By Gary E. Barnett, Chief Executive Officer

It can’t have escaped your notice that Customer Experience (CX) is the new battlefield for companies everywhere.

That should come as no surprise, when you consider how today’s consumers face an overwhelming number of choices whenever they shop for goods or services. And who ultimately gets their business is, more often than not, determined by the experiences they encounter along the way.

As it turns out, CX is now the #1 factor, ahead of product or price, that’s driving customer behaviors and purchasing decisions:

  • 86% of consumers say they are prepared to pay more for a better CX
  • 89% of consumers switch to a competitor following a bad CX
  • CX-led businesses have a 9x higher average order value and 1.7x higher customer retention.

All of this explains why creating and managing a great CX is becoming a top priority for brands looking to deliver the positive experiences that not only win over customers – but also keeps them loyal.

It’s also why the contact center is increasingly viewed as being vitally strategic when it comes to executing the CX interactions that today’s consumers demand. Indeed, according to Deloitte, 62% of organizations view CX delivered through their contact centers as a key competitive differentiator.

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Taking CX to the Next Level

With customer expectations at an all-time high, today’s companies are striving to make it easier than ever to interact with them and get answers fast. And they’re taking advantage of a wide array of technologies to improve the delivery of a great CX.

Indeed, today’s omnichannel contact centers are evolving fast—whether that’s utilizing chat bots to help with self-service queries or routing calls to the most appropriate human agent. Or it might mean initiating new live chat channels that enable conversations to flow back and forth with ease or even employing real-time analytics across all channels to detect where agent escalation and intervention may be needed.

In other words, today’s contact centers—increasingly becoming customer experience centers—have pushed traditional CX beyond simple issue resolution to provide more proactive, contextualized and tailored experiences that are personalized to each individual customer.

As a result, the role of agents is evolving fast.

Empowered by new AI tools and bots, agents can interact with customers regardless of where they are in their journey.

They’re also able to engage with customers in the channel of their choice – whether that’s email, social media, live chat, email, or any other digital engagement channel, providing empathetic support and assistance, while guiding customers to a desired outcome fast.

Delivering a Streamlined Payment Experience

Forward thinking organizations have come to recognize that their contact center represents an opportunity to do so much more than simply provide a support service for customers.

It’s precisely for this reason that they’re utilizing secure payment link solutions to transform their contact center into a ‘sales-through-service’ center. By empowering agents to send one-time secure payment links to customers in any channel, they’re making it easy for customers who are ready to complete a transaction to do so in a fast and streamlined way.

With a secure payment link, there’s no need to interrupt the rapport that’s been built between a live chat agent and a customer in a conversational digital channel. Nor do they have to request that a customer utilizes another channel to make their final purchase or payment.

In other words, thanks to today’s secure payment link solutions, any conversation about a product, reservation, ticket or service can be instantly transformed into a ‘there and then’ revenue opportunity.

Similarly, discussions relating to bills, invoices or payment reminders can be guided to a logical conclusion, with the contact center agent remaining on-hand should customers need reassurance or answers to additional questions as payment goes through.

Given that consumers say getting assistance when making a purchase was the second most common reason for using a chatbot in 2019, the opportunities for conversational commerce are significant – and growing.

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Empowering Customers Through Conversational Channels

With CX firmly in their sights, companies are transforming their contact centers into proactive experience hubs that are capable of serving customer needs in a variety of channels. What’s more, by leveraging a range of tools and PCI DSS compliant solutions, they’re harnessing conversational channels and chatbots to empower agents and customers – making it easy for them to move beyond pure issue resolution to transact with confidence.

Alongside helping to streamline the customer decision-making process, companies in the banking, insurance and travel industries are already utilizing today’s payment link solutions to make it seamless and safe for customers to complete transactions once they’ve received the help, advice or clarification they need.

In the process, they’re evolving their omnichannel contact centers into CX powerhouses that are true value-add revenue generators.

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