B2B industry company conversationsTechnological innovations, increased competition and the rise of always-connected customers are pushing brands to adapt and rethink how they engage and connect with their visitors online. Below are four of the top technical and behavioral trends which are impacting the way contact centers and customer support units are reaching out to their customers. Learn how these trends are transforming online customer engagement and how you can improve your digital approach by adopting these strategies.

The rise of mobile: engaging customers on the go

As smartphone adoption continues to rise, the way consumers access and interact with content on mobile is also rapidly evolving. Smartphones are increasingly used for both research and commerce purposes, and global statistics portal Statista predicts that by 2018, 27 percent of all e-commerce retail will be generated via m-commerce. Mobile adoption isn’t only impacting e-commerce transactions, but is also making large impacts in the financial services industry as well. In fact, the Federal Reserve reported that last year, 53 percent of all clients with a smartphone are using mobile banking to manage their activities.

Mobile much improves how companies can provide value-add service. Customers can show their cars or their living room and get the right electronics or furniture recommendations. Beauty and skincare brands, apparel and luxury retailers can truly take their customer interactions to the next level.

Smaller screen sizes as well as limited time spent on mobile apps mean the main focus should be put on helping users find the information and content they need, in the easiest, fastest way possible. One way to address this issue is by providing access to live support agents equipped with screen-sharing capabilities. Screen-sharing and co-browsing makes it possible to guide, assist, and educate customers very easily.

Integrating video technology

Video is one of the fastest growing content mediums online. Video product presentations and tutorials are already commonplace across websites but there are still a wealth of new opportunities for maximizing the technology’s impact. One of these is by offering live video support to online customers.

Offer online customers a better customer experienceVideo engagement takes online interactions one step further as it allows for face-to-face, trust-building conversations between a brand and a business. This is becoming more and more vital for companies wishing to sell complex or high-value products and services online: retail banking, credit solutions, software, hardware, insurance and healthcare.

Video also improves support and diagnostics. No longer will customers have to enter a physical location to: repair a bad connection, meet with an expert to file a loan application, or apply for financing at a dealership. With video engagement, agents are powered with the tools to resolve customer issues remotely and nurture on-going relationships.

Support agents take on a new role

Despite the rise of self-service support tools, Gartner estimates that in 2017, one third of all customer service interactions will still require the assistance of a human intermediary. Customer experience is a key differentiator, and the companies that adapt to combine their best service with the best technology will thrive amongst the competition.

This assistance can be vastly improved with visual engagement. According to data from a recent Aberdeen report “visual engagement: the ROI of customer experience excellence”, companies using visual engagement benefit from:

  • 81% greater year-over-year growth in annual company revenue
  • 47% greater year-over-year increase in customer satisfaction rates
  • 39% higher customer retention rate

Trends in customer engagementFar from being replaced by robots or technology, agents will take on a central role in the field of customer retention and loyalty in years to come. They will alternately become customer experience specialists, brand ambassadors, solution specialists, loyalty experts and self-service mentors as they gradually assist customers during the adoption phase of these automated technologies.

In short, customers love their self-service; but they also love immediate and effective assistance. The proportional importance of such interactions will be significantly greater than ever before.

Leveraging big data to provide personalized engagement experiences

Today, customers are shortlisting their options before going into a store, local branch, or dealership. They have done their research online, and by the time they are ready to buy, they have narrowed down their options to one or two locations. Leveraging data allows sales and service agents to proactively target and engage the customer while they are still considering their options.

Scoring and targeting allows companies to utilize their experts in the most effective manner possible, by focusing limited resources on the most promising prospects and customers, ultimately leading to higher conversion rates and increase in online sales. Companies can recognize in real time that the gold members of their loyalty programs are shopping their site, and engage them in a live conversation. Banks can proactively invite the most promising customers interested in mortgage or credit solutions.

With online data, companies can match the right expert directly to the right customer in more precise ways than ever before. Phone-based matching uses very limited data about the caller; online data dramatically enriches profiles. Depending upon the utilization of the resources, matching rules can be modified in real time.

Conclusion

Each of these trends are transforming the way companies are reaching online customers. Brands that are successfully implementing these strategies are not only seeing improvements in customer satisfaction, but are also seeing increases in annual revenue, conversion rates and retention, and a decrease in cost and average handling time.

Stryng’s universal client messaging platform is helping companies seamlessly integrate these trends into their digital customer support.

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