How to Close the Abandoned Cart Loop Every Time

“Excuse me, is there anything I can help with?” Says the perfectly polished sales person at your favourite store. They aren’t pushy, they are available, knowledgeable and helpful.

 

And on the back wall of the staff room their sales numbers are off the chart. They capture every possible sale with efficiency, courtesy and a subtle tenacity.

 

It’s too bad that same in-person experience can’t be replicated in your eCommerce store…or can it?

 

While we can’t read a person’s body language online we certainly have the data to predict their interests and intent. Combining that data with artificial intelligence allows every online store to convert potential abandoned cart scenarios or translate them into wish lists for a later purchase.

 

Abandoned Cart Detection

 

With extensive experience in developing eCommerce stores we know there are certain types of browsing activity that precede an abandoned cart. This data, combined with demographics and browsing behaviour deliver an informed assistant approach.

 

Abandoned Cart Conversation

 

On detection of the pre-abandonment activity your AI sales agent pulls on various data sources to inform their offer of assistance.

 

Brand New Visitors

 

Making a first impression counts as much online as in-person so polished offers of help are an important way to start. Why not offer them a discount too for their first purchase? The clever assistant can even apply the discount to an existing cart, removing some of the checkout friction.

 

Returning Visitors

 

Having contact details provides the best opportunity to start a conversation and ultimately convert into a sale. So if a return visitor is browsing and even adding to cart incentivise them to that next step by suggesting compatible products, supporting articles or videos, or a review that might just sway their behaviour.
Validating their journey based on the journey of others is a great way to open dialogue and get to the point where you can formalise your communication on other channels such as email, chat apps or even SMS.

 

Existing Customers

 

They’ve likely already made a purchase and invested some trust in your store, so the conversation is slightly different here. You’ve got the contact details, consider the best way engender loyalty providing unique discounts. If you’ve noticed they abandon carts regularly ask them why and then deliver follow up specific to how they answer.

 

Abandoned Cart Conversion

 

The above strategies are tailored to the customer type but ultimately all serve to personalise their shopping experience and convert them to paying customers on each shopping trip.
If they are not ready now, let them save the cart for later and use your AI sales agent to manage the wish list reminder process.
Using AI to solve the abandoned cart problem is about putting all of the pieces of shopper data together into one insightful puzzle.

3 Reasons A.I. Customer Service Makes Financial Sense

As customers, we will never go backwards. We will keep demanding more and better and faster. If we don’t get it, we will vote with our feet and our social media voices.

As businesses, if we don’t invest in continuously improving customer service we can only compete on price, that joyless race to the bottom.

If you’re serious about a great customer experience then it’s time to get real about artificial intelligence (AI) because the return on investment is measurable and significant.

Businesses implementing AI in their customer experience are not replacing their existing model, they are augmenting the model where it makes financial sense. So where does it make sense?

Customer Support Cost Reduction

As organisations add new customers or new products and services their customer support request volumes increase. Using an automated agent as a first responder resolves the simple, repetitive requests that don’t require human intervention.

When the requests are more complex or require escalation the automated agent delivers a warmed up customer where the live support agent is briefed on the customer need and the customer does not have to repeat the basics of their issue.

Real Savings

Reduction in support requests requiring a live agent and/or a phone call.
Live agents maximise productivity in dealing with a smaller volume of more complex tasks that only a human being can solve and reducing the brain drain of answering repetitive questions.
Machine learning from automated agent conversations is more rapidly mobilised into website FAQ and support documentation.

Expansion of Customer Self-Service

Companies with developed customer portals already allow customers to manage their own accounts, but customers still want and need a helping hand even if they are logged into a portal.

Once authenticated, automated agents can better support the customer based on their personal history within the portal. Transactions, previously logged support requests and access to rebates and discounts are just a sample of what an automated agent can serve up all in one place and in one conversation.

Real Savings

Reducing customer churn. Providing an adaptable, personalised experience and delivering information in a timely and useful way is critical for customer retention.
For organisations it provides real time feedback on how well the customer portal is functioning. Easily gauge and improve on the customer experience by understanding what is used and/or confused.

Improved Sales Conversions

For eCommerce sites reducing any point of purchase friction is a critical, but sometimes frustrating pursuit. In the case of some businesses the retail experience is only online, and overheads are already stretched across multiple areas of the business and staffing a phone or live chat 24/7 isn’t financially viable.

Using a combination of automated support and personalised data retrieval, customers receive timely advice, supported by previous purchase data and available loyalty rewards.

Improved Bottom Line

  1. More sales conversions per site visitors and/or unique sessions
  2. Less abandoned carts
  3. Improved sales through remarketing efforts

Using AI to enhance the customer experience has clear financial benefits, but it also helps improve the person to person experience too.

As customers we want to know our money and our time is valued and adding AI to the customer support experience doesn’t just say that, it SHOWS it.

Women ARE Bad Drivers And Robots ARE Evil

Traitor…that is likely the nicest thing my female colleagues, team members, friends and family are thinking right now. Shame on me really, because I’m here to tell you why we should throw those antiquated ideas out the (car) window.

 

Women, on average, are are looking after more than one person at any given time, requiring more patience and thought in getting from here to there.  So if we take a bit more time or allow more than one car to merge remember the literal and metaphorical band-aid at the back of our mind.

 

The Light Bulb Moment

 

As a managing director I think a lot about our customers and the service experience we deliver. The best win we get is the light bulb moment on a client’s face telling us we nailed it and frankly I got into this business because of those damn light bulb moments. Helping people can be addictive and (spoiler alert) the IT industry is actually full of people like me.

 

So we love these “nailed it” moments but in reality we now have to nail it each time customers need our help, not just when we are face to face.

 

As our client base grows we have to be more strategic about that “nailed it” service delivery. How do we keep the service personal and effective, but expand it in a smart way?

 

The statistics around our customer service expectations are that at least 50% of us expect it to be 24/7. We also don’t want our time to be in vain, spending precious time on the phone, only to not get the answer or solve the problem.

 

Over time technology has rushed to fill the gap, sometimes quite effectively. Live Chat, as an example, is a personal and convenient conversation that can help us get the answer we seek or progress it to a point where we know what we need to do next.

 

What live chat does not fully solve, and it is a big gap for companies, is true scalability. As you grow your client base you need more team members to staff the chat. You train them on the same content, the same procedures and sit them in the same desk solving the same problems. Formulaic but not cost-effective in the long run.

 

Our own light bulb moment came last year when we saw how far artificial intelligence had come. Google, Apple and Facebook have been at this for years, but for the rest of us the technology has evolved from esoteric movie fodder to something far more practical and democratic.

 

Artificial Intelligence For Business

 

Companies of all sizes and industries can now have their own personalised service agent using artificial intelligence. Think of it as a harmonic merge of Siri and live chat, tailored for your business objectives.

 

Front line chat agents are expediters to the end game, allowing companies to be “on” all the time cost-effectively. They free up people on your team to excel at solving the complex issues, allowing you to hire for unique skills rather than repetitive tasks that scream low ROI.

 

While this opportunity may sound scary to some make no mistake, your competitors, your board, the CEO is already thinking about this. It is time for all of us to join the conversation and make technology work for us, improving the service experience while still preserving our fundamental humanity and those beautiful light bulb moments.