BoldBlog
       
 
boldchat.com
get started
  3

 
Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
 
Current Page: 1

Dec 04
 Thursday Written By: Omer Minkara

Image

In our previous post, we highlighted why omni-channel customer care is not an option, but a requirement. In doing so, we noted that a best-in-class omni-channel program is not about adding more channels within the customer interaction channel-mix. Rather, it’s about using the right touch-points and ensuring consistency of messages delivered through those touch-points. In this post, we’ll discuss several strategies best-in-class contact centers use to accomplish this objective.

One of the key characteristics that differentiate these leading contact centers is their ability to empower their agents with necessary insights in a timely manner. Findings from Aberdeen’s March 2014 The Business Value of Integrating the Contact Center within your Omni-Channel Strategy study shows that the best-in-class are 38% more likely to provide agents with access to all relevant customer data via a single screen on the agent desktop, compared to their lower performing counterparts. This means that agents within these top-performing organizations don’t need to spend time searching for relevant insights to serve clients, and also have easier access to customer data captured through different touch-points. It is this latter point that helps them ensure that the messages clients receive across different channels remain consistent. In an omni-channel marketplace, delivering consistent messages across different touch-points would be almost impossible without empowering contact center agents.

Another best-in-class activity driving success is contextual routing of customers. This refers to an organization’s ability to identify the specific issues of each client, as well as the individual account information, and using tailored workflows to assign customers with specific needs to agents who are capable of handling the particular issue. This activity ‒ used 83% more widely by the best-in-class than other firms ‒ is also used to ensure that customers are routed to agents who are skilled in handling interactions across specific channels. Naturally, not every agent is skilled in delivering support across all touch-points. Some might be skilled in handling voice interactions, whereas others might be more skilled with text-based channels and have advanced social media skills and knowledge. Developing a competency profile for agents and using this as part of the contextual routing process helps leading contact centers connect the right customer to the right agent, while also ensuring that the agent maintains the consistency of the messages delivered through different touch-points within the customer journey. Read Aberdeen’s related study to learn more about how the best-in-class build a contextual routing process to achieve the aforementioned objectives.

Evaluating the effectiveness of each channel is another key characteristic of the Best-in-Class –one that is worth drilling into further considering the rapidly increasing number of touch-points companies incorporate within their customer interactions. In our next post, we will assess how the top performers optimize their channel-mix, as well as the use cases of several emerging and recently well-established channels.


Dec 03
 Wednesday Written By: Jenn Betz

We’re excited to announce a new release of BoldChat (v7.9) that includes features designed to maximize agent productivity and increase customer satisfaction. Increased connectivity and accessibility to information made possible with our new integration capabilities enables companies to provide efficient and streamlined support, tailored to each customer’s unique needs.

Partnering with Lionbridge to provide real-time chat translation technology, BoldChat now allows agents to seamlessly engage with customers in multiple languages and provide consistent, cost-effective support across the world.

With this release, we are also launching the Integration API, which enables companies to leverage external systems’ data (e.g. CRM, ticketing, etc.) within the context of their chat interactions, increasing agent efficiency, effectiveness and overall customer satisfaction.

In addition to integration enhancements, our latest release also includes:

  • Automatic Chat Distribution Invitation Throttling helps optimize proactive invitations and chat wait times
  • My Canned Messages Shorthand to boost operator productivity
  • Credit Card Number Obfuscation offers enhanced data privacy controls
  • After-Chat NPS Survey & Report gathers NPS data to measure customer loyalty and happiness

Contact us to schedule a demo today!

Boldchat translation image 7.9 copy


Dec 02
 Tuesday Written By: Jenn Betz
mobile engagement

Click to view the full infographic.

Customers are engaging with businesses in more ways and on more devices than ever before, and businesses require robust customer engagement solutions to support those interactions. We conducted a global study of nearly 6,000 mobile device owners across ten countries to examine the current state of mobile engagement, customer expectations and preferences, and the differences between those shopping and those seeking support on their mobile device. We believe it is the most comprehensive piece of research ever done on the subject of effective mobile engagement.

Among the findings:  72% of consumers use mobile devices to shop or research products and services; ½ of them engage with companies in some way on their mobile device (i.e. email, chat, etc.); and, unfortunately, they are unsatisfied with their mobile experience more than 40% of the time.

You can get a full copy of the Effective Mobile Engagement research report here, or get some quick highlights from the infographic.


Dec 01
 Monday Written By: Brendan Read

v2

Customers are taking control of their relationships with companies, and that is having a profound impact on the Customer Experience.  Customers want immediate, thorough, and successful omni-channel customer care.  They use Web self-service, mobile apps, and social media before contacting customer service.  When customers do reach out to companies, they expect agents to know their needs, preferences, and problems from the self-service, and from previous interactions, and to resolve them without escalations or repeated contacts.

Naturally enough, many customers insist on being connected to the “best agents”:  those proficient at solving similar problems, or with whom they had previously interacted, rather than the “next available agents.”  Customers also will go to web sites or on social media while conversing with agents.

At the same time, the smartphone is becoming customers’ preferred interaction device.  Frost & Sullivan forecasts that the number of smartphones shipped in North America will nearly double over the next few years, from 213 million in 2013 to 410 million in 2018.

In this environment customers are turning to online channels.  A 2014 Frost & Sullivan survey reports that chat, mobile app, social, video, and Web channel usage will increase, while IVR, live agent, and email demand will decline; for good reason: online channels provide immediate, visual, shareable, and easily referenced communications.  They also allow agents to send links, images, clips, and documents inline.  When combined with remote support, online channels become more effective by enabling agents and customers to interact with each other while agents are solving technical problems on their computers or smart devices.

It is not outrageous to predict that online and Web-based channels will eventually become the standard means of customer interaction.  The online-savvy, next generation consumer is becoming the mainstream decision-maker.  Meanwhile, voice and video are being supported online through browser-based WebRTC:  which eschews separate traditional telephony and its attendant infrastructure.

But successfully providing online channels is not without challenges.  Each application has to connect seamlessly and securely and with associated solutions, such as analytics, CRM systems, knowledge bases, and multichannel routing.  Applications must also be intuitive to use and easy to deploy.  New solutions like WebRTC are still in their infancy.  WebRTC agents must be carefully selected and trained for online channels, particularly with social channels, as these are public conversations where agents act as spokespeople and have brand responsibility.

A new Frost & Sullivan webinar with LogMeIn, “The Future of Customer Engagement:  Keeping Pace with the Connected Consumer,” on Wednesday Dec.3 at 1pm ET will dive into the factors that enable a successful Customer Experience through online channels.  We invite you to join and also to participate in the session’s interactive Q&A.  The webinar will look at the related issues of supporting connected devices, also known as “the Internet of Things,” the role of demographics and the rise of new channels, and the growing importance of Customer Effort (CE). Please register here to learn from and to take part in this important dialog.


Nov 26
 Wednesday Written By: Brendan Read

data2

Each day more products and services are becoming connected to each other, to customers, and to employees.  Appliances, equipment, furnaces, dimmers, thermostats, machinery, medical devices, earbuds, watches, and vehicles, to name just a few, transmit and receive important information and instructions in real-time over the Internet.  Frost & Sullivan forecasts there will be 50 billion connected devices globally by 2020.

Driving the popularity of connected devices, also known as the Internet of Things (IoT), are the Customer Experience benefits. Businesses receive operations data, such as when to replenish stock, what kinds, and at which outlets. Consumers can get texts, record their favorite shows, and cut energy costs by turning on the furnace only before they leave work for home. Equipped with this information, B2B and B2C suppliers refine their product development, supply chain, delivery, and marketing strategies.

 

In turn, business and consumer customers can be alerted to potential problems before these become major and possibly dangerous issues.  For example, sensors can automatically relay individuals’ vital health information to practitioners. As a result, treatment and repairs are likely to be shorter, more successful, safer, and less expensive. Specialists will have a better idea of possible problems, their exact locations, and will be prepared to handle them.

But every new technology creates challenges, and connected devices/IoT is no exception. On a broader industry level Frost & Sullivan has identified interoperability, adequate bandwidth, and security as difficult but surmountable hurdles to their widespread adoption and use.

Equally critical for IoT success is the Customer Experience with these solutions. Not only must the connected products work reliably, without dangers like hacking, but they also have to be simple to use, affordable, and easily and effectively supported.

Appropriately enough, the IoT will be one of the key topics that will be discussed in a Frost & Sullivan webinar with LogMeIn on the “The Future of Customer Engagement:  Keeping Pace with the Connected Consumer” Wednesday Dec.3 at 1 p.m. ET that we invite you to join. The panelists also will look at the role of demographics and the rise of new channels, the growing importance of Customer Effort (CE), and omni-channel (from chat and virtual assistants to mobile and social). Register here to learn from and participate in this important dialog.


Nov 18
 Tuesday Written By: Jenn Betz
Diane Clarkson

Diane Clarkson, former Forrester eBusiness and Channel Strategy Analyst

Join former Forrester analyst Diane Clarkson and BoldChat’s Ross Haskell on Thursday, November 20th at 1pm ET to learn the crucial steps for a goal-driven approach to live chat vendor selection.

Live chat can achieve many results including driving sales conversions, reducing shopping cart abandonment, enhancing customer experience, and improving operational efficiencies. But selecting a live chat vendor can feel like evaluating an overwhelming lists of features. Let us help you make sense of the process.

Whether live chat is new to your organization or you are looking to deepen the channel with a new vendor relationship, this webinar will help you determine the most critical features for your organization and how to align your objectives with a live chat vendor’s features.

Register today! 


Nov 18
 Tuesday Written By: Omer Minkara

Customers today are empowered. They use a rich set of technology tools and channels to educate themselves on different products, services and organizations. This customer-driven purchase and loyalty process means that using a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach in sales, marketing and service activities no longer works in eliciting desired buyer behavior. Organizations must regularly track and understand the evolving customer needs, and they must do so on their buyers’ terms by using the channels they prefer.

Findings from Aberdeen’s March 2014 The Business Value of Integrating the Contact Center within your Omni-Channel Strategy study shows that 99% of businesses today are using at least two channels to interact with their buyers. Furthermore, the average number of channels companies use to interact with customers has changed from five in 2012 to six in 2013 to nine in 2014. In other words, within the span of just two years, organizations have almost doubled the number of touch-points they use to interact with buyers. When put together, these findings show that adopting multiple channels as part of your customer care mix is not an option, but a requirement to remain relevant in the eyes of your customers.

A common mistake many organizations repeat over time is assuming that adding new channels within the customer care channel-mix will be enough to create happy clients and drive additional revenue. The harsh reality is that not every channel is right for every business. Therefore, before adding channels within your CEM channel-mix simply for the sake of doing it, we recommend companies capture feedback from customers on which channels they prefer to use to interact with the organization. This activity should be repeated at least every year as preferred channels, buyer needs, and behaviors are constantly changing.

Once you implement the activities highlighted within Aberdeen’s related report and identify the right set of channels for your organization, we also recommend that you establish the foundation for a true omni-channel customer care program. You might be asking, “What does that mean?” Well, this term refers to an organization’s ability to deliver consistent messages to each client across every touch-point – while ensuring that the look and feel (visual experience) they have also remains consistent across different devices (e.g. tablet, laptop and smart phone).

Companies that establish and maintain a best-in-class omni-channel customer care program have a significant competitive advantage against those that don’t. This differentiation helps them enjoy a 233% greater (9.0% vs. 2.7%) annual increase in customer retention, compared to organizations without an omni-channel program.

In our next blog post we will discuss the steps best-in-class companies take to succeed in a marketplace where omni-channel is not an option, but a requirement.

 


Aug 18
 Monday Written By: Jenn Betz

The BoldChat team is excited to announce that BoldChat Mobile, previewed earlier this year, is now available! BoldChat now includes engagement directly within mobile apps (in addition to mobile sites) and deep mobile reporting across both iOS and Android browser and app environments. The full feature list includes:

  • In-app mobile SDK designed to make it easy for companies to deploy proactive and reactive chat within mobile applications, and give consumers another convenient way to engage with brands.
  • Sample iOS and Android apps to help speed mobile live-chat deployments and the associated time to value.
  • Mobile reporting across iOS and Android app environments, as well as mobile browsers to help businesses create targeted plans for optimizing engagements, while providing a more responsive, holistic and satisfying consumer experience.
  • Integrated support for customer interactions across SMS, live chat, email and social channels to streamline customer service and support management while offering multiple ways for customers to interact with a brand.
  • Mobile optimized proactive and reactive browser-based chat to help companies quickly tailor their web customer experience for mobile consumers.
  • Layered chat windows to provide a sleek, intuitive way for customers to browse and chat simultaneously, without having to switch between views or separate windows, by providing a sleek, transparent overlay on top of a browser page. The visitor can use familiar touch-based gestures to control chat-based conversations on their terms, including minimizing the view and calling it back up on demand through a slide swipe or tap.
  • Mobile indicator alerts to help customer service agents identify that a customer is engaging them from a mobile device, so the agent can modify the speed, length, and context of their response.

Boost customer engagement and conversions for your organization with these  new mobile capabilities. Interested in testing it out? Click here to request your demo today!

mobile_SDK


Jun 30
 Monday Written By: Jenn Betz

bold mobile

We’re excited to announce a new mobile release of BoldChat that introduces new ways for companies to deliver a superior mobile customer experience! To truly be competitive, companies must think about their mobile strategies as more than just a mobile optimized website and start to offer multiple, intuitive ways for consumers to seek help, ask questions and gain insights, from in-app and website chat to text messaging to email to social media.

According to our recent study, more than 70% of consumers now use mobile devices to research products and services. However, the same study found that many businesses have not adapted quickly enough to meet the needs of today’s mobile consumer, with consumers rating more than 40% of their mobile shopping experiences as unsatisfactory.

The new BoldChat mobile release, available later this summer, includes:

  • In-app mobile SDK designed to make it easy for companies to deploy proactive and reactive chat within mobile applications, and give consumers another convenient way to engage with brands.
  • Sample iOS and Android apps to help speed mobile live-chat deployments and the associated time to value.
  • Mobile reporting across iOS and Android app environments, as well as mobile browsers to help businesses create targeted plans for optimizing engagements, while providing a more responsive, holistic and satisfying consumer experience.

These capabilities build upon current BoldChat mobile capabilities, including:

  • Integrated support for customer interactions across SMS, live chat, email and social channels to streamline customer service and support management while offering multiple ways for customers to interact with a brand.
  • Mobile optimized proactive and reactive browser-based chat to help companies quickly tailor their web customer experience for mobile consumers.
  • Layered chat windows to provide a sleek, intuitive way for customers to browse and chat simultaneously, without having to switch between views or separate windows, by providing a sleek, transparent overlay on top of a browser page. The visitor can use familiar touch-based gestures to control chat-based conversations on their terms, including minimizing the view and calling it back up on demand through a slide swipe or tap.
  • Mobile indicator alerts to help customer service agents identify that a customer is engaging them from a mobile device, so the agent can modify the speed, length, and context of their response.

(Image Source:  In case app by Incase) (CC BY 2.0)


Jun 12
 Thursday Written By: Ross Haskell

In our last post, we looked at some of the geographic differences around the frequency of mobile engagement, and the channels by which consumers choose to engage while mobile.  Across the EU countries for which we gathered data, we noticed some interesting variances.  Unfortunately there is an area where about all the respondents – regardless of nationality – seem to agree.  That is quite simply that the perceived quality of mobile engagements – across industries is, frankly terrible. On a seven point scale, the best any industry could muster in a top-two-box analysis was a paltry 63%.  No business can effectively compete when not even 2/3rds of their customers rate their mobile engagement interactions as “Satisfactory” or “Very Satisfactory”.

And there aren’t any bright spots when we look at the individual European countries either.  The UK across industries does better, but it’s still not stellar performance.  Germany and France are downright awful while Italy and Spain aren’t much better.  It is interesting to see that certain industries do better or worse depending on the country in question.  Mobile engagement with schools, for example, is far better in France and the UK than any of the other countries.  Spain is below the line for the most part except for one highlight – Shipping and Logistics firms.  One interpretation of these findings is that mobile engagement has a ways to go.  And while that is certainly a valid perspective, another way to look at this is that across every industry and across every country, there is an arbitrage opportunity; nobody is getting mobile engagement right so the first to do so can enjoy the spoils of  victory.

While this may seem like a tall order, our Effective Mobile Engagement report surfaced at least three things actionable things that firms can do right now.  Across geographies, respondents indicated that engagements occurring on mobile devices – simply owing to the mobile factor – change  the way the engagement is perceived from a satisfaction standpoint.  Further, mobile engagers are harder to please.  Here are three ways to ensure success:

  1. Speed– mobile engagements need to be fast in every conceivable way.  The time someone has to wait to be connected should be minimized or eliminated.  The length of the engagement should be shortened.
  2. Technology – mobile customers want access to multiple ways to connect with you but they want the technology to fade to the background when not in use.  Ideally, it’s a technology they can control.
  3. Shared Urgency – It’s not just about speed –it’s about urgency.  Mobile customers want to know that agents are aware they are mobile and actively working to solve their problems first.
Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

 

US/Canada 866.753.9933, UK +44.20.7087.7680, Australia: +61.2.8199.8970   BoldChat on Facebook BoldChat on Twitter BoldBlog  
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
     
     
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
 
 
 
 
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
 

Privacy Policy | Terms and Conditions | Site Map | Copyright © 2003 - 2014 LogMeIn, Inc. All rights reserved