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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : August 28, 2014

Retailers: Why you need live online assistance for the 2014 holidays

Live engagement - or live video assistance - provides a simple and seamless way for brands to connect with their customers over the web or on mobile devices using voice, video, text, and co-browsing technology. According to one expert, live assistance is going to be big this holiday season.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: What is live assistance and why is this important as retailers move toward the back to school and holiday seasons?

Jim Keller, CEO, Vee24: From a customer perspective, live engagement offers real-time, personalized help with a friendly, knowledgeable agent. By enriching the customer experience with live voice, video and co-browsing, this type of solution allows brands to delight customers with proven impact on performance versus text-only solutions, including higher sales conversion rates, significantly higher average order value and strong customer satisfaction scores.

Our customers typically achieve Net Promoter Scores (NPS), which measure the loyalty that exists between a provider and a consumer, in the 80s through our channel. These results are typically well above the company average and in line with best-in-class industry benchmarks.

Kristina: What are your top 3 tips for implementing live engagement?

Jim: First, find the right technology partner. Many companies say that they can do it all, but that's not always the case. Do your research and try out the experience with other brands that have implemented the technology before selecting a provider, and look for a provider that has a track record of delivering successful solutions to high quality brands. Consider this as well: while video is the watchword, it is features such as screen sharing, finger painting by the operator on the customer's screen, co-form-filling that combine with video to deliver a truly high-value experience, and rich reporting and analytics to track KPIs.

Next, companies want to make sure they are set up to deliver a high-quality video experience that puts their brand in the best possible light. This requires training agents in best practices for live assistance, using a backboard and efficient lighting to create a studio-like experience, having a broadcast monitor mounted so that the agent can maintain proper eye contact with the customer, and making sure that live engagements can be supported regardless of the device, browser or available bandwidth on the customer side.

Lastly, make sure the experience is as seamless as possible for the shopper. That means no additional software downloads or set-up are required. Additionally, give the shopper the option of remaining unseen, so they can see the agent, but the agent cannot see them.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: customer service, ecommerce, ecommerce tips, live assistance, live video assistance, Vee24

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