Ultimate guide to the Assisted Conversion Funnel
01
Introduction
Ultimate guide to the Assisted Conversion Funnel
02
History
Ultimate guide to the Assisted Conversion Funnel
03
The 3 Types of Conversion Funnels
Ultimate guide to the Assisted Conversion Funnel
04
Conversion Funnels by the Numbers
Ultimate guide to the Assisted Conversion Funnel
05
Steps To Building Your Assisted Funnel
Ultimate guide to the Assisted Conversion Funnel
06
The Best Assisted Funnels
Ultimate guide to the Assisted Conversion Funnel
07
Conclusion
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Ultimate guide to the Assisted Conversion Funnel
01 Introduction
Across all of our partners, we’ve seen average handle time decrease by an average of 25%, customer satisfaction increase by over 15%, and an increase in online conversations up to 10X relative previous rates.

01 Introduction

Since 2012, SaleMove’s solutions have facilitated millions of engagements between customers and companies across various industries. We’re driven by our mission to bring the in-person customer experience online, which we achieve by leveraging our seamless, secure, and scalable engagement platform. With live observation, chat, audio, video, and our patented CoBrowsing, we provide companies more context than ever to help provide their customers a more personalized experience.

Many leading US banks and insurance agencies rely on SaleMove to help their agents facilitate online sales and servicing, and the results speak for themselves. Across all of our partners, we’ve seen average handle time decrease by an average of 25%, customer satisfaction increase by over 15%, and an increase in online conversations up to 10X relative previous rates.

Today, we find ourselves in a unique position having accumulated five years of rich engagement data between companies and their customers. We’ve seen a myriad of strategies and tactics, both successful and unsuccessful. Ultimately, we’ve seen companies revolutionize the way they do business online. In this paper, we will leverage both our customers’ and our own experiences to introduce a fundamentally different approach to thinking about the digital customer experience.

Daniel Michaeli Co-founder & CEO of SaleMove
Justin DiPietro Co-founder & COO of SaleMove
Ultimate guide to the Assisted Conversion Funnel
02 History

02 History

Throughout history, whenever a customer wanted to interact with a company, the customer would travel to the business’s location and speak with a sales or service agent to complete the transaction. Conversion was relatively predictable because most customers who had already committed to travelling to a business’s location were likely to complete a purchase.
With the introduction of the telephone, customers gained the ability to interact with a business wherever and whenever they wanted. Phone calls followed the same in-person structure, where a customer would call in, speak with an agent, and transact. This became such a convenient practice that today 1 in 25 US employees work in a call center.
Everything changed, however, with the advent of the internet. From a business perspective, the internet has served two distinct purposes: displaying information to customers and moving customers through a funnel to complete a process. Although initially online businesses focused on displaying information, today, funnel completion is a cornerstone of almost every online business strategy.
For the first time in history, customers are able to complete a transaction without actually speaking to a person, giving rise to the “self-serve” funnel. Despite the apparent convenience of self-serve, customers have been relatively slow to adopt this funnel, with only 8% of sales happening online by the end of 2016. Although the internet and digitization have brought about a huge disruption in the way business is conducted, call centers are handling more calls than ever. With the rise of mobile phones, the volume of calls to call centers is expected to double from 2016 to 2020.


Explosive Growth in Mobile Call Volumes Due to Search
When constructing their online funnel strategy, most of our clients veer towards a self-serve mentality. The logic may seem straightforward because self-service removes the human element, which is typically a significant expense. If customers can complete the funnel without the help of a salesperson or customer service representative, then the company should, theoretically, increase their bottom line. While it is understandable that a business would think this way, the concept has fundamental flaws. We’ve examined our clients’ conversion funnels holistically, and the numbers tell a different story.
Ultimate guide to the Assisted Conversion Funnel
03 The 3 Types of Conversion Funnels

03 The 3 Types of Conversion Funnels

For the past five years, we have been focused on improving conversion rates for hundreds of companies. Over this time, we have found that a “conversion” doesn’t have to equate to only a completed sale, it can also refer to a completed action or goal, and it can be applied to both sales and servicing use cases.

“Funnel Conversion” certainly applies to completed sales, but a funnel can also be completed by successfully changing a plan, transferring money from one account to another, adding a car to an insurance policy, submitting a lead, or completing any other type of business process. In all of these possible situations, be it sales, service, or any other activity, process completion is the primary goal of any business. This is still true even if the completion happens offline.

Our clients normally start with two funnels: The Offline Funnel and The Self-Serve Funnel. However, we’d also like to add an additional funnel: The Assisted Funnel.

THE OFFLINE FUNNEL

Offline funnel completion is the traditional way business has been conducted since the start of commercial trade. As mentioned in the previous section, all in-person business activities occur in the offline funnel. When people travel to a physical location, they are always more likely to commit to completing the funnel, which means that the offline funnel has the highest conversion rate of any funnel. However, due to the costs of rent, working capital, and wages for staff, the offline funnel’s high conversion can be extremely expensive. The phone call became a way to mitigate some of these costs and makes up a critical part of the offline funnel.
THE SELF-SERVE FUNNEL

With the advent of the internet, companies are now able to greatly expand their reach and grow their potential customer base by launching a website. When tackling the trend towards conducting business online, companies have understandably prefered self-serve funnels, such as an eCommerce shopping cart or an online application form. The cost to service each new customer is much lower, therefore, the margins are much higher.

However, conversion continues to be the greatest challenge in this funnel. Customers rarely think twice about exiting a website they have navigated to, especially compared to abandoning a funnel at a physical location they have travelled to. Customers didn’t have to travel anywhere and don’t have to break communication with a person in order to opt out of a conversation.
THE ASSISTED FUNNEL

Companies engage SaleMove to bring this new funnel to their business. “The Assisted Funnel” combines the traditional Offline Funnel with the Self-Serve Funnel by using a comprehensive “System of Engagement.” This system includes Business Logic, real-time analytics, video, audio, chat, CoBrowsing, AI, and machine learning. Furthermore, an Assisted Funnel requires no plugins or extra applications. This seamlessness allows customers to easily transition from the Offline and Self-Serve funnels to the Assisted Funnel. By enabling a website with live Communication and Engagement options typical of a System of Engagement, a business brings the conversion rates of the Self-Serve Funnel closer to the level of the Offline Funnel. The business is able to meet the customer while he or she is on the website, thus enabling a balance of an in-person and digital experience. For both sales and service, our client’s Offline conversions are much higher than Self-Serve conversion.
Instead of hunting for 0.1% increases, why not merge Offline conversion levels with online volume levels? This is what the Assisted Funnel does; it links a company’s Offline and Self-Serve funnels.
However, companies tend to lose track of what is proven to work Offline. Instead, their efforts are primarily focused on marginal gains online. With the average Self-Serve conversion rate at 2.0%, increasing conversion online by even 0.1% can mean millions of dollars in revenue; but a lot of companies are shortsighted in this marginal macro economical gain. Instead of hunting for 0.1% increases, why not merge Offline conversion levels with online volume levels? This is what the Assisted Funnel does; it links a company’s Offline and Self-Serve funnels.

EX1: One example would be a customer reaching out through text-based chat with a question about an online form. The operator resolves the question, establishes rapport, switches to one-way video chat, and walks the customer through the rest of the form via CoBrowsing.

EX2: Another example is a customer who calls a business while struggling with a service request, like making a change in their online account. The operator introduces CoBrowsing, observes the issue with the customer’s account in real-time, and guides the customer through the process.
With today’s focus on digital platforms, companies are constantly looking for ways to improve Self-Serve conversion. However, spending so much effort optimizing this funnel to somehow move from 2% to 2.1% is a fundamentally flawed strategy. Companies invest in digital optimizations, personalizations, design, and UX. Meanwhile, the Offline funnel becomes a backup plan. Instead of relying on incremental gains, our clients introduce an Assisted Funnel and change the math to drive transformational impact.


The 3 Conversion Funnels
Ultimate guide to the Assisted Conversion Funnel
04 Conversion Funnels by the Numbers

04 Conversion Funnels by the Numbers

FUNNEL VOLUME

Within these two funnels, both the Offline and the Self-Serve have volume, cost, conversion rates, and other soft benefits (customer experience or efficiency). Let’s take a look at an illustrative example in which a company has 1,000 customers go through their current funnels (the price of one widget is $500). Keep in mind this example the Offline category includes phone calls.
The conversion rate accounts for the success of the offline channel. However, that success is not translating to their self-serve channel. Keep in mind that for certain companies such as eCommerce, the Self-Serve funnel volume could be much higher. Across our best customers, Assisted Funnel conversion rates are close to or greater than Offline conversion rates. Let’s take a look at another illustrative example where the same company has introduced an Assisted Funnel:
By moving 100 prospects from the Offline Funnel and 100 prospects from the Self-Serve Funnel into the Assisted Funnel, this business decreases costs by $2k (-7%) and increases profits by about $10k (+30%). Even though the Assisted Funnel cannibalized some of the customers from the other two funnels, the overall result was lower costs and higher profits. Furthermore, we see other benefits that are more difficult to quantify (but exceedingly valuable) such as increased average order value (AOV), increased customer satisfaction (CSAT / NPS), and fewer callbacks.

FUNNEL TRANSITIONS


As stated in the previous section, since the conversion rate for Assisted is greater than Self-Serve, and the cost for Assisted is less than Offline, transitioning people into the Assisted Funnel is generally a worthwhile effort. There are two important questions:

1. How do we find the right customers to transition?
2. How do we use our System of Engagement to create the transition?

Let’s examine the Offline to Assisted and Self-Serve to Assisted transitions separately.

Transitioning a customer from an Offline to an Assisted Funnel is worthwhile 100% of the time. Compared to Offline, Assisted conversion is just as strong, and the cost is lower. That being said, it isn’t always possible to move an Offline customer into an Assisted Funnel. In order to find the right customers to transition, companies first need to understand their Offline Funnel breakdown. If we assume that the Offline channel is limited to phone calls and physical interactions, then there are two primary categories of callers: On-Screen and Off-Screen. On-Screen callers are looking at the company website when they place the call, and Off-Screen callers got the phone number from TV, radio, billboards, or any other non-internet source.

Let’s examine a sample breakdown for an Offline funnel, along with which callers we can transition from Offline to Assisted:
On-Screen Callers
Off-Screen Callers
For On-Screen callers, the transition to the Assisted Funnel should be almost automatic. Outside of the “Just Looking for the Number” category, On-Screen callers are working with the website while speaking on the phone, yet the agent can’t help with or see the browsing session.

Using a System of Engagement, there are several ways the agent can offer CoBrowsing and get on the same page with the caller. Without any plugins, both the agent and caller can navigate on the page simultaneously with their own cursor. Instead of “you see that drop down menu below the form?” the agent can say, “let me take you there”.
In our experience, over 70% of relevant On-Screen callers will welcome the opportunity to CoBrowse when it’s offered. For Off-Screen callers, the offer to CoBrowse is more of a toss-up because the operator must direct the caller to the website. In the cases of the “Prefers to Talk” and “Multi-Taskers” categories, callers are more likely to navigate to the site while on the phone and accept the offer to CoBrowse.
For the “On the Go” or “Technophobe” categories, the callers will simply remain offline. That said, the incremental effort of introducing CoBrowsing for as many callers as possible, both On-Screen and Off-Screen, reduces servicing time, increases next issue avoidance, enhances customer experience, and even increases conversion.

Transitioning a customer from a Self-Serve to an Assisted Funnel is more nuanced than the Offline transition. Since the cost for Self-Serve is lower than Assisted, companies can maximize their efforts by attempting to identify those visitors that wouldn’t already convert on their own. In other words, the goal is to seek out those visitors who need a “nudge”. Web traffic can be analyzed in many ways, but there are three primary categories of self-serve visitors:
For Self-Serve visitors, the key is identifying those visitors that are On the Fence and introducing communication and engagement options to guide the visitors through completion. Using a System of Engagement, a company uses business logic to identify browsing behaviors that indicate a high propensity to purchase (such as specific product pages or multiple open tabs).

Once the visitor is identified, the System of Engagement presents a custom invitation/message or alerts an operator (“Having trouble choosing a policy? An expert is available to guide you”). From here, the visitor connects with an operator using Chat, Voice, Video, and/or CoBrowsing; thus entering the Assisted Funnel. For these On the Fence visitors, the Assisted Funnel represents a 10x higher likelihood of conversion based on our data.
Ultimate guide to the Assisted Conversion Funnel
05 Steps To Building Your Assisted Funnel

05 Steps To Building Your Assisted Funnel

1-PLANNING

The first step in building your Assisted Funnel is to determine which teams at your company need to be involved. Typically, our clients include the following groups when implementing a System of Engagement:
Functional Area (Sales, Service, Advisory, Claims etc.)
Overview: The functional area is responsible for defining the core and secondary KPI’s. This team is responsible for defining success and quantifying value.
Best in Class Example: The Assisted Funnel team is truly cross-functional.
Digital Team
Overview: The digital team is responsible for designing the entry points and overall experience for the Assisted Funnel.
Best in Class Example: Digital teams will work with the analytics team during the design phase.
Contact Center
Overview: The contact center provides the “human” component of the assisted funnel.
Best in Class Example: Contact centers that are completion / conversion focused.
IT
Overview: The IT organization is responsible for implementing the plans and designs.
Best in Class Example: After implementing, allocating one full-time developer allows for rapid expansion and provides access to staging environments to everyone involved with the project’s success.
Analytics
Overview: The analytics team is responsible for ensuring conversion analytics are properly implemented.
Best in Class Example: Utilize an analytics provider that captures every event and provide access to everyone on the success team including third-party vendors.
Security & Compliance
Overview: Ensure that everything implemented is secure and compliant.
Best in Class Example: Utilize the knowledge vendors bring in working with other similar clients.
Each team’s responsibilities are important to the overall success of the Assisted Funnel. This is why it is important to ensure that the teams are communicating and on the same page with the same objectives and schedules. Most companies have at least one project manager and one technical manager per business unit, and, depending on the number of business units, some companies will have a business lead and a technical lead who span across the business units. As a note for companies that don’t have enough project managers: SaleMove provides consulting services that can fill the gap and assist with communication best practices, including:

Designating a project manager

Designating a technical manager

Defining the implementation meeting cadence

Defining the executive meeting cadence

Defining the metric review meeting cadence
The most important aspect to consider before starting the implementation is ensuring all of the cross-functional teams have signed off on the initial core and secondary KPI’s. The teams should also understand the launch timeline and the timeline that the initial KPI’s need to be reached. Best-in-class companies will also ensure everyone on the project team understands the financial implications that any delay can cause, both in lost potential revenue and additional cost implications.

Using a System of Engagement, there are several ways the agent can offer CoBrowsing and get on the same page with the caller. Without any plugins, both the agent and caller can navigate on the page simultaneously with their own cursor. Instead of “you see that drop down menu below the form?” the agent can say, “let me take you there”.

2-IMPLEMENTING

Implementing an Assisted Funnel can be accomplished in a matter of days or it can be a cross-functional project that takes several weeks. Most ‘best-in-class’ companies launch within 2-4 weeks with an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) approach by using a solution that works out-of-the box with a lightweight deployment.

That said, some companies prefer to wait on launch until after their Assisted Funnel technology is part of their “Core Flow.” A Core Flow implementation features a form that provides an option at the beginning of the user journey that offers an option to “Work with an Advisor through the application process” or “Complete on your own.” This allows visitors to self-select into a guided experience through the Assisted Funnel.

Some other considerations while implementing the assisted funnel are:

Dynamic changing of online flows based on staffing

Targeting visitors though business logic

Analytics and data warehousing

Compliance systems integrations

Telephony system integrations

While the initial implementation


While the initial implementation may finish at launch, your implementation team should not go their separate ways as the first stage of success is not on go-live. Instead, it is measured by seeing the success of the initial core and secondary KPI’s. It is common that companies find initial KPIs to be easily achievable, however, new stretch goals must be created.
3-TRAINING

Training is perhaps the most important part of getting maximum value from the Assisted Funnel, but it is not only about the ability to train your agents on your website and the platform. The most important aspect is training your agents to do the right thing at the right time in real-time, while assisting a customer with an engagement.

Most companies start their assisted conversion programs by taking their online chat agents and moving them to an engagement platform, allowing for more context and better communication. That is OK to start, but this doesn’t set them up with the best chance to produce significant results. The fundamental issue with online chat agents is that they are inadequately trained and compensated.

For sales use cases, the agents should be recruited and/or trained as sales professionals. They should understand both product value statements, as well as basic sales methodologies. Best practices are essential, and it’s often the simple things that make all the difference. For example, when a customer asks a question, your salesperson shouldn't simply answer the question and ask: “Is there anything else I can help you with today?” Agents ideally must answer the question and lead in with another.

Here are a few examples:
For service use cases, the agents should not only act as support, but also true teachers. Service agents have the opportunity to show customers, rather than tell them, how to complete an online funnel. This resolves the current concern, while teaching them how to do something themselves for next time. This solves for Next Issue Avoidance, decreases cost ,and increases customer satisfaction!
MORTGAGE FUNNEL CASE STUDY

Situation
A company we worked with in the mortgage space implemented our engagement platform and started out by taking 25 of their chat agents and moving them to the SaleMove platform. The agents began leveraging SaleMove to engage their customers and conversions went up, but only moderately.

After their first transcript review, SaleMove’s Blueprint Team found that the agents would start an engagement, answer the customer's question, ask if they had any more, and then let them know they could reach out again if they had another question.
Results

The client then went back and gave a few simple instructions to all of her agents. She said:

1. Do not ever end an engagement (hang up) on a customer

2. Answer the customer’s question by CoBrowsing the customer to the answer

3. After answering the customer’s question, offer to complete the rest of the funnel with the customer right up to the last step


After implementing these three simple rules, the results spoke for themselves, with funnel completion rates increasing by 4X. Later the client continued to add and refine a few more instructions to further increase completion, especially encouraging the agents to upgrade the conversation to audio, and even video. Again, the completion rates continued to rise. Notably, the side effect of this increased engagement was that while the completion rates were increasing, so was customer satisfaction. Not once was an agent called out as being too overbearing or pushy because the agent’s instructions were not directly conversion related.
Incentive compensation can also be used for both sales and service agents to drive additional impact to the core and secondary KPI’s. Some of the best companies we work with take advantage of an innovative compensation model that our Blueprint team developed. The model is based on weighting the compensation not solely on the end result, but on actions that increase customer satisfaction, decrease customer effort, and ultimately (based on analytics), increase the potential of achieving the funnel conversion. These actions can be never ending the engagement, using CoBrowsing, upgrading to audio/video or something that is very specific to the funnel, such as ensuring to offer a specific discount.
4-MEASURING

You can’t effectively improve what you can’t measure. However, after working with hundreds of companies we have found that measuring everything leads to companies ending up in a state of analysis paralysis. The key is to isolate the core and secondary KPI’s ,and then create reports with placeholder data. Make sure that each data point maps back to the KPI’s, and if any data points don’t directly match back, they should be removed from the start. While it can’t be said that having too much information is a bad thing, a strong focus on the right information is important when there can be the temptation to over-analyze and get distracted.

Common KPIs we see include:

Conversion Rate

Average Order Value

Customer Satisfaction

Customer Effort Score

NPS

Average Handle Time


Many companies also use KPI’s to compensate their agents so it is crucial to have the right reporting in place. Companies also need to be able to determine which agents are outperforming their peers so that great agents can be rewarded. Underperforming agents can be retrained by the best agents, but if that does not work out, they can be moved off the Assisted Funnel teams.
5-OPTIMIZING

Pre-Engagement
Most companies begin their assisted funnel by driving self-serve traffic through marketing campaigns and advertising into assisted funnels through a light out-of-the box implementation of an engagement technology or a simple chat function. This is typically a persistent bubble on the website that says something like “Talk to an expert,” an image of a person, or a chat icon. Companies tend to focus on the percentage of their traffic that clicks their button, but we’ve found that they’re looking in the wrong place.

Instead, enterprises should first take a look at their available staff. They should first think about their total productive time and then the cost of their productive time. From there, they should target the maximization of their productive time.
Most of the time the math still works even if a call center employee’s productivity is as low as 50%. That said, it is ideal to ensure each employee is as productive as possible, thus maximizing returns. With this in mind, technology reenters the picture.

The new aim becomes pushing as many customers through the assisted funnels as possible, right up to the point where our staff become 100% productive. Regarding an engagement button, image, or icon, experience tells us that we can expect around 2% of visitors to reach out and engage. 1-5% may be enough to start out with, but this is not going to have a material impact on site-wide macro conversion rates.

As companies get more comfortable with the unit economics, they will allocate more staff and need ways to drive more engagement through their Assisted Funnels. The next thing they can implement is automated business logic that presents nudges and/or engagement offers when customers attempt certain actions in the funnel that indicate that they are high-value or have high-intent to proceed. This can increase the percentage of assisted customers by up to 7% if done properly.

However, to ensure the largest impact, Assisted Funnel conversion has to be incorporated into the core flow of every business. This means that when a customer is about to start a process online, they have two options:

1. Start the process using self-serve, or

2. Start it with assistance.


Self-Serve vs. Expert?
#1.0 Self-Serve
#2.0 With assistance (Media selector)
#2.1 With assistance (Guided Application)
Of course companies can offer different variations of this approach, only targeting higher value customers while considering real-time staffing rates. However, this measure can bring the percentage of assisted customers to over 15% if implemented right. This is when companies are able to begin seeing a material impact on site-wide macro conversion rates.

In-Engagement

The second area for optimization is increasing the conversion rates of the visitors who do engage with the assisted channel. This can be accomplished by better agent training, optimization of incentive compensation structures, or through an automated artificial intelligence engine that can assist/manage your agents in real-time.

Agent training can be optimized through:

• Engagement reviews: Historical look back at randomized engagements with a manager to point out areas of improvement.
• Mystery shopping: Live professionally done mystery shopping where the agent is challenged on specific instructions they are given during training.
• Peer-to-peer training: Having the top agents teach the rest of the agents what they are doing to be successful.

Incentive compensation can be optimized through changing the compensation models to account for specific actions that drive conversion. For example, if a company learns that CoBrowsing increases the chance of conversion by 60%, the incentive compensation that is offered can be to incentivize CoBrowsing. Companies can pay on the conversion event, but
by paying on elevated customer experience, companies are able to drive an increase, in not only conversion, but also customer satisfaction or NPS. Perhaps one of the most effective ways to optimize a company's agents is to use an artificial intelligence engine, such as SaleMove’s OmniGuide, which assists the agent in real-time, offering suggestions and prompts to the agent based on what the customer is saying. For example, if a customer asks, “how much life insurance should I buy?” the AI engine reads what was typed and then suggests to the agent “Most of our clients purchase 10X of their annual salary”. The AI engine can also assist with cross-selling, up-selling, agent accuracy, and fraud detection.
Ultimate guide to the Assisted Conversion Funnel
06 The Best Assisted Funnels

06 The Best Assisted Funnels

After spending years building out assisted funnels with clients of all types and pouring over funnel completion data from a variety of situations, we found that some clients were able to work with our team to build assisted funnels with results that were one or two standard deviations higher than the average.

We cut the data in several ways to isolate industries, web stacks, and number of agents to try to explain the outliers. However, we found the results to be consistent. With such outstanding results, these clients then became the “bright spots” for our research on optimizing funnel completion.
Even though the “bright spot” clients were all using the same SaleMove engagement platform as other “ordinary” clients, and each had access to the same features, functionality, and even consulting services (Blueprint Team), why did some consistently outperform the rest? Beyond all the best practices above, bright spot clients all shared the belief that all their funnels are connected in an OmniChannel fashion.

Virtuous Information Cycle Mindset

Other successful clients have developed their Assisted Funnel and general funnel strategies through placing great importance on what we refer to as Virtuous Information Cycles. In these instances, clients were able to refine their overall strategy by taking the key learnings from their Assisted Funnel and incorporating them into both their Offline and Self-Serve Funnels.

This practice is highly effective in companies that promote cross-functional collaboration and empowers frontline employees to be more influential in all areas of the business. For example, a customer support agent who spends her days assisting customers and troubleshooting issues can leverage their observation of kinks in the customer journey to provide feedback to their UX colleagues to improve the customer experience. Within a virtuous information cycle mindset, change is quick and overall mentality is customer-centric.

OmniChannel Funnel Mindset

We work with two kinds of businesses, those that view their online and offline channels as one and the same, and those that view them as separate business units. To determine which view each business has, we ask the following three questions:

1. Are your phone agents trained on your online process?

2. Can a customer start a funnel online and complete offline?

3. Can a customer start a funnel offline and complete online?


Perhaps unsurprisingly, almost all of the bright spot companies we analyzed answered yes to all of our questions. In addition, management at these companies was not siloed. Reports for both online and offline channels were seamlessly combined, so that the offline and online business could operate in unity. We also found that training for the agents actually started with an understanding of the customer-facing online process. Only once the agents fully understood how customers could operate in a self-serve capacity did they start learning about backend support systems that the customers could not access.

Merging the online and offline process with an Assisted Funnel also proved to have many unexpected positive consequences. For one, the agents are actually able to help the online team point out deficiencies in the online process. Since the agents can observe and CoBrowse with customers through the online process, they are able to scrutinize all of the scenarios that customers encounter and take careful note anytime there is an issue or the customer is forced to move to their offline system thus forcing the customer to shift channels. Agents reported their notes back to the product team who in turn made the entire process better.

Customer Experience as Product

Another powerful trait we’ve observed in our best performing clients is having customer experience baked into the product. In many cases, these companies treat the customer experience as though it were the product. This is especially true in key industries like Financial Services, where actual hard products are lacking and product differentiation often times relies solely on the experience.

Companies that think this way find themselves in a particularly good place, as research from Gartner has shown that 64% of consumers feel customer experience is more important than price. As customer expectations rise, companies must rise to the occasion and ensure that the customer’s needs are being thought of, first and foremost.

For our best clients, the customer experience they offer can stand on its own head. By paying as much attention to it as the actual products they are selling, these best-in-class companies have set themselves up to be successful in the new customer-centric business environment.

Ultimate guide to the Assisted Conversion Funnel
07 Conclusion

07 Conclusion

For businesses to better differentiate themselves from their competition, it is imperative to begin thinking about their online channel in a different way. While it is easy to fall back onto a self-serve strategy, there is greater opportunity to begin thinking about the Assisted Funnel methodology. For one, in a world where customers value their experience over price, the Assisted Funnel provides a more personalized and guided human-to-human experience. Additionally, it provides a more cost-effective strategy for doing business online.

We cut the data in several ways to isolate industries, web stacks, and number of agents to try to explain the outliers. However, we found the results to be consistent. With such outstanding results, these clients then became the “bright spots” for our research on optimizing funnel completion.

At SaleMove, our mission is to meet or exceed the in-person customer experience online, and we feel strongly that this new way of thinking about the online experience allows us to enable companies to better overcome their business challenges by creating stronger customer satisfaction, loyalty, and an overall customer experience — all leading to proven increases across conversion and better customer support.

To learn more about the Assisted Funnel or to see what this could look like for your company, please visit salemove.com and request a demo.