Facilitating remote teams by replacing calls with messaging

eCommerce Trend Watch: 3rd edition

COVID Trend remote replacing calls messaging

 

Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, iAdvize’s conversational platform has tracked nearly 13 million transactions and registered more than 18 million messages exchanged between brands and their customers. Analyzing this data allows us to create a Trend Watch, to better inform a company’s decision-makers. This week, the spotlight is on replacing calls with messaging, a strategy that has been helping our customers ensure the continuity of their remote staff.

 

Lately, during the coronavirus, businesses have been encouraged to organize a remote structure to ensure the health and safety of their employees. To maintain the continuity of their services, many are turning toward messaging, an easily accessible solution for teams working at home. This strategy allows our partners to maintain a high level of customer satisfaction.

Online chat has effectively become, in a short amount of time, the B2C communication channel which is most preferred by consumers. Research by Accenture on next-generation customer service shows that buyers’ digital expectations are on the rise. They expect to obtain as much information as possible online and to be able to interact with companies in real-time. 70% of consumers prefer to contact customer service via messaging as opposed to by phone.*

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1. One ongoing trend on our platform

We are continuing to observe an overall increase in the number of messaging conversations held on the conversational platform since the 24th of February, driven by the consumer products industry: +35% of conversations in the consumer products industry between the week of February 24th and the week of March 23rd. This is compared to a decrease in the travel and transportation sectors (-42%) and services (-12%).

This increase in the volume of conversations is explained in particular by a 15% increase in the click rate, specifically, the proportion of visitors who click on the chat button to benefit from online assistance.

At the same time, from early March we have noticed a significant increase in the number of representatives created on our platform.

COVID graph agent creation trend increase iAdvize
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2. Why are brands turning to online conversations?

From inaccessibility to specialized tools, to noisy kids playing in the background… making phone calls can be an impossible task for some of those working from home. As a solution, online conversations allow representatives to respond to queries from home, without interference.

In addition to the ease of working remotely, messaging has several advantages compared to telephone calls:

  • The possibility of piloting multiple conversations simultaneously as a way of improving productivity

On average, professional representatives are allowed to conduct 2 chat conversations at the same time. For some of our clients, it’s as many as 6 simultaneous conversations.

  • The possibility to automate responses to simple and frequent questions and to offer assistance at any time.

We have been seeing a significant increase in the proportion of conversations managed entirely by bots: these were multiplied by 3.5 (from 6% to 21%) between the week of February 17th and the week of March 23rd. The proportion of conversations pre-qualified by a bot has doubled (from 8% to 16%). This trend is being driven by both large international customers who have skillfully pushed the envelope on automation, and by large partners who deployed bots starting from mid-March.

COVID graph automation level iAdvize conversational platform
  • The opportunity to collect and analyze client messages

Our conversational platform generates thousands of interactions between brands and their customers. From the exchanges we tracked, we are able to extract themes and authenticate statistics to better understand customer concerns; one example being the topic of deliveries.

  • Quick turnaround equals high customer satisfaction

We all know the frustration that comes with being stuck on the phone when the help desk puts you on hold. The use of online conversation gives the customer the freedom to focus on other tasks while contacting customer service. In addition, this solution offers relatively short wait times, as seen in our customer case studies. One client, Le Petit Vapoteur, showed an average response time of 15 seconds in the 3rd week of March thanks to the deployment of 17 online representatives.

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3. The expansion of messaging for remote working: Client case study – Le Petit Vapoteur

In order to meet the challenges the COVID-19 has created, one of our clients, Le Petit Vapoteur, took action: to better respond to the queries of their customers, they replaced telephone assistance with messaging and thus, put its representatives to work remotely. Watch this video to discover the strategy:

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4. Other case studies

In the financial sector, one of our online banking clients decided to prioritize messaging to preserve the quality of the customer experience as it pertains to remote representatives. In the 3rd week of March, they deployed around 20 representatives online to treat clientele reassurance requests. The conversational platform is a SaaS solution, meaning that agents can easily access it from anywhere.

A pre-qualification chatbot is being deployed to do two things: redirect visitors to the coronavirus information page, and transfer all specific questions to the dedicated representatives.
Results :
– The volume of treated conversations has multiplied by 6 since the 16th of March as compared to the preceding weeks. The number of hours that representatives have dedicated to responding to queries has multiplied by 14.
– Client satisfaction after having a conversation has increased despite the change of channel, it has jumped by 2 points between the 4th and the 2nd week of March.
– The response time of the representatives remains good, despite the high volume of requests, with a first response time of less than a minute.

 

In the business services sector, one of our French clients was forced to close its call centers due to the regulations imposed by the state in mid-March. Without missing a beat, they trained their sales representatives to handle pre-sales on the conversational platform. Nearly a dozen employees were thus deployed from their homes to respond to queries from the companies via messaging.
Results :
– 26 representatives are connected to the platform to guide visitors, pre and post-sales, in the last week of March.
– Client satisfaction has remained high and stable despite this change in strategy
– The volume of conversations has multiplied by 4 between the beginning of March and the 3rd week.
– The first response time has improved over the last few weeks, dropping down to less than 30 seconds.

 

*Accenture, Next generation customer service, 2019