As brands strive to personalize customer service with the latest cutting-edge technology, conversational commerce is increasingly becoming the gateway to great customer experiences. Combining sophisticated automation with human intervention, conversational commerce holds great promise for the future of customer experience as it builds upon existing technologies and already popular customer messaging habits rather than reinventing the wheel. By enabling customers to speak with brands through humans, chat bots, or a mix of both, customers are given a superior experience tailored to their needs. Here are five benefits conversational commerce has to offer for great customer experiences.
In conversational commerce, customers engage with brands and complete service interactions using a single chat interface, messaging app, or natural language interface. Examples include popular platforms such as Kik, WhatsApp, Slack, and Facebook Messenger or voice recognition software interfaces such as Siri or Cortana. Rather than merely beginning a service interaction or product search in a messaging app and completing a purchase on another channel, customers are able to initiate and complete the whole transaction without ever leaving that channel. Customers can research a product, receive assistance from a chat bot or live agent (or both), and complete an order seamlessly and effortlessly.
Perhaps the greatest customer benefit of conversational commerce is its emphasis on personalized service. As customers research product information, chat bots may assist with tasks such as searching catalogues for preferred products and recommendations. If a customer asks a question, chat bots and human agents may work together to provide comprehensive assistance. And once the customer is ready to purchase, everything from beginning payment to closing the transaction with tracking and delivery information may all be done in one place.
A Deloitte study found that roughly 58% of consumers who own a smartphone have used it for store-related shopping. In addition, the study found that 50% of mobile shoppers use their smartphones in-store, while another 50% use them on their way to a store. Conversational commerce is therefore the perfect fit for customers who already use their smartphones for making purchasing decisions. Brands may increase revenue dramatically by tapping into their mobile customer base and offering them an optimized experience on the go. Customers benefit from the convenience of the experience as they do not need to make additional calls or website visits, for example, when making a purchase.
As consumers are already familiar with SMS, messaging apps, and voice recognition programs, conversational commerce is far from intimidating. On the contrary, customers can benefit from the natural conversational style they are likely already accustomed to in their daily communications. The added benefit is simply that they can now speak to brands as they speak to their personal contacts. The user-friendly aspect of such commerce is further complemented by the timesaving benefits. By completing service in a single app with comprehensive assistance, customers are set to save time while engaging in a regular digital habit they are comfortable with.
There is no single or correct way to implement conversational commerce. Businesses may rely as much or as little as desired on chat bots and live agents to provide the best possible experience for their particular customers. They may integrate voice recognition if useful, choose to engage with customers through SMS or a messaging app, or include more classic customer service approaches such as voice or web chat. The sky is the limit, as conversational commerce implementation can be tailored to fit the needs of both businesses and their customers.Conversational commerce is a modern approach to optimizing already popular channels for even greater customer satisfaction. As a conversational commerce platform, Vocalcom empowers companies to deliver the very best customer experiences. Recent product developments such as personalized video messages on the fly, the industry-first intelligent reconnect, and universal conversational messaging are simplifying customer engagement for truly seamless and effortless customer experiences. The platform offers a data-rich context that enables customers to switch easily between channels in a single interaction, saving them time and inconvenience. Conversational interactions through text messaging, in-app messaging, and platforms such as Facebook Messenger, Telegram, WeChat, Viber, and others allow customers to engage with brands in real-time or asynchronously through a single thread. Currently, 40% of companies have seen a call deflection rate when shifting customers to SMS, and 23% have plans to add it this year, resulting in more than 60% of all contact centers offering SMS support by the end of 2016. Learn more about the Vocalcom conversational commerce platform for modern and effortless customer experiences.
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