Enabling an Impactful Conversation with Your Consumers

In this piece for RetailTechNews, Anne De Kerckhove, CEO, Freespee, discusses how brands need to adjust their communication in order to better guide consumers along their path to purchase. These days, consumers arrive from an array of digital channels during the path-to-purchase journey. However, more often than not, there is a moment when human interaction is necessary, especially when something goes wrong, or for larger purchases such as real estate or a car. 

This is where we, as consumers, often pick up the phone – to either resolve a problematic situation, or to seek support for high-value purchases. But if that call isn’t picked up, it quickly becomes a bad customer experience.

According to a survey by Google, 47% of respondents described feeling “frustrated or annoyed” or “more likely to explore other brands” when a call wasn’t picked up. The advent of ‘click-to-call’ – where a user clicks button or text in order to be connected with another individual in real time – is causing an influx of call volumes; a whopping 70% of mobile users have used the ‘call’ button.

Once the button is pressed, and an offline interaction begins, the quality of conversation or rate of pick up can make or break a conversion. With that in mind, we’ve provided a few suggestions for transforming your communication strategy that will guide your callers to the final stage of their journey, and beyond.

Follow up

Following up is not chasing or harassment, it’s courtesy and can improve up-sell potential. A post-conversation chat should be filled with a knowledge of the customer (based on their history with the company) and questions that can help garner a greater understanding of exactly what they are looking for from the company in their own words.

Speed up decision making

Automated workflows can speed up how a caller lands on the right agent, based on their context. If a specific answer is required, understanding a prospect’s movement on a brand website can give the agent a head start to find a solution before they even answer the call.

Remove friction

Take away the multiple delays associated with interactive voice response systems. No one likes friction in customer experience, especially when the purchase is of high value. Remove pain points for callers by sending them through a quicker route to the conversation they really need to have.

Know the trends

Analyse, analyse, analyse. Conversations with consumers these days come with a tonne of context behind them, as the research phase almost always starts with a browsing history. Tracking every key measure from these touchpoints can be a useful way to understand the bigger consumer picture and make conversations less about interrogation and more about connection.

Understand their data

Knowing every granular detail of where/how/why a consumer has arrived at your doorstep is vital. In some cases, a PPC (pay-per-click) caller is more of a priority than someone who didn’t visit a higher value page or is just casually browsing.

Bring them back

B2C industries, like automotive and travel, know that a missed call is a missed opportunity, especially when considering their high-profit margins. If a consumer’s call isn’t acknowledged, it can be detrimental to both company reputation and the bottom line. For mobile workforces, a simple solution is using just that, their mobile.

Missed call notifications in email or SMS form have a knack for dropping call abandonment rates by nearly 80% while ensuring sales teams value callers and proactively pursue them. Sending a call back request SMS to a missed consumer is always favourable on their end if a call isn’t picked up, data from Software Advice shows that 63% of consumers surveyed preferred call back.

Be a human!

This brings us to the last and final point of any consumer-facing conversation: be a human being! Personalisation is the bread and butter of customer experience; we may think we want to speak to robots, but the need for the right amount of empathy is currently outweighing the convenience of chatbots.

A happy medium is the best bet in this scenario. Use technology to make the process of getting to the human help easier – now, that’s impactful!

In today’s increasingly saturated e-commerce marketplace, businesses need to harness the power of new technologies to not only survive, but also gain a competitive edge. By using software and systems that provide data insights, and using those observations to implement new processes and practices, companies can improve their customer service – which will in turn lead to increased profits.