Retail ecommerce continues to flourish, and growing consumer confidence in mobile technology is fueling it. By 2021, purchases made online via mobile devices will account for 51.7% of total retail ecommerce sales, up from 43.3% in 2017.
The nature of mobile devices means businesses have the opportunity to know more about their customers than ever before. GPS-enabled smartphones allow organizations to see where their customers are. Businesses can know what customers have been browsing and use that information to understand customers’ future needs. QR codes on products automate and accelerate two-way interaction. The list goes on.
It’s a trend contact center analyst ContactBabel calls “The Great Mobile Opportunity,” and it has the power to revolutionize the customer journey and the role of the contact center. So how do organizations make the most of this mobile data to take customer service to the next level?
The end of reactive contact centers
Contextual communication is the next step up from omnichannel capabilities in the contact center. First, optimize customer service for mobility. Then, digest what’s being said on social media and listen to conversations consumers commonly have on mobile apps using Apple Business Chat, Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, Instagram or Twitter. Next, use this valuable intelligence by putting it into context for the customer.
The challenge is that most contact centers are reactive. Someone reaches out to the contact center, and an employee looks up information to solve their specific enquiry, but no account is taken of contextual factors that predetermine the outcome.
Five steps to contextual customer service
It’s time to move away from a reactive customer service and leverage your data in the following ways:
1. Be contextual
Take data and apply intelligence to it. Give employees the context of why a customer is contacting you in the first place. If a customer has spent the last 30 minutes with technical support without success, make this information available to prepare the employee. A greeting that reflects empathy, such as, “Hi Joe, I understand you’ve been talking to tech support, but it looks like you still haven’t got the answer you need, so let me help you” will go a long way toward calming potentially inflammatory interactions.
2. Be suggestive
Use the data you already have to suggest certain types of interaction with customers. For example, seeing that a customer has searched for new cars on your website, then left to look at another brand is a great opportunity to reel them back in with a response like, “I see you’ve had a problem with your current car. Can we help you by putting you on a special trade-in program with a three-year free warranty?”
3. Be preemptive
Based on previous interactions, you can determine a customer’s preferred communication method and preempt how to deal with them the next time around. For example: “Would you prefer me to give you a call at the following number?”
4. Be predictive
You know a customer has bought a pair of shoes from your fashion department, but did you know they also purchased a sofa from homewares? Make sure your data and processes are consistent and sufficiently integrated to facilitate joined-up customer responses, along with the opportunity to cross-sell and up-sell other products and services.
5. Contextualize the workforce
Contextualize the workforce by deploying the latest cloud workforce management (WFM) solutions. Use them to create a go-to place for all your talents and resources and identify the employees who have the highest levels of emotional intelligence to add context and real value to customer interactions. Give employees real-time help with unified systems that allow them to see when expert help is available across the organization, then maximize WFM data to ensure the customer is put through to the right employee, right away.
If you change the reactive to contextual, suggestive, preemptive and predictive, you gain greater control and both employees and customers benefit from a superior experience. Consider contextual the new, supercharged omnichannel.