11 Best Practices for Online Chat Sales and Customer Service
Online chat is gaining attention as an effective customer service delivery method.
A TeaLeaf survey back in 2008 showed how many call centers lacked integration with and insight into the company's websites. This turned customers off cold, because too often, customer service was absolutely no help in resolving the problems they had with the website.
More than three years have passed, but precious little has changed, it seems.
"The Reducing Customer Struggle," a recent Econsultancy report commissioned (again) by customer experience management company TeaLeaf, found that only six percent of companies believe the offline parts of their business have visibility into how customers interact with their websites. Only three percent say they provide an excellent cross-channel customer experience.
Apparently, companies didn't "get" it the first time it came out, even though the earlier survey pointed out that 41 percent of shoppers abandoned the online transaction after experiencing a problem, nearly two in five did not have that problem resolved by customer service and - ahem - 37 percent decided to decrease the amount of business they did with the company after encountering an unresolved Web problem.
Why can't companies get their channels in sync? After all, the stakes seem high. The EConsultancy article - written by Geoff Galata, TeaLeaf's head of marketing, and evangelizing customer experience management - quotes Gartner on the importance of cross-channel integration:
The lack of cohesive business integration across channels and consistent management of customer interactions will be the leading factors diminishing customer satisfaction and increasing defection to competitors.
Galata argues there are three options for syncing and integrating your Web store with customer service:
But then again, we all know that there's a gap between customer service and what happens online. And lots of us lose our time to that gap, which means online retailers lose business and money in it.