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Digital Engagement Blog

Digital Engagement: Can you say YES to “Being in the Moment?”

Digital Engagement - Be in the moment.Missing out on critical moments when your customers, prospects, browsers, or shoppers are visiting you in your digital world—and by that I mean your website, mobile website, and mobile app—is like missing thousands of spectacular shooting stars passing you by as you briefly turn to look the other way. Who would deliberately do that? Well, unfortunately, a lot of incredible stars are passing by right under your nose and on your watch.

Being in the moment with your digital customers means knowing what they are doing as they interact with you, and offering them immediate and relevant solutions to help them in their moments of need. When you miss those star-filled moments, those every day occurrences that help your digital visitors address their needs, this directly harms:

  • Brand loyalty
  • Retention
  • Customer experience
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Revenue opportunity
  • ...and so on [fill in the gap here with your organizational pain point].

I recently sat down with Contact Solutions’ Mobile Product Director, Sameer Siddiqui, to discuss this issue, and Sameer recommended three critical areas that all organizations need to consider, if they are not already doing so today:

Three Critical Digital Engagement Tips

  1. Provide immediate answers to questions to solve issues in the moment of need.
  2. Provide contextual help – relevant and timely.
  3. Be the most convenient and flexible to interact with.

Let’s drill down in more detail to each of these areas.

  1. Provide immediate answers to questions to solve issues in the moment of need.

CAN YOU SAY YES: Does your web and mobile app customer engagement process provide instant answers to customer inquiries about interaction issues or potential purchases?

Sameer advises, if consumers can’t get the information and assistance they need in an immediate manner, chances are they are leaving your brand to find that information, service, or product from somewhere they can, but you can take small steps to change that.

This gap can become extremely critical for enterprises that rely on digital channels as one of their customer acquisition and revenue generation channels. For example, E-commerce apps and websites don’t want to lose customers who are looking for immediate goods to make a purchase. If a shopper on these sites has a question that could be answered to address their concern right away and drive them to complete a purchase, wouldn’t that company want to be in the moment and offer help and an answer to seal the deal? Same holds true for customers who are looking for information, services, or a solution that is not in a “box.” If this scenario fits your organization, are you losing customers or are they abandoning your site or shopping carts because they can’t get questions answered in an immediate manner?

  1. Provide contextual help – relevant and timely.

CAN YOU SAY YES: Do you offer contextual help such as targeted information, tips, resources, and related products based on a pattern of browsing or behavior—before the customer has to ask for it?

Sameer shares that enterprises need to proactively engage with users as they are exploring, to capture the opportunity to help in that buying or browsing micro-moment.

Customer interaction data can reveal patterns of engagement behavior, regardless if the individual’s goal is to make a purchase or fill out a lead form or solve a problem. There is generally a consistent path of actions or steps someone may take to get to that point, and then either abandon the moment for lack of information or follow through and complete it. Organizations have a golden opportunity handed to them in the form of this data to leverage the pattern of interactions being created, and offer contextual assistance even before it’s requested, to better serve their customer-base. As Sameer aptly states, if I’m a customer, you’ve lost me when I try to put something in my shopping cart but still have questions and I have no contextual help in that moment. Sameer’s point is critical, and the same holds true for an informational or solution search, where the needed support could make or break the contact from becoming a lead or a lucrative sales opportunity.

Market data on E-commerce shopping cart abandonment rates reveal an 60-80% range, with an average 68.53% abandonment. E-commerce sites are grabbing a larger share of the retail sales pie (Forrester Research estimates online sales will hit $414 billion in the US by 2018). This number could be even more impressive if companies offered better customer service. Engagement with digital shoppers is becoming a do-or-die proposition, and there is clearly room for improvement.

Contextual help can be provided as an offer for an FAQ, a link to a page with more options that directly relates to customer needs, or more powerfully, the ability to help directly in the form of customer service—like offering an agent interaction in the moment of need where the context of the interactions is already in the agent’s hands.

  1. Be the most convenient and flexible to interact with.

CAN YOU SAY YES: Can customers count on seamless continuity of service, so they can stop a digital interaction and resume at a different time, using a different device—without having to start all over again?

Sameer recommends enterprises rethink their approach to customer moments as dynamic, flexible interactions, not one-shot deals that require a single, static instance for closure. He cites allowing for breaks and convenience so engagement isn’t lost as customer time may dictate, with the ability to be available anytime the customer wishes to start, pause, and then restart interactions that ultimately gets them to their goal at the timing and on the device they choose.

In a nutshell, give your customers truly dynamic, persistent digital engagement moments by opening up their opportunity for help and engagement with you at the customers’ choice—whether those moments are on your website, or from a smartphone in an app or a mobile website. Offer an engagement that responds to your customers’ lifestyles.

Consider the typical customer lifestyle today: they are unleashed in their movements and changeable in their schedule.

  • They may start an interaction in the morning before launching into a busy day, perhaps on the smartphone.
  • Later, when they have a moment, they may reconnect with you, and want to continue where they left off, possibly on their laptop. What if they have a question? Wouldn’t it be great if you knew in context what they had been doing and could offer it up either with information or live guidance when they returned?
  • When they get distracted or pulled in another direction, they may stop and then find their way back to you another time or day, and hopefully complete their goal, on any device at hand.

In each of these steps, you want to be there for the customer when they are with your brand. That’s being in the moment with digital engagement. That’s providing the best customer experience and best serving your customer before they are frustrated, out of time, and unhappy with their results.

Second Chances are Scarce

If your company can’t provide an engaging customer experience the first time, and every time, you may be racking up abandoned shopping carts, partially completed forms, and other lost opportunities—not just a sale but also return visits over the long term.

Repercussions to your organization can be harsh:

  • Loss of immediate revenue for an e-commerce site
  • Loss of an engaged customer, lead or even more powerful business opportunity for a solution and service commercial enterprise
  • Loss of confidence, trust, loyalty, satisfaction for any organization—whether commercial or government, or a service or product

According to Monetate, e-commerce shopper conversion rates are more than 3x higher for tablets (2.86%) than for smartphones (0.92%)—with even higher numbers for laptops and PCs. Considering that 81% of American’s have their smartphones with them nearly all the time, with 72% checking their smartphones at least once an hour, most several times (Gallup report), closing the deal via smartphones has become a more timely requirement than ever before.

Consider these mind-blowing statistics cited in a recent Forbes article:

  • Acquiring new customers can cost as much as 5x more than satisfying and retaining current customers.
  • A 2% increase in customer retention has the same effect as decreasing costs by 10%.
  • Depending on the industry, reducing customer defection rate by 5 percent can increase your profitability by 25%.
  • Businesses lose 50% of their customers every five years on average.

Simply stated, customer service is broken. If Sameer and I could leave you with one thought it would be to take a second, or third, look at your digital engagement process. Question and test yourself how those interactions mesh across channels. This is not the time, as I’ve said in other blogs, to rest on your laurels, or in this case to miss those shooting stars.

Fortunately, digital customer engagement technologies can up-level your company’s service experience to meet high customer expectations and help you say yes to being in the moment with them.

Learn more about cross-channel persistence  >

Join Andrea Katsivelis and Sameer Siddiqui in their digital engagement social conversations:

Andrea: Twitter @akatsiv, LinkedInSameer: Twitter@sameer1siddiqui, LinkedIn
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Topics: Customer Engagement Customer Acquisition Digital Commerce