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Keeping It Real With Multimedia Live Engagement

By Yuval H. Moed
Aug 4, 2011 5:00 AM PT

By this point in the evolution of e-commerce, most e-tailers know the benefits of live engagement. Website visitors are three times more likely to make a purchase when they have the support of a sales representative.

Keeping It Real With Multimedia Live Engagement

Just as in brick-and-mortar stores, interacting with a knowledgeable person in real-time creates a connection to the customer that increases profits. Unlike physical shopping experiences, however, too many e-businesses see text chat as the only form of live engagement.

Unfortunately, text-based chat does not feed the consumer's desire to see a product in action, to view images of it from a variety of angles, or to have the guidance of an expert in reading specifications or filling out purchase forms. All of these enhanced methods of live engagement are now widely available.

For e-businesses that adopt multimedia applications to augment traditional live chat, the potential benefits are great.

Increased ROI on Landing Pages and Banner Ads

When marketing plans include PPC or other campaigns, put a multimedia collaboration call button on those assets.

By including call buttons on landing pages and banner ads, e-businesses encourage sales before prospects even reach their sites. Organizations can further encourage interaction by offering customers an incentive for clicking the call button, such as a discount or free shipping.

Seek out the places on the Web where prospects gather to research products and make their purchasing decisions. Product comparison and review sites are fertile grounds for showcasing the availability of sales agents.

When visitors click through via banner ads on such websites, service representatives can share and annotate product videos, images and other sales assets, and even demonstrate a product via a live video feed, all in an effort to gain business before the visitor ever reaches the company's actual website.

The Ability to Capture More Relevant, Lucrative Keywords

Listening to customers pays great dividends. With more methods for connecting to visitors, website owners increase the opportunities to hear what prospects have to say about their purchase plans.

This information can help e-businesses optimize marketing activities, including pay-per-click, search engine marketing (SEM) and banner ad campaigns.

There are numerous ways to tap into the voice of the customer. The most straightforward is to ask contact center agents to write down what they hear most frequently.

For businesses that use a live chat system, review the transcripts for terms that visitors cite. For more in-depth feedback, host video chats with visitors. These video sessions can serve as virtual focus groups for a marketing team, enabling it to ascertain the interest and characteristics of likely buyers.

Transformation of Customer Service Reps Into True Salespeople

With an interactive product catalog, e-sales agents can co-browse with visitors, leading prospects to items of interest and enlarging product images to aid in further discussion.

With this collaborative capability, customer service representatives are transformed into personal shoppers who can show items using a host of tools, including text, voice, video chat, live video feed, product videos, images and photographs.

During the collaboration session, these personal shoppers can support browsing, as well as buying, since catalogs can be integrated with other applications that enable collaborative completion of purchase orders, shopping cart checkout and PayPal forms.

More Catered Experience for VIP Customers

On site, VIP customers might get additional attention from staff, private viewing rooms or other amenities. Real-time multimedia collaboration enables e-businesses to provide this gold-level of service as well.

Marketers can create a section of the website for high-touch or white glove sales calls, and invite visitors to click on a live engagement call button for a private viewing.

During these sessions, which can incorporate video chat for greater customer support, sales agents can place items of interest in front of a camera for the visitor to view in real time on his or her computer.

Upsell Opportunities

Multimedia assets are more effective in conversion rates than text-only websites. By incorporating videos into live chat sessions, e-sales agents can increase sales. Give them the capability to explore an item of interest by playing, pausing and even annotating videos.

Once these efforts secure a buyer's interest, e-business representatives can continue the collaboration with joint form completion and electronic signatures. Customers and reps can jointly review, collaborate, append an electronic signature, and save the finished results.

E-Businesses Boost ROI of Live Engagement

Live chat was a boon to early e-businesses. Consumers want a personal connection to the companies with which they do business, and they often need support in the purchasing process.

Text chat is effective in starting conversations, but to ensure conversions, multimedia live engagement is becoming an indispensable tool.


Yuval H. Moed is cofounder and CEO of HBR Labs, which develops VeriShow, a 100 percent SaaS-based collaboration platform that operates in the Internet cloud and focuses on the needs to improve online customer service.


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