With the current economic climate worsening for a lot of people, our clients are more aware than ever of the need to reduce spending both for themselves and their users.
As such, any optimisation or streamlining that will result in reduced overheads for companies, while at the same time reducing stress levels for users, is being investigated and introduced at pace.
A particularly effective and popular change revolves around online services. Any site updates or changes that result in users being diverted away from costly call centres is seen as a quick and easy change to save both time and money. For the most part, this means bringing offline services online, processes such as cancelling orders, requesting returns, altering personal details, submitting meter readings, requesting balance changes, and more.
Many of these efficiencies centre on ensuring the user can make these changes online, and if they’re struggling, giving them a way to contact someone. This is usually via web chat, but can also be via triggering contact form-based overlays to keep the user from attempting to find a phone number.
This offers ways that we can detect the user is having trouble, or becoming frustrated with their online experience. One way we’ve been able to do this is by using anonymised, screen recording software to detect certain frustrated behaviours, such as ‘bird’s nest behaviour’, ‘multi-clicking’, or ‘reading’ (discussed in more detail in these blog posts by screen reading company Decibel: Multi-clicking, Reading, & Birds Nest Behaviour).
When events triggered by these actions occur, we can either use them directly (as soon as 10 multi-clicks are detected for example), or use a pattern of behaviours to build up a threshold. Once that threshold is reached, we assume the user is in an ‘angry with the site’ phase, so we trigger a chat window to ask the user if they are having trouble, or alternatively we can trigger an overlay to ask the user to submit a support request, or any other actions the client may decide upon.
A valuable journey
As an additional facet of these actions, we can implement them only for specific users. For example, if we have a user on site who logs in, we can set a cookie on that user’s machine to say that they have logged in previously. We could also, for example, check the user’s status (for example on a shopping site, check their lifetime spend, or on a banking site check for certain high-value products owned) and store that in the same cookie.
On future visits, we can check for that cookie. For these ‘high-value’ users, we can ensure that the threshold is lower; if there’s even a hint they are getting angry, we flash a chat window sooner! With chat, there is always the chance that there won’t be enough of the right type of operators to answer the query. For these high-value customers, we can ensure that they are ‘fast-tracked’ to an operator who has the correct level of experience/access to help with any query they may have.
Additionally, for logged in users (where all the data is available without the need to store it from previous sessions), we can trigger chats on certain critical journeys - for example, if a high value user is on the ‘cancel account’ journey, we can trigger the chat window, again ensuring it is directed to an operator who has the right experience and access levels to potentially offer the user the right incentives to keep their account open and remain with the business.
In this way, site owners can look to ensure that their most important, high-value customers stay with their business for as long as possible. Despite it being an unwanted outcome currently, if all else fails, we can pass on the page, to the user, a specific, direct number based on the attributes we’ve already discussed (lifetime spend, account type etc.).
This means bypassing the usual menus and minimising any possible wait times, so that the user gets through to a specific person, who already potentially has an idea of what the call may be about. This further increases efficiency for both user and business, minimising time wasted in menus for the customer, and avoiding any time wasted by a call centre getting the customer to the right person.
If done correctly, the whole journey becomes more efficient, less frustrating for the user, and more profitable for the business. The ideal combination.