The contact center playing a critical role in the digital customer journey at first sounds as reasonable as saying cats are what make the internet work. But when you look a little deeper, you’ll see that the contact center is frequently a linchpin in the buying journey that can make or break your sales goals. And without cats, cat videos, and cat memes there would be virtually no reason for the internet to exist in the first place.
Okay, fine, everyone knows the internet is fueled by cats. But let’s take a look at why the contact center matters so much in the digital eCommerce world.
When the Contact Center Comes Into Play
Of course, consumers are more than willing to chuck a new cat tree into an online shopping cart and call it a day. But when it comes to high-stakes purchases like mortgages, insurance policies, or a new broadband package, consumers are much more likely to call a business to help them make a decision or complete a purchase. While they will start by doing research online, 70% of consumers prefer to call businesses at some point when making these types of purchases—and they’re more likely to call than use any other communication channel.
While chatbots are efficient and high-tech, only 13% of consumers want to have the chatbot help them out. So it’s best not to assume the bot can replace live help and to save it for answering simple questions. Consumers prefer to communicate with businesses by phone by a large margin, so it’s critical that your contact center experience is on point.
Consumers Call Businesses for Big Purchases
Today, consumers agonize over even the most trivial purchase decisions. Do you read hundreds of Amazon reviews before you buy a $90 pair of headphones? Do you read a couple dozen Yelp reviews before ordering from that new restaurant? Of course, because nobody likes the agonizing pit in their soul created by buyer’s remorse.
When it comes to high-stakes purchases like a mortgage, the cognitive dissonance that occurs when questioning yourself after the purchase can cause significant emotional and even physical discomfort. Avoiding that crushing feeling after making a big financial decision is one of the primary reasons customers want to call your business before pulling the trigger—they want every piece of information possible in hand and they gain the most confidence hearing it from a real person.
According to our research, 44% of consumers call businesses before making a purchase to do more research and another 30% call to complete their purchase on the phone with the help of a human rep.
Unfortunately, none are calling to say “I love you,” but getting help from a human will put them at ease. In our 2020 report, High-Stakes Purchases and Consumer Confidence in the COVID Era, we found that 87% of respondents said talking to a person on the phone to answer questions made them feel more confident in making high-consideration purchases, versus purchasing directly online.
The Contact Center is the Face and Voice of Your Company
Your digital experience is very important because it’s likely the first point of contact most consumers will make with your company. But the contact center puts a human face on your company and speaks for you thousands of times a day. People might appreciate a good eCommerce experience, but they really get the warm-and-fuzzies when they get the help they need from an expert on the phone. In fact, almost half of consumers think their business is valued and feel more positive about your brand when they have a great experience on the phone.
Why It’s Important to Optimize the Contact Center Experience
Many marketers rely solely on digital buying journey data to make important decisions about campaigns and spending. And on the sales side, many contact center teams rely mostly on what happens with customers once they call to decide how to best serve them. This creates huge blind spots for both contact center sales teams and marketing, which in turn makes for a bad experience for potential customers who are calling.
For example, if the contact center doesn’t know where in the digital journey the customer was when they picked up the phone, they have to ask a lot of questions to figure out why they’re calling. From there, the customer will likely be put on hold and transferred between multiple agents or departments. And that makes them none too happy. In fact, many won’t even call if they expect that you’ll waste their time.
And if you need to put them on hold, you can expect many of them to call one of your competitors instead.
Just knowing that customers call is not enough. You have to know what motivates them to call and what they want to accomplish to provide a seamless experience. To do that, you have to know your customers and have full visibility into the online and offline buying journey.
Customers Expect You to Know Them
The transfers and hold times are so frustrating for customers because they expect that you know why they’re calling. In fact, 71% of respondents said that they believe businesses already
know why they’re calling, because they believe you have their data from previous interactions or online tracking. If they think you have their data and you’re just not using it, it’s a real slap in the face.
How Invoca Conversation Intelligence Helps You Win More Customers
First-party data from your customers’ online and offline buying journey must be gathered and connected in order to provide the seamless journey that your customers expect. Invoca’s Active Conversation Intelligence platform connects the online and offline journey and enables you to access a treasure trove of first-party customer data that you can use to provide top-notch buying experiences in the contact center and online. Conversation intelligence can help by:
Informing the contact center with digital journey data
When your contact center agents know what the digital customer journey looked like before the call, they’re better equipped to help customers make a purchase. With Invoca, you can enable agents to tailor each conversation with real-time screen pops that reveal caller intent based on calling webpage, pre-call search keywords, and more.
Route calls automatically
Invoca enables you to use digital intent data to automatically route calls so your potential customers don’t get transferred and get helped by the right agent, right away.
Automatic, objective, and complete call QA
With Invoca conversation intelligence, you can automate QA processes and spend less time spotting issues, and more time solving them. You can finally analyze and automatically score 100% of your sales calls to get a complete and objective view into agent call handling, quality, and even assure compliance.
Make every agent more effective
When you use Invoca, your calls are scored as soon as they end. Call center managers can provide feedback by @mentioning agents within call transcripts or at specific moments in the call recording. And agents can access their own calls, scores, and transcripts, empowering them to self-coach.