Once you have identified which customers are your most valuable VIPs, the next step is to treat them accordingly every time they come online. That means providing attentive and even proactive care. Here are the best ways to never miss a VIP:
1. Leverage your CRM data
To properly identify VIP customers when they come calling, you need to integrate your customer engagement platform with the lifeblood of your business – your customer database. For many B2B companies this will be your CRM system, but it could easily be any central store of customer data including your accounting or shipping systems.
Salesforce.com information embedded in the Comm100 agent console.
Using integrations and software APIs (Application Program Interfaces, a software ‘layer’ built into many solutions that allows them to connect to other systems) you can feed customer purchase history directly into your customer service solution, allowing for easy VIP identification. If a customer service agent engages with someone who should be but isn’t a VIP, they can simply tag them accordingly for future identification.
Even without a robust CRM system you should still be able to apply VIP labels to different customers within your customer engagement platform. For example, the Comm100 platform includes tagging as a standard feature.
2. Leverage shopping cart data
Much like CRM data, information from your shopping cart platform can play a vital role in identifying your VIPs. Imagine being able to know when a customer or prospect has filled their cart beyond a specific value – might that change the way you serve them? We hope so! With shopping cart abandonment being one of the most frustrating challenges for your e-commerce business, you should be pursuing every opportunity you have to prevent it.
Comm100’s Live Chat Benchmark Report found that, on average, five percent of proactive chats are accepted and result in a conversation. If you automate an initial outreach based on shopping cart data, just think of how many more conversion-driving interactions you could be having with your customers!
3. Take advantage of advanced routing rules
Once you’ve integrated your customer database, you can then use that data to take advantage of your engagement platform’s flexible routing and segmentation capabilities to make sure that your VIPs always get to the right person.
Routing rule management in the Comm100 admin console.
If you have different departments in your company that use your customer engagement platform – for example Sales and Customer Service – you can create rules that direct incoming queries to the appropriate department. You can even assign specific agents to smaller groups or sub-departments that cater to their specialty (for example, Western United States or Banking). Routing rules can be used to automatically send identified customers to your support team and right sub-department while routing prospects to the correct sales team.
Some customer engagement platforms have visitor segmentation tools that allow agents to be notified of VIP presence in real-time. For example, if an Exceptionally Angry Customer VIP lands on your site, your designated support team or individual agent will be notified. If an ABM company lands on the website, then the designated sales team will be notified, ensuring a fully accommodating experience.
In your CRM, mark each type of VIP with a naming convention so your agents know immediately what kind of VIP they’re working with when they appear in the customer engagement portal. For example, your agent can see that an inbound chat that was routed to them is marked as “VIP-Spend-5” for VIP, big spender, top priority, or “VIP-Upset-2”. Assigning them this status can also initiate unique SLAs (service level agreements) in your customer engagement platform, such as how quickly the agent needs to respond to the VIP.
4. Employ account managers
With some types of VIPs, it’s paramount that you have an account manager at the ready who knows them and their situation front-to-back. Partners, ABM accounts, high-spending B2B clients, and healthcare patients may all require designated account managers for high-end personalized service.
79 percent of business buyers say it’s critical to interact with a salesperson who is a trusted advisor and adds value to their business — not just any old sales rep. By giving top-tier VIPs a direct line of communication to their respective salespeople and account managers, you can boost conversions while also increasing the quality of your online relationship.
Your customer engagement platform should allow VIPs to see whether their account manager is online when they log into their account on your website and leave them a live chat message even if they aren’t. The account manager will instantly receive a notification that includes the offline message from the customer. This helps prevent your team from missing communications from your most important VIPs.
5. Use multiple chat campaigns
When it comes to live chat on your website or in your mobile app, not every page carries the same sense of urgency care-wise. There are times when even a VIP with a dedicated account manager just needs simple, immediate support from the next available agent. Your live chat platform should offer you the flexibility to respond ‘differently’ based on where the chat is initiated. For example, VIP chats from a support page should be routed to their assigned team, but a chat from a blog post could be fielded by anyone. This can also work for different times of the day and is great for when account managers are not online.
Wherever your VIP customers are coming from, be sure to personalize your interactions. Use your VIP’s name and relevant contextual information (such as a reference to the last time they contacted you) in your conversations. This shows your VIPs that you know exactly who they are and that you’re glad to be there for them.
6. Deliver digital omnichannel support and sales
A VIP promise doesn’t mean much if it’s confined to one channel. VIP prospects and customers want a VIP experience no matter how they reach out.
75 percent of business buyers say that connected processes are very important to winning their business. Connected processes help salespeople do their job, too; 81 percent of sales representatives believe it is important to have a connected view of data across the entire customer journey. Customer service agents would agree!
When you implement a digital omnichannel customer engagement platform, you can rest assured that your top-priority VIPs will never fall through the cracks across different digital channels. Your agents and representatives will always have a unified view of their complete engagement history, regardless of which digital channels they engage on – and that’s precisely what all your customers expect.
When your agents can see details about every ongoing, unresolved query at their fingertips, your customers will never have to repeat themselves. Eliminate this and you’ll have taken a great stride forward in improving customer service.
The Comm100 agent console centralizes messages from all channels into a unified view
7. Nurture your VIPs
Your business just wouldn’t be the same without your VIPs. So, let them know you care! Here are some of the ways that you can nurture your VIPs to create a strong and steady relationship:
- Shower them in perks
Depending on your type of business, you can offer VIPs perks such as exclusive sales, access to premium content (such as useful webinars), early access to products, or even a VIP dinner or event. The right tokens of appreciation can boost your VIP’s loyalty and increase their lifetime value. Because you have their interaction history, you’ll know which is their preferred channel that you should invite them on. Remember to ask yourself what your VIPs need and want when deciding on perks; after all, there’s no point in offering something that your VIPs aren’t really interested in.
- Offer white-glove proactive assistance
Don’t miss out on an opportunity to help a VIP that is visiting your website – extend exclusive care by offering your support before they even ask. With proactive chat, companies can automate messages that align with each customer’s situation and engage them when they need it most. By checking your proactive chat acceptance rate, you can adjust your routing rules according to what’s working and watch your VIP support grow increasingly helpful and timely.
- Offer video chat assistance
Like any great relationship, face time is key to developing trust and rapport with your customers and prospects. While you likely want to benefit from chat concurrency with your usual web visitors – your agents handling multiple conversations at once – you may want to employ oneon-one video chats with your VIPs. Switching the live chat to a video call or screen mirroring can help you build a closer relationship with your VIPs and also troubleshoot queries faster. Giving them your representative’s undivided attention is the perfect way to make them feel special and understood.
A video chat in the Comm100 chat window.
Make sure that your customer support team knows exactly what’s expected of them when handling VIPs by standardizing your service. What’s the expected turnaround time for responding to VIP complaints and inquiries? What’s the appropriate response time, or handle time? What exclusive support do they get, if any, that other customers don’t? In which cases should you switch to video chat assistance? By answering these questions ahead of time, your company can set up these rules in your customer engagement system to tell your agents, so they don’t have to think twice. This will help the whole team provide a consistent, comprehensive, and repeatable VIP experience.