Digital shopping is growing by leaps and bounds. According to a recent survey by McKinsey & Company, “Two-thirds of survey respondents cited the growth of omnichannel and digital shopping as the most significant trend affecting the [retail] industry — and the greatest challenge.” They also found that to stay competitive, a personalized, end-to-end digital experience is no longer a “nice-to-have” but a “must-have.”
This holiday season, as the lines continue to blur between in-store and online, retailers need to optimize the digital experience with advanced engagement tactics to differentiate themselves. And with 89% of consumers switching brands following a poor customer experience, there’s just too much at stake not to.
Cobrowsing and sharing are rich visual engagement capabilities that will take the friction and frustration out of the online experience. Let’s look at a couple of scenarios, so you can see what a difference they make.
Challenges and frustrations of blind assistance
A mother needs help finding a luxury watch on a retail website for her son for Christmas, so she calls customer service for assistance. The agent starts the conversation by asking a lot of questions to try to understand where she is on the website. She explains, but the agent has difficulty following. The agent attempts to direct her on where to find the watch, but she fails to make it to the right place.
She followed all verbal directions but is still not where the agent says she “should” be. She exclaims in frustration, “I don’t see what you see. Please stop telling me I should be seeing the watch because I don’t. Can we start over?” After a few more tries, she finally finds it, but it took much more time and hassle than expected.
Many consumers in this scenario would run out of patience much sooner and may have abandoned the retailer altogether. To make matters worse, 47% of consumers will make a brand accountable by sharing their bad experiences on social media. And agents don’t like these trying interactions either. Taking similar calls to this one over time, their patience wears thin, and they can even lose their confidence from not being able to serve their customers effectively. As they slog through call after call, their average call handle time takes a hit too, which leads to their supervisor feeling frustrated as well.
Agents want to do a good job, but to be successful, they need to be equipped with the right tools. When they don’t get the support they need, they can burn out, leading to greater employee churn, which costs companies a great deal.
Cobrowsing and sharing enrich the online experience
Now let’s look at this same engagement but this time the agent utilizes cobrowsing and sharing…
We already know that the customer is struggling to find a watch on the retailer’s website. This time, though, she notices an offer to chat live with a customer service agent at the bottom-right of her screen. After explaining the watch in detail via the chat, the agent cobrowses her to the correct page with just one click. The agent doesn’t have to ask any questions about where she is currently on the site because he can automatically guide her there.
Once she arrives at the correct page, she realizes that they’ve added some new watches with features her son may like even more, but she’s not sure which one to get and asks for advice. “No problem,” says the agent. The agent now effortlessly changes the engagement from cobrowsing to sharing. He now sees exactly what she does from her browser view and starts scrolling the page for her, as he explains the differences between a few contenders.
In this scenario, the customer is thrilled she found what she needed quickly. She loves the personalized attention she’s received from the agent and is confident she’s made the right choice. And the agent is psyched because he’s made a sale and offered great assistance without it taking a lot of time or effort.
Offer a white-glove customer experience in a virtual boutique
Buying a luxury watch is not a small purchase. Retailers that want to take the online experience to the next level can also offer an online consultative selling experience that replicates the classic in-store experience by providing a virtual boutique.
So, going back to the watch-buying experience one more time, imagine that the agent and customer are in a virtual boutique. Here the agent uses two-way video that allows for a real-time, face-to-face connection, plus an additional downward-facing, high-definition camera to showcase the retailer’s product line of watches. In this highly immersive environment, the customer gets a better understanding of all the features, nuances in colors, and finish choices. She’s impressed by the ability to see the fine details and decides to buy a more expensive watch because of the extra features the agent was able to point out.
This concierge experience then continues as the agent “digitally holds her hand” while helping her add the watch to her shopping cart using secure sharing. With sensitive fields masked, the agent can’t see personally identifiable information (PII), such as a credit card number, but can see her purchase through to completion. Leveraging the power of secure sharing lessens shopping cart abandonment — one of the top challenges for online retailers.
Personalized, immersive customer experiences reap many rewards
When sales consultants and customer service agents are empowered to offer such immersive online experiences, they’re more confident and more productive. Customers, in turn, are delighted to receive so much personal attention, and retailers are able to outshine the competition while increasing sales and loyalty. Leveraging visual engagement capabilities, retailers can reap many rewards including:
- a 5x uplift in conversions
- a 35% increase in average order value (AOV)
- an 83% average first call resolution (FCR)
- a 93% average customer satisfaction (CSAT) score
So, this holiday season, make sure you offer your customers your brand’s best and sell more by using visual engagement. They’ll thank you for it.