cause of that specific behaviour. After collecting this data, a retailer can then offer more targeted help instead of just saying ‘Hi, chat with us!’.
The Future of Digital Engagement
As we move out of 2021 and into 2022, digital engagement will become absolutely necessary for businesses to retain their customers and also attract new ones.
“Customers are becoming more demanding and businesses cannot keep using the pandemic as an excuse for poor customer service. Instead, companies need to make digital customer engagement easy for users, delivering answers and resolutions in a highly personal manner and in the context of the actions of customers,” says Janz.
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