The eCommerce sector has been steadily growing over the past few years — COVID-19 and social distancing requirements only accelerated this trend. By the end of 2021, eCommerce sales are expected to account for over 18% of retail sales worldwide.
More people are shopping online than ever before and their expectations for the customer experience are at an all-time high. In fact, 74% of consumers say they’re likely to buy based on experiences alone. Talk about pressure!
Despite the importance of the eCommerce experience, many brands are failing to deliver. This is often because of how fragmented today’s customer journey is — people are pinballing between several different touchpoints before they make a purchase. A customer may discover your product from an ad on their smartphone, hop on their laptop to do more research, call your business to ask questions, and then ultimately make the purchase on their tablet.
To truly own the eCommerce experience, you need to connect all these disparate channels and understand each customer’s needs. It’s especially important to connect your digital channels to your contact center — when customers call you, they tell you exactly what they want and how to make them happy. If you don’t have these insights, you may miss out on valuable revenue opportunities.
Read on to learn four ways cutting-edge companies are improving the eCommerce experience with call center data.
In an ideal world, all your customers would seamlessly convert online, the call volumes at your contact centers would decline to manageable levels, and Giannis Antetokounmpo would join my rec league basketball team. But, obviously, we don’t live in that world (though the offer is on the table if you’re reading this, Giannis). In our world, our eCommerce journeys are flawed, our call centers are overwhelmed, and our rec league basketball squads lack 6′ 11″ power forwards with world-class shot-blocking abilities.
To understand what’s preventing your customers from converting online, and instead causing them to call your agents, eCommerce teams are using conversation intelligence. Conversation intelligence solutions automatically track the webpages or marketing sources that drive each call. They then record and transcribe the calls and use AI to capture insights at scale.
With a conversation intelligence solution like Invoca, you can identify the moments when shoppers choose to call rather than complete their purchase online. Invoca surfaces the caller’s entire journey through your website, from the ad or search keyword that brought them in, to the pages they viewed, to the exact click-to-call button they used to contact you. This helps you identify what’s causing digital abandonment and take the right steps to correct the issue.
To get more information about what’s causing shoppers to pick up the phone, you can tap into insights from the conversations customers are having with your call center agents (more on this in the next section).
With your conversation intelligence solution, you’ve now identified your “problem” webpages — the ones that are driving phone calls that don’t result in sales. Or, alternatively, the ones that are driving calls for routine purchases that customers want to complete online. A pattern may have already jumped out at you, but to make sure you’re correctly diagnosing issues, you should dive into the call recordings and transcriptions.
With call recordings and transcriptions, you can see exactly what your customers are saying when they call you. You can sift through your transcriptions manually, or you can set up AI signals to automatically detect certain words or phrases. For example, you could set up a signal that identifies when customers ask questions about pricing or when they mention an issue with your website. This will allow you to scale your process and identify patterns more quickly.
By digging into your recordings and transcriptions, you can identify the exact issues causing digital abandonment on each webpage. You may find that a certain product page doesn’t offer enough specifics for customers to make a purchasing decision, you may learn that your checkout process is long and overly complicated, or you may discover that your online shopping cart is stalling out from a server or backend issue.
To more precisely spot frustrating online experiences that are driving low-value phone calls, you can also integrate Invoca call data with website experience analytics platforms like Decibel and Fullstory. By combining web experience analytics with conversation data, you can fix breaks in the online conversion funnel and also optimize for certain purchases where driving a phone call presents significant revenue opportunities. The result is that every customer gets the seamless experience they deserve and you drive more revenue and higher conversion rates. Learn more about how Invoca works with website experience analytics here.
These issues can be costly if you leave them unchecked. With conversation intelligence, you can quickly identify these problems and make data-driven improvements to improve conversion rates and minimize calls for routine purchases.
You’ll never be able to eliminate inbound phone calls and make all your customers purchase unassisted via your website — nor should you try to. A staggering 68% of people say that phone calls are their preferred way to contact businesses. To earn customer loyalty, you need to keep this channel open and ensure a smooth experience for those who choose to call.
According to our research, 59% of customers will hang up within 10 minutes of being placed on hold. Therefore, when consumers call your business, it’s imperative that you connect them with a live agent as soon as possible. Otherwise, you’ll lose their business.
Conversation intelligence solutions like Invoca solve this problem by intelligently routing each caller to the best agent to assist them. How does it work? Invoca tracks the webpage or marketing source driving each call and uses this data to inform call routing.
Cutting-edge eCommerce companies use Invoca to prioritize calls from consumers who are most likely to complete a purchase. For example, if someone calls you from your online shopping cart, you could automatically move them to the front of the queue. Those calling from billing pages, support pages, and other non- sales-related sources could be pushed to the appropriate department. As a result, you’ll reduce abandonment from high-value callers, ensure you capitalize on every revenue opportunity, and provide faster service for your current customers.
A certain big-box retailer (not naming names here) could have really used this feature when I called them last week from my online shopping cart. I was literally a single click away from buying a brand new laptop and they left me on hold for over thirty minutes. In the end, I took my business elsewhere. If you don’t provide a great call experience, your customers will do the same. And, if they’re really bitter, they might even trash you on a review site somewhere down the line.
You bought the product, yet you’re still seeing ads for it — this has become an all-too-common occurrence in the eCommerce world. I’ve seen several not-so-cutting-edge retailers waste their budgets this way for months.
Conversation intelligence solutions solve this problem by helping you use rich call center data to target your audience with more relevant ads. For example, if someone called your company and purchased a product over the phone, you could push this data into their customer profile and suppress them from seeing future ads for that product. You could instead target them with ads for a relevant companion purchase or upsell. This ensures your budget isn’t wasted on irrelevant ads.
That’s only scratching the surface of what you can do — you can also use call center data to market differently to price-sensitive customers. If someone expressed a hesitation about pricing over the phone and didn’t buy from you, you could retarget them with an ad that provides a coupon for 10% off and free shipping on their next order. Advanced targeting methods like these can help you recapture lost opportunities and create exceptional experiences for your customers.
You may be wondering, “How can I scale this?” Don’t worry, Invoca turns conversation signals into structured data and pushes them into the martech platforms you use every day, including Salesforce, Google Ads, Adobe Experience Cloud, Search Ads 360, and many more.
Want to learn more about how conversation intelligence can help you improve the eCommerce experience? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Conversation Intelligence.