My colleague Fiona Symons recently posted a thoughtful blog about the process of improving how the sales process can be improved by using smart agents to improve the customer journey. According to the blog, it is possible to up-sell and cross-sell around 10-15 times more to customers if you speak to them, rather than just sending information.
This should be obvious, but some company leaders clearly have not heard the news. I know that there are many times I want to learn about a product and I click on a link and I am just served some plain information – a page of text or a PDF document. If I’m enthusiastic about the product then maybe I will continue to seek out more information, but sometimes my connection to the product will end immediately because the information is not engaging.
If your app, website, or Instagram features a button saying ‘call now to learn more’ and customers click that button then you already know they are interested. You don’t need to sell anything because they are already asking how they buy the product, or at the very least how they can learn more about it.
By ensuring that the team answering these calls is aware that the customer is already interested it should be possible to steer them towards a purchase without needing to push or resort to hard sell tactics. It should be possible to both HELP THE CUSTOMER and MAKE THE SALE at the same time.
This type of customer service requires slightly different planning from a support operation. These agents need to signpost the customer towards a sale rather than handle a customer with a problem, but they need to be knowledgeable, friendly, and engaging. The customer is already interested in the product, they don’t have a problem, they just have questions and if they like the answers then they will make a purchase.
This type of interaction would be very difficult to replicate with an automated system. It’s a great example of how human interaction can genuinely be more valuable than just providing the requested information. If a customer asked a bot about the sun protection features of a pair of sunglasses then it could easily reel off some data about tests and certification, but if a human asks another human this type of question then more context can be requested… do you plan to use them on a beach? How important is water-resistance? How long would you usually expect to stay in the sun? Each interaction should provide an opportunity to reassure the customer that this purchase is a great idea.
Each interaction really does matter and despite all the great new technologies entering the CX environment, sometimes it really is more useful to just speak to a human.