Chatting up more customers

I’ve written about conversations with Robin Foster before. As Avaya’s Practice Leader for ROI/TCO Analysis, she’s a great resource to help our customer and channel partners understand how to translate the implementation of UC and Contact Center technologies in to real financial benefit terms that any business leader should understand, even if the technology isn’t their focus.

As I mentioned in my overview to this item on the main Avaya Connected blog page, a recent white paper by Znode entitled “Reduce and Recapture Abandoned Carts with the Right Customer Experience” caught my eye, given the recent dialog Avaya has been leading with our customers around Customer Experience Management (CEM). Learn more about CEM from what my fellow bloggers have recently written here, here, here and here.

In their paper, Znode provides 10 tips for providing customers with relevant, personalized customer experiences via eCommerce websites. But zNode failed to address a major element. Namely, the linkage of the website back to a traditional contact center infrastructure, including personalized service via a live-agent interaction.

Robin Foster shared with me some great information on how Web Chat can directly impact top line revenue, pointing to a recent survey by the Aberdeen Group that compared web sales for companies using Web Chat against those that did not. The survey results, entitled “Live Chat Takes Center Stage in Best-in-Class Deployments of Sales and Marketing Rich Media Solutions,” should be motivation for any customer not yet offering Web Chat to deploy it.

Among the specific results from the survey:

  • Leads were better qualified: 52% of leads were accepted by sales when chat was used, compared to 46% without. Not only does this reduce the SG&A costs by eliminating time wasted by sales on unqualified leads, imagine just how much additional revenue you could generate from a simple 6% increase in qualified leads.
  • The Average Website Conversion rate was higher, with more customers on a site with Web Chat. Customers can ask the questions they need answered before they are willing to buy. What could be more personalized than that?
  • The shopping cart sizes were bigger – 1.8 times bigger! Not only does Web Chat give you the opportunity to overcome customer objections to a sales opportunity, it offers upsell opportunities at the same time.
  • Year over year customer retention and conversion rates increase when Web Chat is used. Web Chat helps maintain and increase a competitive edge. In fact, companies without Web Chat actually saw a decrease in YoY conversion rates vs. those that offered it. And while the differences may seem small (2.15% for Web Chat vs. 1.97 % YoY change for non-chat websites), over 3 years this could lead to as much as a 9% sales increase vs. the competitor.
  • Year over Year lead conversion ratio showed a 1.0% increase for Web Chat-enabled companies, versus a 0.1% conversion ratio for those that did not.

Clearly, Web Chat is a powerful tool. And it’s great for Avaya customers using Avaya Contact Center solutions, because Web Chat is a core component of the system capabilities. In fact, companies that want to integrate and customize their own Web Chat capability with their customer service or eCommerce website can turn to the DevConnect Program for tutorial to do just that for the Avaya Aura Contact Center product.

And what if you already have Web Chat? Well, introducing additional automated chat capabilities could allow you to make more chat offers to customers, without needing to add additional headcount. This helps boost qualified leads, sales and customer retention scores. But that’s for another discussion with Robin….

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