Online, powered by call centres


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The online shops of some well known brands seem successful but are not. Online accounts for the revenue, but the cost of failing customers online often falls to customer support centres. Designing the customer engagement across these channels reduces the overall cost of serving the customer and increases customer satisfaction.

Online doesn’t address more complex needs
Online is viewed as the low cost, high value channel for selling to and servicing customers. But for complex services such as insurance and feature-rich products such as mobile phones, online channels do not address all information and support needs, driving customers to call centres for answers and help.

Buying a baby shirt is the same as buying insurance
In the physical world, kids’ clothing, mobile phones, and insurance all require different space layouts and selling approaches, yet their online shops all deal with customers in very similar ways. As a result, customers reach out to multiple sources for advice, or contact the call centre before making a purchase.

Online-channel,-powered-by-call-centres Design the customer engagement for the call centre to support online customers at crucial points in the online transaction.

Ask, listen and advise, then sell
Just by asking the customer if they have visited the online shop or self-service site reveals channel misalignments and conflicts that are unknown to the organisation.

A retail chain declared First Contact Closure as more important than First Call Closure after they learned that over half the callers had visited theirs and other online sites, as well as visiting retail stores. Understanding why and when customer jumped the channel enabled them to shift the selling focus of the online and phone channels to helping people make a decision, and then sell.

Save time, lose customers
There is a big push for online self-service tools. The drivers are often to reduce contact centre volume and call handling time, or in other words, reduce time spent on the customer. The right information readily available online and in the call centre is far more important than putting everything on a website.

Know what make sense to offer online
In complex administrative services like insurance, pushing the wrong activity or transaction to the customer can backfire with service breakdowns later in the customer lifecycle. Conversely, frequently needed information is often not readily available online forcing the customer spent time figuring it out and/or contacting the company.

78% of consumers have not made an intended purchase because of a poor service experience

Customers expect seamless experiences across channels
When organisations align the online and contact centre experience, they give customers a seamless cross-channel experience that goes beyond being recognised on the CRM system. In addition to meeting customers’ service expectations, a well designed online-contact centre alignment prevents incidents that cost the organisation money or, worse, customer loyalty.

Online, powered by call centres
It is far more effective to align online and call centres to support customers and staff, than putting up barriers to prevent customers jumping channels.
Melvin Brand Flu
Melvin Brand Flu is an author, business, and strategy consultant with over 30 years of experience working for startups to global brands and governments. He advises management and leads projects on the cutting edge of business and technical innovation in industries ranging from telecommunication and financial services to the public sector and insurance.


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