Many of you have certainly had great times with close friends in a pub, café or restaurant, sharing stories, recollecting past events, and laughing until it was time to go home. It's during times like this that you wish you could just let the good times flow instead of having them abruptly cut short by the establishment's closing hours!
E-commerce stores are in a similar situation when they provide great customer experiences, but such experiences stop when the chat window is closed, or the web call is ended. Your consumers are not likely to be online all the time, so how can you ensure that the momentum of good digital experiences continues even when they are offline?
As more shoppers turn to online channels for solutions to their questions and issues, it is important that you think about how those conversations will turn into offline ones as well. Strong offline customer support can complement your online sales because they are part of your overall omnichannel strategy to be wherever your customers are.
Read on to learn how to implement strategies to use offline customer service tools from CINNOX to capture leads, develop rewarding relationships and nurture repeat customers.
Why are offline conversations important ?
Maintaining offline interactions is important for a couple of reasons. Firstly, your customer experience is not complete unless you can offer both online and offline experiences. Remember that an omnichannel experience is about being where your customers are, and they may sometimes not be online all the time but in the real world.
Secondly, shoppers typically want to interact with the same agent who previously served them to save time or to deal with a familiar name. They want continuity by speaking to the same agent who understands their situation. Plus, using CINNOX means that your agent need not share their private number, protecting their privacy.
Thirdly, it's a quick way of moving consumers through the customer journey. If someone sees your advertisement, for example, they can simply click to connect with an agent to make an enquiry or booking. Or if they need immediate help with a product, they can simply scan a QR code on the product instead of searching for the support number.
Start offline digital conversations
When you're implementing an omnichannel strategy for your business, you want to make sure that you are offering offline channels as well. It makes your brand more approachable and personal by allowing your customers to decide whether to interact with you outside of work hours or when they're not in front of their computer screens.
One way of accomplishing this is to offer QR codes. You have no doubt seen these machine-readable matrix barcodes on just about anything that can be printed. With the rise of mobile phone ownership, anyone can now scan a QR code wherever they are and then be directed to a URL that shows a web landing page or plays a video.
With CINNOX, you can generate QR codes that make direct web calls or start a live chat session with a specific agent. Use them creatively to route leads to the most suitable agent, for example, pairing QR codes printed on billboards in the Tokyo area with Japanese-speaking agents in your team for the best communication experience.
You can also use these QR codes to gauge the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns and inform you about where best to spend your advertising budget. For example, which billboard locations have the best snap-through rate or conversions: inside train stations, along pedestrian walkways or above expressways with traffic?
Other ideas include printed welcome or thank you letters with each customer order or product sold. Not only do they show consumers that you value their business, but they let customers know that support is only a click away, giving them the impression that great customer service continues well after they receive their goods.
Follow-up on conversations is difficult
Excellent customer service is at the heart of all memorable customer experiences. However, when a customer wants to follow up with an ongoing enquiry, one of several scenarios could happen:
- The customer is asked for a lengthy reference number, such as an order confirmation number, that they will need to look for in an email or printout.
- The customer is asked to verify their identity before being requested to describe their problem from the beginning.
- The customer asks for the same agent by name, but only if they remember it from the previous interaction!
- The customer requests the name of the agent who previously served them and if they may be transferred to that person, but only if the agent is available and working in the current shift.
As you can see, following up with existing conversations is a troublesome process that takes time and sometimes requires the customers to do work!
Allow online discussions to continue offline
As your e-commerce store grows and more orders are placed, you will undoubtedly increase your customer base at the same time. You must provide an easy way for customers to keep in touch, encourage follow-up enquiries, and perhaps drive more repeat sales. One option is to leverage a feature specific to CINNOX called web links.
These are not your typical URL links. Instead, like QR codes, they are HTML links that initiate direct web calls or start a chat session with a particular agent. Your agents can easily insert them into their email signatures, giving recipients an option to immediately chat or speak with the agent instead of composing an email and waiting for a reply.
Elsewhere, agents can share their web links in whichever digital communications channel they are using with customers—for example, live chat, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger—so that customers can easily continue their conversations with the same agent if they are unable to use the CINNOX web widget or social chat apps.
In another example, you can insert web links for customer service and support in different languages in an order confirmation email from your web store, say, English for the North American market and Spanish for South America. Because your email lives in their inbox, customers can always conveniently return to it whenever they need help.