Online commerce has grown significantly in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. With consumer behavior evolving due to the pandemic, the share of digital in the global retail pie has jumped from 14 percent in 2019 to 17 percent in 2020. Naturally, many brands that have conventionally operated offline are now making the digital shift by launching dedicated digital platforms.
But creating a website or a mobile app is only the first step in your business’s online journey. To ensure sustained growth and scale, you must also ensure that you stand out from the crowd by consistently delivering a superior customer experience. Research also shows that poor customer engagement, on the other hand, can lead to massive attrition.
A key element of satisfactory customer engagement is instant, on-demand query resolution. For businesses looking to offer proactive 24/7 support to their customers, self-service chatbot solutions have emerged as a popular tool. However, while AI-based chatbots can enable brands to be available anytime, anywhere, it is not enough to engage and hook the customers.
A polite and knowledgeable brand agent is the key to a great customer experience. In one of the researches on customer behavior, it was found that, when contacting customer service, 72 percent of customers expect the agent to know who they are, what they have purchased, and have insights into their previous engagements.
These statistics show that despite the growing integration of AI-based solutions into the customer service domain, human intelligence will continue to be not just relevant but also crucial to sales operations in the foreseeable future.
Enhancing the Online Customer Experience During Sales
Take, for instance, a customer who wants to purchase an item listed by an online retailer. Normally, customers want to touch and feel the product before committing to the purchase. They also like to receive suggestions and recommendations from sales representatives. These factors play an important role in enhancing customer experience and are the possible reasons why offline retail has lower return rates compared to online commerce.
However, it is not possible to exactly recreate the offline journey over the digital medium. Online brands can plug this gap in customer experience with integrated ‘video calling support’. Customers who want to explore a product in more detail or want their queries to be clarified by a human expert may click on a link to reach out to the offline store over a video call. The call is received on a mobile app by an in-store owner/ sales representative, who then provides the customer with a demonstration of the product of their choice while also running them through the catalog.
Once the customer selects his/ her preferred product option, the store can get them home delivered for final selection and payment. Such video interactions allow for more seamless and organic exploration and discovery for buyers, who also benefit from the constant guidance and recommendations offered by the sales expert.
Video calling support can also enhance the likelihood of conversions. Customers typically browse through similar products from different sellers simultaneously, on multiple windows. A live video call, on the other hand, requires their focus to be committed to the demonstration offered by the sales representative. This eliminates distractions and improves the chance of conversion while also unlocking opportunities to upsell and cross-sell. This leads to higher revenues for the website and improves profitability. Video calling support also makes the search and discovery process more convenient for older customers, who may not be familiar with shopping on a website or a mobile app or get overwhelmed with the number of choices on display.
We live in a world that has changed in the wake of the pandemic. The online and offline worlds have overlapped and will continue to do so in the foreseeable future. However, even as technology transforms how businesses interact with their customers, it will never truly replace the need for human connections. With video calling support, your online brand can strike the right balance between the two while delivering superior customer experience and boosting conversion.