This guest post on visual engagement for customer service is written by Michael Janowski, Marketing and Public Relations Coordinator for Corporate Dynamics Inc., a premier sales and customer service training firm.
Do you ever feel uncomfortable when approached by a salesperson? For me, it typically happens immediately after I walk into a store. It’s a well-established customer service best practice, but these types of sales-oriented interactions (informed by the underlying assumption of a uniform persona that only really wants my money) just seem artificial. Personally, nothing turns me away from people more.
I live on a budget. Thus, I like to “window shop.” I enjoy walking around a store without committing to a single purchase. My entering your store does not mean that I am there to buy. As the customer, I will come to you if that’s the case. Just be ready and be authentic (not co-opted) if and when I do.
Online customer service
When it comes to shopping online, I have similar feelings. That’s why I (and many others) prefer businesses that offer visual engagement solutions (cobrowse, screen-sharing, agent video, mobile showcasing).
Visual engagement offers the convenience for consumers to come to you via the web only if and when they’re ready to buy or need your support. It promotes the cardinal best practice of the contemporary social economy: customers call the shots. As a result, your business is front-of-mind and ready to help at a moment’s notice. Your reps aren’t distracted by window shoppers and your consumers don’t need to leave the house.
Best practices for visual engagement largely reflect those of personal customer service. They only translate them into the web-verse. Below are four ways they do so.
Reducing queue time = Timely customers greetings
In his book Customer Service Isn’t A Department: It’s You, Mark Landiak talks about the importance of the aforementioned immediacy in greeting and serving customers. Visual engagement provides an alternative channel that makes your business much more conveniently responsive when customers come to you for help (and does so immediately).
Increasing first call resolution = Conducting needs analysis
Glance Networks reports that clients who implement their visual engagement solutions see an 18% increase in first call resolution. Solving a customer’s problem right the first time means accurately diagnosing the issue and consistently implementing the appropriate solution.
Offering visual engagement = Educating customers
Screen sharing and cobrowsing are highly interactive features of visual engagement that can make the customer part of the solution process. When your customers can see, hear, and even follow the process of solving the issue, they subsequently learn more about your product or service. The benefits here are invaluable and range from developing brand loyalty/advocacy to reducing call volumes (as customers can now solve future issues themselves).
Reducing future support calls = Anticipating customer needs
In his book, Landiak also talks about the importance of anticipation and understanding how customers think and feel about your service process. More specifically, he references the importance of “reading the customer’s mind” and understanding their needs before they know they need them. Your responsibility to your customers is to make yourself as conveniently available as possible. When you’ve done this, it becomes much easier to gauge customer needs, experience and satisfaction. As the old adage goes: no news is good news.
Is visual engagement right for you?
One organization I represent is WiBOC – the Wireless Business Owners Consortium. WiBOC is focused on ensuring profitability for wireless retailers by facilitating relationships with suppliers and training those retailers on these exact best practices.
Unfortunately, many in the wireless industry are struggling, working harder and longer to make the same or less money. These best practices are still lost on many. Visual engagement provides another avenue for instilling them into your company culture through coordinated and purposeful web communication.
Still wondering if visual engagement is right for you? Check out the free ebook, Do I Need Visual Engagement Software?
About Michael Janowski
Michael Janowski is the Marketing and Public Relations Coordinator for Corporate Dynamics Inc. in the West suburbs of Chicago. Corporate Dynamics Inc. (CDI or CorpDyn) is a premier sales and customer service training firm and the developers of the revolutionary Beat Your Best™ sales process. Michael’s background is primarily in social media, branding and public relations. At CDI, his work involves creating mutually valuable business partnerships through mediating the ongoing virtual conversations between brands and consumers. Michael can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter at @CorpDyn.
About Glance Networks
Glance empowers companies to make doing business online easier and more personal through tightly integrated yet modular visual engagement solutions such as cobrowse, screen share, agent video, and more. Glance has out-of-the-box integrations with Salesforce.com, SAP, LiveOps, Zendesk, and other solutions. In addition, our offerings integrate with a broad range of customer-facing platforms and tools to quickly provide a connection that is secure and always works. Learn More>>>