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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.

Jun 09
 Monday Written By: Ross Haskell

Our Effective Mobile Engagement report – based on the results of a survey with nearly 6,000 respondents across 10 countries has been written about in the press, been the topic of a blog series right here on the BoldBlog, and was featured in a webinar a few weeks ago.  The results of the research, while global in nature, can also be analyzed with a pointed geographic focus.  For the purposes of the report we rolled together all the European Union Countries in which we collected responses – France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK. For businesses that sell into or service customers across these nations, there are some interesting differences when it comes to mobile engagement.  These differences are explored in a two-part blog series and in an upcoming Mobile Engagement webinar.

The published report concludes that mobile engagement is flourishing – that the state of mobile engagement is very healthy with about 50% of the worldwide population engaging companies at least sometimes using their mobile device, and approximately 20% of people engaging often or all the time while mobile. This is even truer in Europe with as much as 77% of people in some countries using their mobile device to engage with companies either for sales, support, or both.

You can see that among the European countries included in the research, Italy is more likely to engage companies while mobile across the board while the UK is more likely to use their mobile device for shopping oriented engagements. Spain is less likely across all the mobile engagement scenarios.

Channels of mobile engagement for shopping are also different on a per geography basis.  The research, as a whole, stated that mobile engagement is about much more than voice interactions.  Voice interactions, in fact, were not even the most widely used channel of mobile engagement – especially for commerce related interactions.  The country by country breakdown reveals some interesting differences:

Email is the channel most frequently used though the contest is very close in the UK with 56% of respondents in that country indicating that they use voice calls to engage in shopping scenarios while mobile. For the other countries email wins by nearly 40 percentage points. When it comes to live chat, the French are less likely to use it – perhaps because their preferred text-based method is SMS Messaging.  Chat is used by a third of both Germany’s and the UK’s population for mobile engagement. Social media is surprisingly strong, except in the UK where it is only 19%.


May 30
 Friday Written By: Kristine Haglund

Your Voice Matters

Last month we launched a new feature to enhance the post-chat operator experience. The release is noteworthy not just for its powerful new feature, but because it highlights one of the tenants of our software development process – building what our customers want. The post chat operator survey is a direct response to a customer request to develop a customizable wrap up for operators. Here’s the story of how it happened.

We Listen

Customers drive our product. Turning a request into a release is not an uncommon practice at BoldChat – we do it with every release we publish. We’re always improving, changing and tweaking what BoldChat can do. When a customer asks for an enhancement; our first thought is:  will other customers find this valuable? And if yes, how can we deliver? Of course every request isn’t implemented, but many of them quickly find a place on the BoldChat roadmap.

We pride ourselves on our responsiveness to customer feedback and ideas. Our aggressive development cycle is supported by our lean methodology, allowing us to release numerous product enhancements throughout the year. We’re focused on staying current with the market and providing our customers with continuous product enhancements and features that will benefit consumers.

Our Post-Chat Operator Survey is no exception. After receiving feedback to add customizable fields to our already existing post-chat wrap up, we researched and reviewed the reason behind this request. Capturing visitor information not only provides better customer service, but also creates leads, quality assurance, consistency, and increases productivity amongst agents.  We also supported the fields in our API, creating the opportunity for a logical integration point with other products a customer might have in their software eco-system.

The Enterprise-level agent-facing survey gives supervisors control over their post-chat wrap up by requiring operators to complete a mandatory survey prior to closing a chat. Supervisors can customize the survey with required and/or optional fields that include drop-down, radio buttons, and single or multi-line text.

(Image Source: Miuenski)


May 20
 Tuesday Written By: Jenn Betz

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 support pre- and post-purchase.

Last Thursday, May 15th, more than 250 attendees tuned into our webinar, 5 Strategies for Building Effective Mobile Engagement, to learn about:

  • Converting mobile engagements into transactions
  • The unique needs of today’s multi-device consumers
  • Key factors that contribute to a positive mobile experience
  • Insight into mobile shopper expectations
  • Top communication channels to drive mobile success

For five strategies and more, download and listen to the webinar now.


May 12
 Monday Written By: Jenn Betz

A recent article on recode.net shares research from Forrester which estimates that mobile commerce sales are expected to total $114 billion in 2014. In fact, nearly 29% of all e-commerce transaction will occur on a tablet or mobile phone –and by 2018 that percentage will increase to 54% of the total $414 billion in e-commerce sales expected.

If these numbers don’t scream “mobile shopping is here to stay,” I don’t know what will. Businesses must be prepared to effectively engage with these customers on any device, at any time.

In our upcoming webinar with the e-tailing group’s Lauren Freedman on Thursday, May 15th, we will be discussing how to convert mobile engagements into transactions as well as some key factors that contribute to a positive mobile experience.

Don’t waste any more time – register now and be prepared to effectively engage and convert these mobile shoppers!


May 08
 Thursday Written By: Ross Haskell

With mobile device proliferation rapidly transforming consumer behavior, online shoppers are engaging in more ways and on more devices than ever before. Businesses are looking for robust customer engagement solutions that provide the ability to interact with customers on any device, at just the right time.

How prepared are you to effectively engage and convert these mobile shoppers?

More than 5,500 mobile device owners worldwide shed light on how their mobile shopping habits are changing. Join us on May 15th, 2014 at 1:00 PM ET for a webinar where we’ll provide essential insights on how to convert mobile engagements into transactions and the unique needs of today’s multi-device consumers, including:

  • 5 strategies to build effective mobile engagement for 2014 and beyond
  • Key factors that contribute to a positive mobile experience
  • Insight into mobile shopper expectations
  • Top communication channels to drive mobile success

Register now, and you’ll receive a free copy of the Effective Mobile Engagement report. In addition, the first 500 people receive a $25 Amazon gift card!

*The first 500 registrants will receive a $25 Amazon gift card. Gift cards will be distributed via email following the live event. Limit one (1) gift card per registrant. By providing your email address upon registration, you grant LMI the right to send you promotional and/or marketing messages. You may opt out of receiving further promotional and/or marketing messages at any time by following the unsubscribe instructions in any email marketing message. Entries generated by a script, macro or other automated means will be disqualified. Registrants may submit one (1) entry per person – multiple entries will not be accepted and only the first entry submitted will be eligible. Anyone found using multiple accounts to submit the same entry will automatically be disqualified.

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