For ecommerce customers, the contact center is the retailer’s best opportunity to make a strong connection and deliver a memorable experience. Below are a few 2014 developments for the teams on the front lines of customer care.
Selling in the Contact Center
There’s no doubt that retailers are contacted every day by shoppers who show intent to purchase with questions about specific products or policies. These customers are golden. They’re primed for purchase. Now, it’s up to the retailer to make sure sales don’t slip through the contact center. In November, we offered three metrics that should be considered across all channels to ensure the contact center is helping move sales through the purchase funnel.
We define a Stellar Interaction as one in which “the customer service representative diligently answered the initial questions, anticipated follow-up inquiries and offered supplemental information.” In these cases, not only are agents resolving issues and demonstrating policy and product knowledge, but also anticipating the needs of shoppers and providing them solutions and options. These interactions represent an agent going above-and-beyond the call of duty – an experience you’d want to tell your friends and coworkers about.
During the six months from October 2013 to March 2014, only 5% of more than 60,000 phone, email and live chat interactions between StellaService Analysts and customer support agents at leading online retailers were rated as stellar.
StellaService data comparing February through July of 2013 and 2014 shows the speed of customer service is nearly identical over phone and email. Looking at a set of 25 top retailers, average time to reach an agent on the phone was 2 minutes 15 seconds in 2013 compared to 2 minutes 17 seconds in 2014. Responses to emails averaged 11.9 hours in 2013 and 11.7 hours in 2014.
In August, we wrote: “While the needle on performance hasn’t moved much in these channels, there has been a notable improvement in the speed of customer care via chat. The average time to reach an agent over chat was about 1 minute 4 seconds in 2013, but has dropped to 40 seconds in 2014.”
See the story: While Phone and Email are Flat, Chat Speeds Improved in 2014