Companies today are searching for ways to save money while providing optimal customer experiences. As a result, an increasing number of organizations are turning to live chat and virtual assistants.
With such benefits as contact center deflections, increases in agent productivity, and gains in customer satisfaction, chat makes sound fiscal sense while serving as a tool to enhance the customer experience. In fact, a recent Forrester Research study estimated the average ROI for proactive chat is105 percent.
Jeff Brown, executive vice president of sales at Next IT, says that more and more companies are buying in to the concept of chat and virtual assistants after finding that static FAQs and video tutorials aren’t always tailored to customers’ individual questions and needs, thus failing to offer a deeply engaging experience. As a result, the thinking is now, ” ‘How do I extend my brand reach out to where I can engage clients and have a dialogue with them?’” Brown says.
That focus on customer experience is a primary reason companies are now evolving their use of chat from a reactive tool that helps online customers with questions or moves them through the checkout process when they get stuck, to a more proactive approach that entails making customers aware about individually tailored products, services, or discounts when they first land on a site. “People don’t want to just be cross-sold to; they want to be aware of the value-add,” Brown says.
Two companies in very different industries, Aetna and HauteLook, demonstrate that the value of virtual assistants and live chat reaches far beyond helping with navigational issues. They’ve become valuable proactive communication tools to help improve the customer experience.