Introducing a New BoldChat

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Recently, I’ve spent a good amount of time speaking directly with companies about challenges and opportunities with regards to today’s customer experience.  It’s surprising that regardless of the industry and even geographical region, most agree that while exceptional customer experience has always been important, it’s never been more difficult to achieve.

This is a fact of doing business in the world which we live in today.  Customer experience is rapidly changing by the likes of Uber and Amazon – customers expect everything to work effortlessly and instantly with a single click.  “Click” and a car arrives to pick me up….  “Click” and a box is delivered to my doorstep in an hour… It’s magic.

So when it comes to Customer Engagement and Support, it’s not surprising that customers expect the exact same thing.  And the expectations of today’s customer makes it hard for today’s contact center to keep up.

Given technology advancements, millennial trends or a number of other factors, a stellar customer experience is absolutely required in order for companies to either compete or go the way of the dinosaurs.  But as the world of customer experience continues to rapidly evolve, we have seen more than a few challenges in traditional customer engagement which are completely avoidable.   These include:

  • Siloed Communication – Moving from channel to channel was often not seamless. Customers who started their communication via Twitter might be escalated to a phone call. The problem is that the agent responsible for social was often not the agent in the call center – leaving the customer needing to explain their question or issue over again.
  • Inefficient Use of Channels – Simple questions, like a password reset for example, can generally be best answered through lower touch channels like an FAQ or Live Chat, but often higher touch channels like phone are being used for these simple questions. While those channels will certainly get the question answered, it is likely not the most efficient for the customer and more expensive for the company.
  • Disjointed Customer Information – In traditional multi-channel situations, information about a customer is housed in a variety of different repositories requiring agents to toggle between various locations to understand the full scope of the customer query and resulting in incomplete information and longer time to resolution.

If you can remove these barriers, you can begin to take back and own the customer experience.  This is where an omni-channel approach to customer experience is emerging.  One that provides the right channel to the right customer for the right situation.

We’ve been talking about the merits of an omni-channel experience to help our customers move beyond these challenges for a while and today we announced a brand new version of BoldChat that continues our mission to provide a market-leading live chat and omni-channel customer engagement solutions which gives businesses the control and flexibility to distinguish themselves in the marketplace.     The latest BoldChat adds new channels including video chat and auto answers – ensuring that whether the customer query requires a high-touch interaction, a self-service question, or anything in between, BoldChat can meet those needs.   We also added a new UI that provides agents a consolidated view of all customer communications and relevant information in order to provide a more personal experience with faster resolution times.

We’ve all been in situations where customer service has made or broken our relationship with a brand.   We remember those times, we tell our friends and families about those experiences.  Today’s announcement takes customer service to the next level.  By providing a seamless omni-channel experience for customers on the front end and all the tools agents need to do their jobs efficiently and effectively on the backend, companies can elevate and personalize the customer experience to a level that will make them stand out against competitors, boost sales and increase customer loyalty.  Making a strong relationship between the customer and brand, not breaking it.

         

LogMeIn Rescue Heads to San Diego for the Technology Services World Conference

This week our team is headed west for the Technology Services World conference in San Diego.  In addition to the excitement of traveling where the sun shines all the time, we are really excited for the opportunity to spend a few days with thought leaders in the tech-as-a-service industry to learn about the latest technology trends and share innovative ideas and best practices about being successful in an industry that is constantly changing.

One of the areas that we will be exploring closely at the show is around the concept of Support of Things.  As we know, one key component that is continuously evolving is the customer – who they are, their expectations, their technical prowess – and the Internet of Things makes this challenge even more complex. Today, the number of ‘things’ that need to be supported is growing rapidly; and the modern day customer is evolving at a similar pace. Today’s customers have high expectations around speed and quality of service.  They require an immediate response and quick remediation of any customer service issue.   Why is this important?  Well more than ever, these customers are making buying decisions based on customer service experiences.  Brands are gaining and losing customers based on the quality of support offered.  So with this new landscape, how do accomplish best-in-class support?

That is one of the key questions we will be examining this week.  Our Director of Products, Peter Zeinoun will be joining Radial Point’s VP of Services & Solutions, R.J. Stangle for an interactive session, “It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s the Internet of Things! Using the IoT to Generate Revenue Via Super Support Experiences.” This session will highlight real-life examples of how technical support for the IoT is evolving and how support can be leveraged in service offerings to drive IoT adoption and better customer experiences. It is time to start thinking about preparing your business for the new opportunities the IoT brings.

If you’re attending the event, we encourage you to join Peter’s session and come check us out at Booth #10, where you can steal some awesome SWAG and watch our Rescue and Bold Chat products in action.  If you aren’t attending, keep an eye on this blog as we’ll be following up with a post around some of our learnings.

         

BoldChat: An “amazing tool for eCommerce”

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Digital marketing expert Brian Hughes began a recent piece that appeared on the Huffington Post with a rather astounding figure: for the average eCommerce site, “80 percent of customers only make a purchase once.” That might make sense if you’re selling houses, yachts, or some other once-in-a-lifetime item. But for the average online retailer, that statistic has to be disheartening, especially given what we all know about how much more expensive it is to find a new customer than retain an old one.

Brian doesn’t think that businesses should take their eCommerce problems lying down. He has a roundup of solutions that he characterizes as “five of the best tools” for addressing what is a real eCommerce challenge – and BoldChat was selected as one of those five best tools. He lays out five problems related to eCommerce challenges and suggests a solution for each of them. Here’s what he had to say about us BoldChat as a solution for slow customer service:

When customers have a question, they need an immediate answer. Don’t force them to dig through your FAQ list, wait 24 hours for a response to an email question, or worst of all, sit on hold with a customer service rep. BoldChat’s live chat software provides an immediate helpful human presence, which dramatically increases customer satisfaction and boosts sales. According to BoldChat, customers are 7.5X more likely to convert when they use live chat. These same customers also increase their shopping cart size by 55 percent. Plus, since most questions can be answered in just a few minutes, live chat can also help offset traditional call center volume by up to 80 percent. End customer service headaches by offering better, faster, more efficient service.

Thanks for the shout-out, Brian. If you’d like to see his full post, you can find it here. And if you’d like to learn more about BoldChat, check out this short video.

         

Customers Turn to 3+ Support Channels – Will You Be There for Them?

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Delivering fast, painless and reliable service is critical not only for Customer Service executives, but also for Sales and Marketing leaders tasked with increasing conversions, growing revenue, and maximizing customer lifetime value.

No one communication channel (or channels) stands apart in the consumer’s mind, so organizations need to support a variety of channels. But not every channel is ideal given the customer, the situation, or the device they’re using – and it’s no surprise that 64% use three or more channels when contacting a company for support.1

Customers looking for quick access to return policy information may be satisfied with a self-service option to answer this commonly asked question. A more consultative sales, beauty, or personal finance interaction may warrant a virtual face-to-face interaction.

In today’s world, customers want options for fast resolution, and you better deliver. In fact, Forrester found that 53% are likely to abandon a purchase if they can’t find quick answers to their questions.

Today, BoldChat makes it easier than ever to meet consumers’ expectations of service. And we provide the flexibility and control you need to tailor the experience to your business.

  • Our integrated, out-of-the-box Video Chat solution enables businesses to connect with their customers and prospects in a more engaging, personalized and unique manner, driving higher conversions and customer satisfaction.
  • Our Auto Answer capabilities help website visitors find resolutions for frequently asked questions quickly on their own before being escalated to a chat session for more advanced, personalized support, helping to offset volume and deflect minor inquiries, freeing up resources for more complicated issues.

Contact us to learn more or schedule a demo today!

1Where Contact Centers are Missing the Mark with Customer Care, Ovum, March 2015

         

The Evidence Is Mounting: Your Customers Are Turning to Live Chat

In early 2015, Software Advice published a report on live chat for customer support, and we wrote about their findings – the growing reliance on live chat, the millennials’ preference for it – in a previous post. They’ve now published a follow-up infographic which provides a quick summary of additional research findings on live chat. What they’re reporting is very interesting and underscores the growing importance of including live chat as a support channel.

  • 49% of online customers prefer to ask their questions via chat
  • For the 18-34 age demographic, 60% always prefer chat over phone
  • Not wanting to wait on hold is the reason 33% of consumers prefer live chat

One of the most important findings was from Gartner: by 2016, 89% of all companies will be competing on the basis of customer experience (CX). And live chat is increasingly essential to delivering excellent CX.

All of this confirms what those of us here at BoldChat find when we talk with our customers:  customer experience matters, and for more and more consumers, live chat is a critical component of CX.

You can read more about Software Advice’s new infographic here.

Software Advice_Live Chat: The CX Silver Bullet_Infographic

         

Winner winner…

Two cheerful young people using computer and celebrating their success.

To kick off the holidays we just want to say a big thank you to all of our customers who rely on Rescue, especially during this sometimes-stressful season. As a token of our appreciation we wanted to give back to some top technicians.

At the beginning of November we kicked off a campaign where managers or coworkers could nominate top support technicians they feel go above and beyond day in and day out. So today we are here to thank – and brag about – some of the top LogMeIn Rescue technicians!

Grand Prize Winner:

Nominated by her Manager Chad at Command Central

Kathy uses Rescue to support our customers who need help and guidance with a complicated software product. Her dedication and patience with one particular customer has made all the difference in making sure the customer is able to perform their job in pressure situations. Kathy has spent hours using Rescue to do so.”

Additional Winners:

Nominated by Adelmo at CharEm ISD

Mike is always going up and beyond what the customer thinks they want. He will arrive early or is always staying late to accommodate our staff. He is very knowledgeable and uses that knowledge as his strength.”

Nominated by Jeff at Evenflo

Braden is a bright star in our IT Support staff. He continually provides fast, friendly and efficient support to any user in our organization. We were recently purchased by another company, and he jumped all in to make sure we could support multiple new users in multiple sites in the US.”

Nominated by Raju at Securifi Inc.

Mirza is incredibly awesome in going the extra mile and making sure his customer is happy at the end of the day. He has proven that in many instances. He is very much a hard working person, who always ensures every customer is important for the company, for his team and for himself. It doesn’t matter if it’s his first call at the 9th or 10th hour, he has the same energy.”

Nominated by her Manager Rob at Affiliated Foods Midwest

Paula is awesome. She has been working for me for about 3 years now. She provides very good customer support, and completes all assigned tasks/duties completed effectively & efficiently.”

We received many more great testimonies of Rescue technicians going above and beyond. As we continue to evolve to meet your support needs, we want to say thank you!

         

BoldChat’s Holiday Heroes

As we ramped up for the 2015 holiday season – and the chaos that was bound to ensue – we invited people to tell us how their customer service teams prepare – what challenges they face, what their priorities are, and best practices to share. Meet our five Holiday Heroes below!


Angela Doty

Angela is a Contact Center Team Manager at Blackbaud, and here’s how her team prepares for their peak season:

Our busy season is actually in January when non profits are ready to get out last years giving statements. We use the month of December to train and develop additional analysts to move to our chat platform. Our goal is 80% chat adoption by our clients. We are working on providing the best support when they click on that button. Our goal is to continue to reach a 93% Customer Satisfaction Score! Culture at Blackbaud is an important focus. Our chat team really is like family. We provide focused training on our busy season contact drivers and focus on internal promotions to lead roles for continued advancement and development.


Linda Cook

Linda is a Senior Customer Support Manager at Classic Accessories. Here’s what she had to say about how her team gets ready for the holiday season:

-plan for remote work capability due to possible weather conditions
-black out on vacations more than 2 days during season – overtime is not restricted
-pre-planning meetings to discuss and remove obstacles to smooth and timely operations
-morale enhancing strategies on a weekly basis for support team during the season (lunches provided, lots of chocolate, stress relief actions, coffee cart brought in, etc.)
-allow holiday activities (gift exchange, decorations, stocking stuffer wall, etc.)
-keep after senior management to acknowledge support team efforts


Kimberly Ward

Kimberly is a Flood Underwriter at Southern Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company, and here’s how her team prepares for the holiday season:

During the holiday season our number one focus is always customer service. Staffing and service levels are monitored to ensure customer satisfaction. We understand that it is frustrating when a customer is unable to reach us. Unfortunately, with the holidays absences are increased, but we can’t allow that to impede on the service we provide.


Jason Acevedo

Jason is the Senior Director of Ecommerce Operations, Imports and Company Logistics at The Limited. Here’s what he had to say about how his team prepares for the holidays:

1) People: ensure we have the right talent at the right time to support our goals.
2) Process: test and retest our processes at different orders of magnitude to allow us to meet our commitments and handle volume/load.
3) Tech: ensure we have the right tools with the right capacity to meet demands.


Juliana Booth

Juliana is an E-Commerce Supervisor at The Orvis Company. Here’s how her team gets ready for the holidays:

As a retail company, the holidays are a busy time for us. Before we start approaching the season, we like to go over what we did the prior year – what worked, what didn’t, what issues we encountered and how can we get a head start to fix/avoid those this time around.

In the midst of hiring additional staff and working long hours, we also like to look for opportunities to give back and have fun. Some examples are employee pot luck/food days, days to “dress like your favorite Christmas character”, and opportunities given to allow everyone to give to/support local charities.

Thanks to everyone who submitted nominations!

Photo Credit: Icomoon from flaticon.com

         

Staying Connected This Holiday Season

Hands of a businesswoman holding smart phone with copy space on the screen above the wooden office table.

With the holiday season right around the corner, many of us will be traveling to visit friends and family and as a result will be leaning even heavier than normal on our mobile devices.  Whether working remotely or just passing the time in the airport with a little Netflix, we rely on our devices more than ever during this busy time.  It goes without saying that our smartphones are more than just phones – they are our mobile offices, our movie theaters, our social connection and so much more.

As a result when things go wrong, it can be very frustrating.  Here are just a few of my favorite mobile device faux pas — and how LogMeIn Rescue + Mobile can help:

  1. Poor Battery Life – As smartphones get bigger and more powerful – battery life tends to suffer. Faster processers, bigger screens, extra RAM to run the dozens of apps we access daily – all great for performance and aesthetics, but they also drain the battery much quicker than ever before.  With Rescue + Mobile’s Click2Fix battery optimization you are able to push several settings known to improve battery life within devices with just one click.
  1. Connecting to Bluetooth or Wireless – We’ve all experienced that awful wait time as your phone re-connects to Bluetooth or wireless networks. —Is it going to connect? What’s taking so long?  With Click2Fix radio toggles you’re able to see and manage existing connections and turn Bluetooth, WiFi and GPS on or off quickly.
  1. App Crashes – With large demands on apps there is bound to be a few crashes here and there. Rescue’s In-App Support provides quick and easy access to the end user’s app to help optimize the mobile app support experience with a seamless, intuitive support channel within the app (all within the Rescue interface).

Whether staying connected to work through email, chat, collaboration tools, or the thousands of other apps choices you may have on your phone – we can all agree on one critical issue – they better work when called upon!

One of our customers, Republic Wireless, is using LogMeIn Rescue + Mobile to help provide quick and seamless support for customers working to get and stay connected.  Offering a low-cost mobile phone service in the US, Republic Wireless customers are often first time smartphone owners.  By offering quick and easy hands-on support Republic Wireless is able to answer questions and remediate issues – reducing costly send-backs and keeping customers connected and happy – over the holidays and beyond.

At LogMeIn, we have made it a mission to help ensure that apps are working properly – and when they aren’t a solution is just a click away.

         

Tis the Season! How Do You Prepare for the Holidays?

Shoppers hurry along for Christmas sales

Every company has a different list of priorities as they plan for the busy holiday season, and the overwhelming demands of crazed holiday shoppers. So, we asked our friends at VF Corporation (The North Face, Timberland, JanSport, etc.) to share their list with us. Erin Dunlavy, Trainer for their eCommerce Customer Service team, said this is what VF does to prep for the increased volume of orders and customer inquiries:

  • Hire more than 100 seasonal Customer Service Reps to manage the influx of volume – beginning in September to ramp up and have all hands on deck for “The Big Show” (AKA – Black Friday!)
  • Extend customer service hours of operation to include Sundays and remain open until 10pm Monday through Friday
  • Offer week-long and weekend training sessions on systems, customer service, and product training to onboard all staff, regardless of their work schedule
  • Give incentives to top “contact takers” each month to keep employee morale high
  • Have a designated chat table where all agents trained only in live chat and emails have a designated place to manage increased volume
  • Provide ongoing trainings throughout the holiday season to address concerns/issues, continue systems and product training, and increase brand knowledge

How does your customer service team prepare for the holiday season? Share your priorities, challenges, or best practices, and you could win a $100 Amazon gift card! We’ll randomly select one winner each week from now until Christmas and highlight their entry on our blog. Fill out the form below or use this link to share your story today!

         

10 Tips for Delivering Great Customer Experiences This Holiday Season

With Black Friday a mere two weeks away, companies are diligently preparing for their busiest time of the year. They’re hustling to make sure they have enough product in stock, staff their teams appropriately, and– perhaps most importantly– ensure they have all the pieces in place to deliver consistent and satisfying customer experiences when contact volumes and customer expectations will be at an all time high. Knowing this can be a daunting task for many contact center professionals, we partnered with ICMI to provide some best practices for excelling during what can be overwhelming time – and keeping the holiday spirit alive!

  1. Know your customer and understand their expectations – customer expectations don’t changeBuddy the Elf Excited during the holiday season, so why should their experience?
  2. Address their needs in a timely fashion – focus on service, not the sale.
  3. Provide a consistent experience across all touch points – regardless of device, channel, or type of inquiry.
  4. Let customers engage with your company through their preferred channel – 53% prefer to use live chat before calling a company, yet only 34% of companies offer chat for customer service.1,2
  5. Utilize a multi-channel strategy to handle high volumes – providing alternative and more efficient channels like chat can help reduce the amount of time customers spend waiting on hold. Consider this a holiday bonus: it also increases efficiency, reduces costs, and sets you apart from your competitors.
  6. Ensure your customer service reps are adequately trained on product knowledge, return policies, shipping timeframes, promotions, etc. so they have the information they need to answer questions quickly and correctly. Wrong answers will result in repeat inquiries, irritated customers, and coal in your stocking.
  7. Staff your contact center appropriately to account for increased volume and urgent resolution. Not having enough CSRs creates chaos, aggravates customers, and results in added stress for your reps.
  8. Provide incentives – like gamification and spiffs – to keep employee morale high. A happy agent = a happy customer.
  9. When possible, avoid escalation – solve the problem in the channel they started in.
  10. Make improvements for the future. Not everything will be 100% perfect – take time to reflect on customer feedback, what went right, what went wrong and make the necessary changes to ensure next year is even more successful.

This list certainly isn’t all-inclusive, but it’s a good starting point to ensure you’re delivering the experience your customers expect.

For more information on these tips and more, watch our recent on-demand webinarHow to Deliver Great Customer Service During Peak Season.

 

1 2015 InContact Consumer Research, InContact, 2015
2 Where Contact Centers Are Missing the Mark with Customer Care, Ovum, 2015
Photo Credit: New Line Cinema