Companies rely on their customer contact centers to help them maintain relationships with consumers and promote high rates of satisfaction, and an increasing number of new technologies are enabling organizations to communicate with customers better, through an ever-growing variety of channels. Technologies such as live chat, click-to-call, collaborative browsing (co-browsing) software and many others are making it easy to place the consumer at the center of operations – allowing them to become more engaged in the resolution process and happier with the outcome.
The Aberdeen (News - Alert) Group recently referred to this rapid pace of innovation in technology tools and channels that provides customers with a wealth of information needed to influence their purchase and loyalty decisions as the new normal.
One increasingly ubiquitous new communications channel is mobile. According to Forrester (News - Alert), approximately 80 percent of consumers already use mobile applications for customer service. For this reason, a growing number of organizations are adopting mobile customer service strategies. According to ICMI, 51.9 percent are doing so to improve customer satisfaction and increase customer loyalty, and 30.3 percent are doing so to lower costs.
All too often, with the variety of brand channels available to them, customers or end users can have trouble finding or doing something, like shop for products or set up their bill-pay service. Often they can grow frustrated and just give up. This can have a negative impact on customer satisfaction, adoption of the Internet and/or mobile channel, and the ability to profitably serve customers.
Co-browsing is a highly effective tool in overcoming these challenges – on PCs, laptops and mobile devices. While many businesses deploy web self service, live chat, and phone support, these solutions alone may no longer be enough. There is a growing need for a more personal, assisted web experience in the high volume contact center. Website engagement leads to expectations of enhanced interaction and relationship. And all of this must be done in a way that allows companies to increase agent productivity while also enhancing the customer experience.
According to a recent Aberdeen report called “Co-Browsing in Customer Service: The Path to Just-in-Time Customer Engagement:”
- The annual revenue for companies that use co-browse grew 16.8 percent vs. 9.7 percent for non-users.
- The average revenue per call grew 3 percent year-over-year for co-browse users vs. dropping 1.5 percent for non-users.
- The number of positive social media mentions grew 13.8 percent for co-browse users vs. 3.4 percent for non-users.
- Annual agent utilization improved 4.7 percent for co-browse users compared to a 0.2 percent decline by non-users.
Customer interactions that strongly benefit from the added visual connection co-browsing can provide include:
- Making sure the customer can quickly find what they’re looking for on a website;
- Helping a customer through a complex buying decision;
- Filling out complex web forms or applications;
- Helping commercial customers to solve unique problems in a timely manner with immediate personal assistance;
- Collaborating with customers about financial services while mutually viewing account data and graphical information online;
- On-boarding new accounts to web platforms and online services (e.g. online bill pay, online banking);
- Helping customers find and understand web-based support information for complex products/services; and
- Training customers how to utilize new online products or self-service capabilities.
In an interview with one of our partners, Oracle (News - Alert), Match.com’s Michele Watson, senior vice president of customer care, said that, in using Oracle RightNow Cobrowse Cloud Service, “The customer satisfaction rates of co-browse interactions average 98 percent.”
Ultimately, there are three factors that make co-browsing software a must-have for customer facing organizations today. First, customers expect to interact with the majority of their product and service suppliers through an Internet site; these exchanges lead to expectations of enhanced interaction and relationship. Second, as customer-facing websites become more complex and companies move more business applications and processes to the web, it is critical to engage customers online and provide real-time assistance when they need help. Third, in today’s business environment of hyper-competition and product commoditization, there is significant pressure to be more efficient while also improving quality of customer care – a strong differentiator, particularly in markets where products and services are extremely similar across the industry. Co-browsing provides organizations with an enhanced customer experience, greater operating efficiencies, and more profitable customer relationships.
Edited by Blaise McNamee