The Internet Revolution’s greatest impact on the retail industry has been to deliver greater self-service power to shoppers. Where shoppers once depended almost solely upon in-store sales clerks and toll-free contact center agents for in-depth information and to execute purchases, the internet added a channel that was often-times more helpful and convenient for shoppers while simultaneously less expensive for retailers. Customer satisfaction rose, margins increased, prices dropped and selection increased.
What followed the initial euphoria was an effort to train the late adopters. Banking provides an excellent example. Prior to the Internet Revolution, banks had already gone through such a process when the automatic teller machine (ATM) arrived. Transaction costs shrank and customers were serviced more quickly and with fewer errors. But most banking customers continued to wait in line for a human teller, even for simple withdrawals and deposits. Banks instructed tellers how to train their customers to conduct basic transactions using the newly-introduced ATM card. Most banks provided tellers financial incentives for getting customers to use the new technology. Once the ATM matured into a normal part of banking, the Internet Revolution introduced online banking and online bill-paying. Transaction costs shrank further and customers could be serviced faster and from the convenience of the home. But yet again, banks had to execute a strategy to migrate their customers to this more convenient and efficient medium.
While the Internet Revolution has shifted a significant amount of activity from offline interaction to online interaction, offline business has not gone away. Instead, offline business has experienced the Internet Revolution in its own way. Continuing with the banking example, the professional teller of today now conducts very few simple transactions and spends most of his or her day conducting complex banking transactions, which only a couple decades earlier were reserved for more senior bank employees.
With the Internet Revolution now approaching the end of its second decade, businesses have turned their attention away from migrating customers online, and are now focused on online-offline optimization. For many businesses, the agent at the receiving end of a conventional toll-free number is the one who closes the sale with the interested but undecided online visitor. These businesses have developed—and often published—metrics that show how providing a toll-free number on the website enhances overall customer experience, accelerates resolutions, improves conversion rates and increases average order values.
Achieving website – contact center optimization is not an easy task. Every placement of the toll-free number on the website encourages interested but undecided online visitors to speak with the contact center. More prominent placements (bolder colors, larger type, and better locations) mean more calls. But not all calls come from serious buyers. Contact centers also receive telephone inquiries from curious visitors who have absolutely no intention of even making a purchase. A business that is serious about optimizing the relationship between the website and the contact center needs to continually experiment with different placement options for contact information.
Additionally, achieving website – contact center optimization is not a one time exercise. Not only do our customers change over time but new technologies create new options for improved optimization. Many firms, for example, have implemented Live Chat on their websites. Live Chat is similar to instant messenger technology, except no signup or download is required. Companies deploy Live Chat on their website next to their other contact options such as email and the toll-free number. While not as personal as a voice call, Live Chat is often very efficient because contact center agents can carry on as many as four chat sessions simultaneously while taking advantage of pre-written answers to common inquiries.
Click-for-Call is another tool many firms have implemented. Click-for-Call lets online visitors enter their telephone number online and shortly thereafter, either receive a call from a contact center agent or the phone rings and gives them a connection as if they had simply dialed a toll-free number.
Perhaps the biggest change occurring right now that is affecting website – contact center optimization is the increasing use of mobile and portable devices. We discuss this change in more detail in our February 2012 post, Web-Browsing from the Coach or the Patio. Suddenly screens and keyboards are smaller and more awkward, and hands that were once free to hold conventional telephone now need to hold or steady the mobile or portable device.
Zingaya gives businesses a new tool to add to their arsenal for achieving website – contact center optimization. It is a Click-to-Call button. Not to be confused with Click-for-Call, Zingaya’s solution let’s customers call into a contact center with a single click. No phone or download is required. Website operators simply embed Zingaya’s click-to-call button next to their other contact options. A single click initiates a call directly to the contact center. The Zingaya call button is easy to create and deploy because it is just a few lines of auto-generated HTML code. Small businesses can sign up directly from our website for as little as $19.95 per month. Larger businesses, including the most demanding enterprises, can work with our sales and service team to craft a competitive package that will deliver a significant ROI.
Check out our small business plans here. Alternatively, use one of the contact options below to connect with our sales and service team. You can even use Zingaya’s click-to-call button to reach us from your browser!
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