Exciting New Research Underscores the Value of Visual Engagement Software
The Internet can be a lonely place, especially when it comes to customer service. Self-service and automated service (like bots) can address basic questions and support issues. However, customers often need human guidance to handle more complex situations, like financial investments or healthcare renewals. That’s when visual engagement makes all the difference.
Forrester Research, a leading global research and advisory firm, recently published a paper on the subject: Visual Engagement Drives Relationships and Revenue for Customer Service, Forrester Research Inc., May 5, 2017. The research provides a number of insights into what visual engagement is, where to it in the customer journey, and how to plan your implementation.
What is visual engagement?
Visual engagement is about taking the next step in online customer interactions using such technologies as one-way agent video, cobrowsing, and screen sharing. While voice and chat are great ways to communicate with customers, adding visual tools brings personalization and understanding to the conversation. With video, you can add a smiling or sympathetic face. With cobrowsing software and screen sharing, you can add a shared online view, even though both participants in the conversation are in different locations.
According to the Forrester report, visual engagement solutions allow users to “cut through the conversation clutter, to be better understood, and to connect emotionally.”
These types of solutions provide a variety of benefits, including:
- Reducing customer and agent effort
- De-escalating otherwise stressful or frustrating situations
- Improving first call resolution
- Reducing call-backs by teaching customers how to handle certain tasks
- Improving customer engagement metrics
In the interest of full disclosure, you should know that the company I work for (Glance Networks) provides the types of visual solutions that help bring you those benefits. Glance’s omni-channel platform seamlessly blends existing voice and chat functionality with visual engagement solutions that can leverage actionable intelligence from your customer relationship management (CRM) system. This empowers your customer service, customer support and sales teams to expedite knowledge transfer and produce better results.
What part of the customer lifecycle requires visual engagement?
Visual engagement can be used throughout the customer lifecycle. Where in the lifecycle you insert visual engagement should be partly influenced by how technically advanced your customers are. For instance, some people may be power users while others may be beginners.
Once you better understand where in the customer journey people need help, the other piece of the puzzle is understanding how you want Sales, Customer Service, and/or Technical Support teams to use visual engagement.
For instance, at Glance, I’ve seen customers use it in:
- Sales. Sales teams can use visual engagement software to provide demos or upsells. If the solution alerts agents when high-value customers are on the website, the sales team can proactively reach out to them and help them discover the products or services they’re looking for.
- Customer Service. Customer Service teams can offer personalized onboarding, training, and assistance. They can securely and easily guide customers through difficult processes or complex forms. Annotation can be used to point out fields, forms, or options. Agents can even show their sympathetic faces via one-way video, to create trust and humanize the conversation.
- Technical Support. Technical Support teams can easily handle break/fix situations with visual engagement. Connecting visually provides a way for support to quickly troubleshoot, discover problems — even if they lie in the customers’ computers — and make the fix.
For more examples, check out the graphic below. It illustrates some of the ways the Forrester research paper describes how visual engagement drives relationships and revenue.
How do you plan for your implementation?
The value of visual engagement solutions is clear. However, in order to get the true benefits of this powerful customer experience solution, you need to go into your implementation with a plan.
The first thing you need to do is gain an understanding of your baseline metrics. You can then better understand which ones you want use visual engagement to improve.
Some Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that are often positively affected through the use of visual solutions include:
- Net Promoter Score (NPS)
- Customer Effort Score (CES)
- Conversion rate
- Average resolution time
- Reduction of repeat callers
When you understand what metrics you want to affect, it’s time to evaluate your technology options. According to the Forrester report, you should, “Investigate product offerings from companies like American Well, Cisco, Glance Networks, Librestream, TokBox, Twillio, Vidyo, and others to understand the range of visual engagement solutions they provide and how they can tie into your existing service processes.”
Note that Forrester talks about how you can tie visual engagement solutions into your existing service processes. One of the great things about visual engagement software done right is that you don’t have to completely overhaul your systems. Instead, you can add a cobrowse solution on top of your existing solution, for example, keeping costs low while still gaining all the benefits of connecting visually with your customers.
After implementation, companies need to make it clear to agents that visual engagement usage should be a daily thing. The reasoning for this is that with higher usage comes higher return on investment (ROI).
Moreover, plan to have a workshop where agents can role-play to get hands-on experience about how to use their visual engagement solution. Even better, record your training so future agents can easily get up to speed and learn your company’s best practices.
Why should you invest in visual engagement today?
If you are looking for a customer experience improvement solution that can produce quick and measurable ROI, visual engagement place to invest. With increases in customer satisfaction, long-term loyalty, and revenue, how can you lose?
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Named one of New England’s Top 40 Influencers in Content and Digital Marketing, I fully understand the power of online engagement. I am passionate about implementing marketing strategies that result in quick growth, rapid revenue, and happy customers. I am the VP of Marketing for Glance Networks, whose integrated cobrowse, screen share, and agent video platform has taken the customer experience industry by storm. I have also been quoted in a variety of major publications and am a regular contributor to Forbes, Maximize Social Business, Business2Community, and VentureFizz. In the past, I have worked for a variety of high tech companies, as well as spearheaded my own marketing consulting firm. I’m also not afraid to embrace my nerdy side (as evidenced by my love of Neil Gaiman and my “talking” TARDIS).