There are many published reports on how customer expectations and behaviors have shifted rapidly and, in most cases, permanently in recent years due to the pandemic. What remains steadfast is customer experience (CX) as a critical competitive differentiator for enterprise brands. The traditional approach to customer service doesn’t meet the demands of the new NOW Customer. This consumer is always on, always online, and they expect an on-demand experience.
The NOW Customer is used to the CX standards set by world-class brands. Therefore, they now compare every customer’s experience to that of Amazon Prime, and they expect the same from every other business. Customers demand faster resolutions, empathetic engagement, and personalized service across all touchpoints.
Enterprise brands have an opportunity to include or redesign live chat as a critical component of conversational commerce in the digital environment. So, let’s jump into why this is important and how live chat support can help your brand succeed with online buyers.
What is conversational commerce, and how does live chat fit?
Brands currently exceeding NOW Customer expectations are taking a revenue-focused approach to every interaction. They offer connective points in the buyer journey that allow customers to ask questions, get support, and feel confident about their purchases. Conversational commerce leverages the power of conversation to offer a personalized, consultative shopping experiences that drive sales and revenue.
Conversational commerce for big brands
For well-known brands, conversational commerce is an ideal way to replicate the in-person experience for their customers. As consumers spend less time in stores, they experience brands through digital moments. And for modern shoppers, live chat represents an opportunity for a one-to-one conversation with your brand whenever the need arises.
For conversational commerce to work as effectively as possible, it’s clear a human element supported by technology makes a difference. In a recent survey taken by Simplr, a live chat support services provider, only 28% of brands believed the automation they use to interact with customers is effective and accurate. Adding a human element to live chat, especially in the pre-sale stage in the customer journey, can increase satisfaction, reduce effort, and boost repurchase intent.
Finding the right blend of human agents and technology, such as chatbots and AI, is key to closing the gap between what today’s customers expect and the experience your brand can deliver.
Enhancing live chat support for modern consumers
Enterprise brands that deliver a conversational commerce experience will differentiate by providing value-enhanced customer service in an increasingly crowded online marketplace. Here are ways to enhance the experience you deliver to customers through live chat support:
- Activate or optimize live chat: Identify connective points in the customer journey and activate chat in those key touchpoints. Ideate and design a user experience that combines concierge-style, human-to-human conversations with a low-effort experience for the customer.
- Blend human agents and technology: Balance the irreplaceable qualities of human interaction with the efficiency boost of technology and staff accordingly. To maintain a human-first experience, consider outsourcing customer service to take on the 24/7 digital conversations that automation alone can’t fully support. Brands optimize their live chat strategy by mixing automation with human support. To achieve this optimal mix, analyze which tasks automation works best for and require human agents to resolve and distribute resources accordingly.
- Empower agents as sellers: Maximize back-end technology and leverage AI to enable agents to proactively upsell recommendations, provide alternative options based on purchase history, turn returns into exchanges, and suggest complementary products to customers.
“The best online chat experiences can replicate an in-store consultation process by asking detailed follow-up questions to determine the best product for the customer. This capability is crucial, as 35% of U.S. online adults consider it important for retailers to offer product recommendations based on their past shopping/browsing history.”
Building and sustaining customer relationships in the future
Exceptional experiences that wow customers help enterprise brands earn more than sales — they build relationships. Great CX positively impacts customer satisfaction (CSAT) and the net promoter score (NPS), which measures customer loyalty and happiness. Building relationships with consumers requires personalization and empathetic engagement at scale.
Personalization is now essential for brands. Equally important is demonstrating empathy and meeting core customer needs, including emotional ones. The highest-scoring brands in Forrester’s 2021 CX Index understood the key emotional needs of their customers and provided emotionally pleasing experiences.
An effective way to engage with your customers empathetically and emotionally is to communicate with them in their native language. Unbabel’s recent Global Multilingual CX Report found that more than two-thirds (69%) of global consumers believe it’s extremely important that brands offer an end-to-end customer experience in their native language. Enterprise brands that serve a global customer base should prioritize native language experiences as a key CX imperative.
The opportunity for brands to grow live chat
In summary, big brands have an opportunity to leverage conversational commerce and establish live chat support as a revenue driving CX channel. Technology-supported live chat has the potential to drive sales and increase customer satisfaction, happiness, and loyalty by connecting with customers on a human level. When customers are confident and excited about their purchases — which can come from a connective chat experience— they’re likely to shop with a brand again.
Explore how Gladly’s integration with Simplr can supercharge your contact center into a revenue center.