Cabela’s Jason Meyer on Leveraging Online Chat for CRM
With shopping cart abandonment rates increasing as consumers become busier, online customer service chat tools present an attractive alternative to long phone hold times. While plenty of companies already offer their customers online chat contact, one company has taken this tool a step further by tracking conversations and using customer suggestions to help implement product enhancements and customer service initiatives. Sidney, Neb.-based outdoor products provider Cabela’s finds online chat is particularly useful for assisting customers with their Internet shopping experience and preventing abandonment of online purchases. It’s also a boon to productivity, since experienced customer service staff can handle several chats at once.
By enabling Cabela’s to create and continually refine a searchable online knowledge base, the program helps ensure that customers can easily find the information they need 24 hours a day on the company’s Web site, which helps cut down on the volume of e-mails and phone calls the Cabela’s contact center has to handle. The result was a noticeable drop in the company’s e-mail volume within a week after implementing the chat feature, powered by Bozeman, Mont.-based CRM software provider RightNow Technologies. In addition, Cabela’s staff can insert any of the 230 “frequently used sayings” plus any of the 300 answers from the knowledge base into its replies with a single click of the mouse; the company now is able to reply to most customer e-mails within 2.5 hours.
Jason Meyer, Cabela’s contact manager of call-center technologies and network services, shared with us how his company leveraged the chat feature for both customer service and tracking data.
Target Marketing: When did you decide to implement the chat feature into your customer service plan, and what was your goal?
Jason Meyer: Our goal is always superior customer service. We want to be easy to do business with, and if a customer wants to contact us through chat or e-mail rather than over the phone, we want to be available for them. We wanted to provide a human touch for our customers. A live person is there if they wish to, or need to, contact us. This provides several different avenues for those customers who don’t necessarily want to pick up the phone.