September 23, 2010, 1:15 PM

Click-to-call and click-to-chat can drive sales and recover lost revenue

ATG’s live help features deliver up to a 304% return on investment.

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Consumers often need a little push—to complete an order or add to their order—or a helping hand to resolve site-related issues, which is where Art Technology Group Inc.’s click-to-call or click-to-chat features come in.

The two customer service features can help prospective customers complete, or add to, their purchases and can assist existing customers with customer service issues. That’s why the two features deliver a 304% return on investment, according to a new Forrester Consulting report commissioned by ATG based on interviews with three retailers and three airlines. Forrester then used that data to create a composite e-commerce site.

The report found that both click-to-call and click-to-chat features offer consumers the ability to resolve site, product, billing or purchasing issues quickly. The features can also reduce support costs by deflecting more costly phone calls. 

And, because the customer service features are both proactive and reactive, agents can field consumers’ requests for assistance, as well as help other customers with purchasing issues, which can lead to an uptick in conversion and order values.

For instance, Forrester estimates that the click-to-call and click-to-chat features boosted the composite company’s average order values by about 23%, from $115 to $141, due primarily to the call center agents’ abilities to upsell and cross-sell merchandise to customers who use click to call before checking out. 

The two features also can help recover revenue from online sales that otherwise would be lost, says the report. For instance, because they provide a direct way to communicate with customer service agents, click-to-call and click-to-chat features can help retailers quickly respond to technical difficulties, such as a bug on the web site.

“By improving the cross-channel shopping experience and bridging the web channel to the contact center, the interviewed organizations were able to provide support when it was most needed in real time to help complete a higher percentage of online transactions,” says the report.

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