In our previous blog we addressed how to improve the customer experience on your website, an important start to prevent customer abandonment. In this blog we address the tools available to support the onboarding process that customers access once they decide to purchase.
4. Application forms must be digital
If your purchase processes require customers to fill out a form, make it as easy as possible for customers to submit forms to you. Form abandonment occurs when a customer start to fill out a form and then for one reason or another abandons the process. Studies have shown that form abandonment is costing companies in the billions from lost sales.
No longer can you expect customers to print out a form, sign it, scan it and then send it back. To make processes as simple as possible, you need to provide customers with a digital application form, optimized to their device, that enables them to digitally sign their signature and upload documentation or rich media directly to the form.
While conversion rates vary in terms of the type of form that customers fill out (contests have a much higher conversion rates as opposed to providing contact details), what is consistent, is that the more information fields on the form, the less likely people will complete them. So, while forms are often used as an information gathering exercise, if your primary goal is to sell, than be highly selective on the questions that your going to require your leads to fill in.
Ensure that application forms are no longer provided in PDF format, but are fully digital. There are numerous benefits to fully digitized forms. Data is continuously auto saved and therefore never lost, customers can switch between devices or channels and never have to start the form from the beginning. If well integrated, customer details can be automatically populated to an application form. This reduces the number of fields a customer needs to fill in, increasing their probability of completing the form by as much as 85 percent.
Digital forms can be designed to be highly dynamic by incorporating contingent elements such as; and, or, if, more than, less than, equal to, etc. This enables subsequent screens shown to a customer can be varied according to their circumstances. For example, mortgage loan application form, if the customer puts in a certain income bracket, according to the logic set by the administrator, the next screen may be the relevant interest rate offer. The ability to customize the self-service journey, keeps the process short and seamless.
5. Nothing fosters trust, like human touch
Perhaps what is most important is ensuring that human interaction with a live agent is always available. While the features mentioned above are designed to keep onboarding processes short and sweet with optimized self-service, there are times when customers want to speak with a human being. There are numerous reasons; obtain confirmation, make a dispute, seek more information. If they’re unable to speak with a human being, they’re undoubtedly going to abandon the process. Therefore it’s critical to enable live human interactions with an agent at any point in the customer journey to acquisition.
Furthermore these live interactions needs to be optimized to ensure resolution. Agents can be provided with tools that work in real time to support their collaboration with customers. Features include the ability to share screens, co-browse documents, host live video chats and exchange rich media. This higher level of collaboration provides an added clarity that would otherwise only be available in a face to face interaction, ensuring any issue, no matter how complex, can be easily resolved.
Companies have only achieved half the battle by bringing customers to interact with them. To ensure the battle is won they need to overcome, or dramatically reduce, customer abandonment rates. The key is keeping processes as easy to use and as quick as possible through optimized self-service interactions. However if human assistance is required, it’s important that it is available, as a positive interaction is critical to building customer loyalty and trust.