Finland has been ranked number one among the countries that drink most coffee, and our Helsinki office is no exception. Our office practically runs on coffee and we take it very seriously. We brew a lot of coffee, around seven cups per person per day to be precise. In addition, our team is also particular about getting their coffee at its very best regarding optimum brew time and temperature.The coffee supply had never been a bottleneck until we moved office to new premises little over a year ago. For, although our new office is otherwise a lot nicer than the old one, the downside was that most teams, consequently, lost direct visibility to the kitchen area and the two coffee makers. The problem was that in order to get the ‘current coffee availability status’, you had no other alternative than to walk to the kitchen and see for yourself. Besides taking unnecessary time and effort this frequently lead to disappointment and frustration as the coffee jug was often found empty.
Disruptive innovations are reshaping the way financial services are structured and consumed. Setting up a 'virtual branch', that allows financial service providers engage with potential customers on another organisation's domain, is a great way to meet evolving customer expectations using rapidly advancing technology. By integrating real-time credit counselling seamlessly with the purchase journey of a partner site the context where the service is provided is significantly better than in any other form of digital service.
Take booking for a holiday, for instance. Many of us have a ready-made list of dream holiday destinations in our mind, but the reality is that a loan can sometimes be what is needed to bring our plans for a honeymoon, birthday celebration or annual vacation to live. Then, what better moment to be offered financial advice than when we are online browsing for travel services and comparing options?
Imagine a situation like this: You have just found a new home that you have been dreaming about for quite some time (Yay, great news! Congrats!). However, as this is not your first time moving it doesn’t take long before your excitement slowly starts to wear off as you realise how much stuff you need to get done before you can completely relax and enjoy your new place. Sounds familiar, right?
What if there was a way to make everything moving-related much more effortless? As mentioned in our previous blog, estate agents can connect with the end-customer in real-time with the help of our Network solution on the business partner’s site (e.g. on a property portal site). Similarly, the giosg Network also allows estate agents to offer their business partners’ complementary solutions (in the right context) on their website. More precisely this means that instead of contacting every service provider on individual sites, the customer can start a conversation with, e.g. a company offering relocation services while still browsing on the estate agents' website.
From the business point of view, this creates a win-win situation for both parties of the partner network. The estate agent can generate extra revenue from collecting access and lead fees and the partner can boost their sales by converting visitors on estate agents' website into customers.
Doesn’t this sound like a good way of creating powerful network effects? And not bad for the overall customer experience either, eh? Then, here’s something to get you started!
In the digital age providing customers with omnichannel customer service has become more of a rule than an exception. Reliable, receptive and timely responses are the most important characteristics that come to mind when thinking about what is important to the customer, regarding service. Still, from the business point of view, there is a big difference in how these objectives are achieved.
Although customers today expect to receive the same level of service regardless of the channel they use, the fact still is that some support channels are more cost-efficient than others. As mentioned in our previous blogs (here and here), the biggest shortcomings of the phone support compared to live chat are higher operating costs and the mere impossibility to have more than one conversation at the same time. Live chat, on the other hand, changes the work of the customer service agents from one-at-a-time processing rate to taking care of 3 to 7 tickets simultaneously. That enables customer service to solve tickets quicker and, also cuts costs as fewer callbacks are required.
Even though self-service is certainly an essential part of digital customer experience, it is much better for both the customer and the company to get the necessary information right in the first time. Handling forms with incorrectly filled in or missing information takes a lot of customer service agents time whereas forms filled correctly can be processed and solved almost automatically. With CoBrowse technology the agent can provide hands-on assistance online so that all sections of the form can be filled the first time correctly.
It is good to make sure you have the best practices in use to direct customers toward the most efficient customer service channels to generate the right value for both your customer and your business. A client of ours, If Insurance (If), provides an excellent example of how a company can enable efficient and smart handling of customer requests in an online environment.
In the past decade or so, the way people search for homes has changed drastically as more and more house-hunters now start their search by looking on one of the major property portals. Recent research in the UK showed that 47% of the population had used a property search website during the last 12 months.
Technology will undoubtedly continue to take away barriers to information, so that portal visitors have even easier and more efficient ways to search for properties that match their requirements. Innovations are also changing the role of an estate agent so that the real issue real estate companies need to address is how to be more responsive to potential customers.
Estate agents are apparently always looking to get more listings but how to find those seller leads on property portals? The answer is quite simple: try asking portal visitors if they already have a home that they need to sell before they can buy a new one.
Customer service is usually the first place we contact if we need more information, want to make a complaint etc. This means that customer service is the main opportunity for service recovery: turning a scratch in Customer Experience into something great. So that the customer ends up feeling more satisfied after the company has solved the problem than if everything had gone as planned in the first place.
With that kind of responsibility, customer service needs to take ownership of every step of the customer experience formulation, starting from the first touchpoint. Otherwise, the opportunity for service recovery is lost in the process. For example, when I recently needed to call customer service of a big insurance company, I spent the first 50s dealing with automated menu making choices and then another 50s listening to elevator music before I was connected to customer service.
By contrast, many of our client companies continue to reach under 10s response times in live chat. From customer’s point of view, this means that with live chat there is basically no waiting time. Plus there is no need to switch to another device as you can just type the question while browsing on service provider’s website. So, like this online technology reviews firm points out, it’s no wonder that millennials prefer live chat over other channels in their day-to-day communication.
Live chat has several business benefits, for example, it has proved to be more cost-efficient than other service channels (like the phone). Still, none of this is possible without the necessary human resources to provide customers with personal, timely and accurate support. That is why one of the most critical considerations when implementing live chat is resourcing.
When trying to make sure they can utilise the full potential of live chat as a service channel, companies usually have at least three alternatives. The 1) is to use the same customer support and sales resources they use with phone and email. The 2) is to outsource the chat personnel to a resource company, and the 3) is to adopt an model that combines internal and outsourced resources.
Different alternatives have all their advantages and disadvantages which is why it is good to take time to review each option carefully before making a move.
An estimate of 4 trillion USD worth merchandise was abandoned in 2016. Every time consumers are asked for a reason for this behaviour one of the most common answers is higher than expected shipping costs. What this usually means is that either lower or free shipping costs haven’t been offered in the first place, or the customer hasn’t qualified for them. Either way, this is a great example of a situation, which could have been turned into a victory quite easily. In this particular case, for example, by reminding the customer of a perk (e.g. free shipping for orders over 100 EUR).
Then, how to identify these situations so that you can give the customer a gentle push towards completing the purchase? Like discussed in our previous blog, there are four (4) conditions that e-retailers should pay attention to when trying to turn online visitors into customers. Visitor's shopping cart information is the first one of these. That is why in this blog we will focus on explaining how having real-time visibility of visitor's shopping cart size and shopping history can create a lot of opportunities for enhancing online customer experience and increasing sales.
VV-Auto is the biggest reseller of Audi, SEAT and Volkswagen passenger cars and Volkswagen commercial vehicles in Finland. In 2013, the company wanted to find a solution that would allow them to enhance online customer experience and convert website visitors browsing for cars or car maintenance services into sales leads.
Instead of visiting car dealers in person, people today prefer to visit multiple websites when narrowing down options. Recent research shows that buyers usually go through an average of 7 websites before going to the local dealership. This means that car dealers, VV-Auto included, need to find ways to capture contact details before visitors move on to the competitor’s site.
To make matters even more complex, not all website visitors are the same. Supporting the needs of a visitor interested in booking a time for car maintenance requires different type of expertise than helping a customer looking to buy a new or used car. Additionally there are also a lot of visitors browsing on a website outside regular office hours. This means that finding a cost-effective staffing solution that enables the positioning of the right people to the right place, is also something that needs to be resolved.
Like mentioned in a recent Finextra article, there’s one fundamental thing that separates banks from many other businesses; customers don’t want to do business with them. Customers don’t want a mortgage; they want a home. They don’t want a loan; they want a car, or a holiday trip, or something else. Banks for a customer are a means to an end. And those banks that get this also recognise that they need to be offering services beyond the banking product.
Then, how can banks offer services online? A typical situation now is that a website has been designed to bombard visitors with everything possible. Still, for example, new and returning visitors often have different kind of needs which means that it would be wise to personalise the offering to meet the customer's actual situation better.
The most important thing, when trying to engage customers online, is to take a look at what customers are experiencing and then think about how to get their attention and help them. One way to do this is to use different kinds of situational reminders, like personalised and informative banners or proactive live chat, on a company’s website.
Let us show you how!
Most industries working with large amounts of data have already recognised the value of machine learning technology. By using machine learning algorithms to build models that uncover connections and identify important insights in data, companies can make better decisions without human intervention. This means that companies can work more efficiently and gain an advantage over competitors.
Ecommerce websites can use real-time analytics and machine learning to recommend visitors items they might like based on their buying history – and to promote other items they could be interested in. And, this ability to utilise the data collected to provide even more personalised shopping experiences (or implement targeted marketing campaigns), is the future of retail.
Companies need to act fast and efficiently to meet the expectations of today’s consumers. The moment an issue with a product or service arises is also the very same moment when the race against time to resolve it begins.
CoBrowse is a technology that allows a company and a customer to be literally "on the same page" . More precisely, sales and customer support can interact with the customer using the customer's web browser to show them something in real-time.CoBrowse can be used for many objectives including support, sales, product selection, and account management. When implemented at the right time and place, CoBrowse can be an effective approach to escalated and personal support.
Live chat has great potential for it meets the customer at the point of the buying cycle where they're going to have questions. Meaning that agents can connect with customers at the point of sale and gently nudge browsing customers into the checkout line.
Besides increasing sales (if that wasn't enough), live chat can help you gain also other type of competitive edge; excellent customer experience. For let's not forget that customers actually like it. A survey conducted by Forrester research says that 44% of online consumers indicate that having live chat available while making an online purchase is one of the most important features a website can offer. And other surveys also state that more than half of customers are more likely to return to a website that offers live chat.
Couple of years ago Adobe completed a survey asking more than 1000 US marketers how they see the digital age changing their work and priorities. Majority of them agreed that knowing how to take risks and embrace change would ultimately determine whether they remain competitive or not. But, when asked about the capability most important to their future marketing efforts, “personalization” ranked highest, hands down.the potential of today’s technologies in terms of creating truly personalized online shopping experiences?