There’s no shortage of tools to engage customers through the website. But without the ability to selectively execute finely-tuned engagements, you’re likely to do more harm than good.
At bmetric, we’ve defined three elements to consider when you’re looking to boost sales and optimise service, through your online and offline channels.
The way forward is engaging customers on the website, getting it right requires strategy in planning and implementation.
This framework for engagement is courtesy of bmetric’s Customer Success department.
The decision to interact with a customer journey should never be taken lightly. Start with a clear idea of the outcome you seek to achieve, before allowing the rest of the engagement to take shape.
When it comes to the purpose of an engagement, we’ve learnt that engagements can be categorized into the following genres:
The customer didn’t perform action X, that means they’re more likely to go for Y.
So there’s a segment of your online visitors who show interest, but they’re not continuing through the online flow. These customers will need something more, it could be anything from a subtle nudge to complete the online flow, a discount code, or a prompt to purchase through another channel, via chat or on the phone.
In this case, you may want to engage based on the time a customer has spent without taking action in the online flow. Or if they exhibit exit-intent by moving to close the tab.
The Pre-emptive Engagement
Here, you already know the next step you want the customer to take, so you’re pre-emptively providing the nudge to get them there.
If you’re working with some complex products or services, you can reduce churn by making sure customers are getting the information they need at the right moments in the decision-making process.
You might trigger this engagement if a customer heads to a specific webpage with a heavy churn rate, or to a part of the website that’s geared toward sign-ups. Identifying customer-specific traits can immediately influence which channel they’re best suited to.
The Availability-based Engagement
Similar to a Pre-emptive Engagement but used under very specific circumstances. Time of day, technical difficulties, queue length—all can act as obstacles between the customer and the channel they need.
You don’t want to direct a customer to a closed call centre. Here, you’ll want to route the customer journey to the most appropriate available channel.
Instead of showing a phone number while the call centre is closed, or while the queue is full, why not suggest they leave their number so you can call them back at a better time.
Here, you should deliver the engagement considering internal circumstances: Is the call queue full? Is the chatbot down? Is the call centre closed?
Once the purpose of engagement is defined, you now look to your channels.
The channel matters. The plain reason that your channels differ is that your customers differ. But channels will differ in their relevance to the customer throughout the B2C relationship. That’s why the customer’s state-of-mind, in the moment, is so important to when executing engagements effectively.
Think about the channels within your network.
It’s an “online-first” consumer culture. Your website is the first port-of-call for the majority of your customers. Regardless of customer segment, customer loyalty, sales or service—your customers are checking your website before anywhere else.
The important question to ask here is, which customers should stay on the website?
For the ones who should stay, how do we keep them there? By doing something, or do nothing?
The ability to decide when not to engage is key to intelligent channel management. By engaging only those who should be engaged, Intelligent Engagement doesn’t interfere with the journeys that are already doing well.
For those journeys that aren’t doing so well, there’s always a friendly reminder, “Hey, you’re one step away from completing your purchase” or, “Here’s an offer code—to show how much we’d like to have you on board”.
Whether it be live chat or a bot, online chat can be a nice way to keep certain customers in the online flow—away from those more costly, high-touch, channels. When deployed wisely it’ll save resources in the contact centre and prevent a certain amount of online churn.
That’s not to say that chat isn’t without its risks. Not all needs can be met via chat, so be selective in who you send there, or you’ll only inflate the number of touchpoints for the customer.
With Intelligent Engagement you can mitigate the risk of sending the wrong cases to your chatbot, by routing based on the customer’s state of mind, before the customer makes contact with any of your channels.
So, not all problems can be solved via chat. Sometimes, all a customer needs is a conversation with a helpful sales or service assistant to help them make that big decision. Still, there are different ways to deliver this.
Looking to reduce cancellations, or make more big-ticket sales? One way is to talk it over via a direct line with the customer. Talking one-to-one is powerful, but expensive—be sure to be selective which customers get this direct-line with your call centre.
Some high-value customers want to talk to you, but not right now. Our callback engagements are a great way to generate strong outbound leads from those many customers who are interested, but just not ready to call you right now.
They’re also the great lead-retriever in our Availability-based Engagements:
“You’re up early! Our call centre is open just yet, enter your number and we’ll get back to you later”.
Not every engagement has to be direct to sale or service. Have a newsletter or brochures, you’d like to promote? A timely engagement can capture a customer’s attention at the optimal moment to get those sign-ups.
Now that you’ve determined the purpose and channel, you can finalise the design.
- The copy (the proposition and call-to-action text),
- Branding (company guidelines or a specialised theme),
- The salience (how subtle or boldly the engagement should appear).
Here’s a framework for how eye-catching an engagement can be:
Remember that deciding when not to engage a customer is just as important as deciding how you engage.
b. Minimised Engagement
Screen space is valuable these days, sometimes it’s best to ease in with a suggestion.
c. Minimised Engagement with movement/delay
Failing that, you can always make it do a little dance. Just like any other, a minimised engagement can be as discrete, or bold, as you need it to be.
d. Maximised (Movement/Slide-in/Bottom bar)
Sometimes it’s best to lay it all on the table, to show the customer what their options are right now. Our Customer Success team can work with you to tailor your engagements down to the pixel—so there really are no limits.
e. Overlay (Curtain-fall Engagement)
For those times when you thought everything was going smoothly—and then I wasn’t. It’s a little on the heavy side, but if your customer suddenly makes a bee-line for the exit, you can always deploy this style of engagement as a safety net.
There’s no “one size fits all” to pretty much anything these days, but it’s especially true when it comes to how you engage with your customers. That’s why the reflective, decision-making ability of Intelligent Engagement has been the logical first choice for so many trusted brands across Europe.