ResponseiQ Implementation: Increasing Customer Engagement

Introduction

NorthShore Care Supply (www.NorthShoreCare.com) is an Internet Retailer Top 550 website which is the leading direct-to-consumer website in the US for premium incontinence supplies. Founded in 2002, NorthShore specializes in products with sizes, absorbencies and features not typically available in traditional retail stores. Many of NorthShore’s customers are family caregivers searching for a better solution to manage the incontinence of a loved one at home so they can avoid having to move their family member to a group facility such as assisted living facility or nursing home. NorthShore’s website handles over 20,000 sessions per week.

Ordering incontinence products for oneself or a loved one can be a very personal and confusing process as the products look and sound very similar. Many customers browsing the site are already very frustrated having purchased many products without finding a good solution to prevent leaks, especially at night, and are desperate for some expert guidance.

Due to global trends of smaller device screens, reduced attention spans and outsourced customer service, many customers are unable or unwilling to spend enough time browsing the site to find the best solution for them and are afraid that contacting customer service will be just another frustrating experience. We have used a basic “click to call” link previously in our site header before, but had very limited usage of that link.

Goals

  1. Make it blatantly obvious to customers that we have live, local and expert customer support available to them as early in their customer journey as possible.
  1. Reduce the friction associated with having to pick up the phone and call and speak with an unfamiliar person about an embarrassing topic such as incontinence.
  1. Personalize the browsing experience to different from mega sites like Amazon and Walmart.
  1. Educate our customers that we have extended our customer support hours in mornings and evenings, 7 days a week.

Make it blatantly obvious to customers that we have live, local and expert customer support available to them as early in their customer journey as possible.

The ResponseiQ widget accomplishes all of these items in much more recognizable way than traditional links and content. In one controllable pop-up, we are able to let customers know that we have expert support agents ready and able to help them from our Illinois headquarters. No longer do we have to wait and hope that they scroll to the appropriate content sections of our site to find out this information. The ResponseiQ widget is expanded at the time that is quick enough to reach customers before the bounce from the site, but not too quick so they will want to close the pop-up without even reading the content. Customers need to feel comfortable they are on a site of value to them before they spend any time reading content in pop-ups. The vast majority of our new browsers are not familiar with our site and services prior to clicking onto our site so we need to give them a bit of breathing space to digest the content before pressing them to reach out to us.

Reduce the friction associated with having to pick up the phone and call and speak with an unfamiliar person about an embarrassing topic such as incontinence.

While we have always prominently displayed our phone number on every page of our website, we know that many people are struggling with how to manage their incontinence and are reluctant to pick up the phone and dial themselves to speak with a stranger about this issue. The ResponseiQ widget makes it super easy to break down this barrier and allow the customer to be the recipient of a call instead of having to initiate the call. We have had customers thank us for this feature and let us know that would not likely have called us to discuss their needs without this feature.

Personalize the browsing experience to different from mega sites like Amazon and Walmart.

In order to differentiate our site from Amazon and other mega sites as much as possible, we need to connect with our customers on a more personal level to build confidence and loyalty to overcome the massive influence that Amazon has on consumer buying habits in the USA. The ResponseiQ widget allows us to display a photo of our company founder along with a name so that the customer feels that they are getting personal attention from the owner of our company. This is part of a broader effort to connect our customers with the employees that service them. We also include on our packing list the names of both the customer service agent that entered the order and the warehouse employee that picked and packed the order. Customers appreciate that real people are assisting them, not just robots or an impersonal corporate fulfillment operation.

Educate our customers that we have extended our customer support hours in mornings and evenings, 7 days a week.

For many years our customer support team has been available from 7am to 6pm on weekdays and 8am to 2pm on weekends. In order to better serve customers at the same time they are browsing on our site, we have initiated a plan this year to move towards 24/7 customer support. Toward that goal, we have made an initial step to extend support hours to 6am to 10pm weekdays and 8am to 8pm weekends. However, even though we know many customers are browsing our site at these extended hours, most are not aware and not expecting that live support is available at those times. We can no longer expect that customers will take the effort to contact us the next day and needed a way to let customers know that agents are ready and waiting to assist them at these extended hours. The ResponseiQ widget is a great tool to accomplish this goal as it clearly identifies to the customer when we are ready to assist them immediately and allows the customer to schedule a convenient time for a callback if they are beyond our support hours. This is increasing the number of customer calls, especially during the extended hours.

Summary

The ResponseiQ widget has been a very valuable tool to increase customer engagement with our customer support team which results in maximized customer loyalty and increased conversions and average order size. We have proven that customers that engage our customer support team earlier will find the best product solution for their needs sooner and be much more likely to be a long-term customer of NorthShore and avoid the temptation to buy cheaper products on Amazon and other sites. The ResponseiQ team has been very responsive to our needs so that the widget could be configured exactly right for our site and customers so that it only reduces friction and does not pop-up at times where customers are trying to check out or cover up important content on our site.

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