These days, consumers expect the same level of customer service online as they do from brick and mortar stores. But many businesses find this difficult to provide. This is understandable. For many small to medium sized eCommerce stores, establishing a contact centre would just be too expensive. Today we’ll look at one way around this in our LivePerson review.
But first let’s set out why customer service is so important. One reason is that it goes so far towards earning you report business. If a customer has an after-sales issues and you don’t offer them a positive experience, they won’t back to you. This is true regardless of whether they were satisfied with the product itself.
Equally, it can affect your ability to find new customers. People in digital marketing make a big fuss about social proof nowadays. Rightly so, as word-of-mouth plays a massive role in people’s decisions about which company to buy from. If you have a reputation for offering top class customer service, you will definitely see a bump in your sales figures.
What is LivePerson?
LivePerson was founded in 1995 by Robert LoCascio. That’s the same Robert LoCascio who invented live chat for websites, so they have a history of automating customer interactions. The company itself, with its proprietary platform LiveEngage makes a suite of customer chat tools.
I mentioned already in this LivePerson review the costly nature of setting up a full scale contact centre. LiveEngage aims to get around this in two ways. The first of these is to help you get the most out of your chat agents. This is done by a variety of techniques, including smart routing to the agent best suited to a particular problem, thus making interactions faster and more efficient.
The second of these is to get rid the need for agent interaction altogether. This is done by leveraging AI to respond to simpler and more common concerns. This has the double effect of solving your customer’s problems faster, as well as free up your agents to work on more difficult or urgent cases.
Sounds great, but how does this all work? Without turning this LivePerson review into a broken record, I’d like to reiterate that the best features here all relate to making the most out of your service team. One of my favourite examples of this in LiveEngage is the ability to encourage customers to use your live chat directly from your automated phone line.
Most people would much rather get their issue resolved quickly over text than spend hours waiting in an automated queue. Not everyone knows this, but in many contact centres live chat agents are able to deal with multiple queries simultaneously. LivePerson can help you to utilise this, by moving more of your phone agents over to your chat team.
We already touched on the fact that LiveEngage allows you to use AI to automate simple customer exchanges. When researching this LivePerson review, I was also excited to find that you can use AI to better equip your service agents. Confession time – I’ve worked in a few contact centres in my time, so I’m very keen on LiveEngage’s Meaningful Connection Score feature.
MCS gives your agents real time feedback on the customer emotions. This is crucial, as it can be difficult to do this over text. It works by using Natural Language Processing. This analyses the emotional content of your customers text. The agent can then be sure they’re taking the correct approach, helping your company maintain a great reputation for service.
There are actually a lot of really exciting features I’d like to squeeze into today’s LivePerson review. Maybe some of you are thinking that your company is far too small to get any benefits out of this. Indeed, everything I’ve mentioned so far has been for businesses with some form of contact centre. For smaller companies, or even local businesses, LiveEngage supports Facebook Messenger integration.
This means that you can get the benefits of a great online customer experience without the need for dedicated agents. A barista or retail team member could easily keep on top of Facebook interactions between their other duties. This adds value to businesses of all sizes. It even allows customers to interact with you in a familiar and comfortable environment.
So am I going to say anything negative in this LivePerson review? Integration is one small concern. LiveEngage offers an API, so that you can integrate their internal analytics with other platforms, for example your own CRM system. This is great, and I’d like to see something similar with more of their features.
For instance, many companies with contact centres are already using one of the big communication platforms. sSome of them are unlikely to be open to switching their entire system to LiveEngage. As such, it’d be great to see some of the standalone features offered as APIs or extensions. I’d especially love to see some of the chatbot and AI features deployed in this manner, although I understand LivePerson’s decision not to offer this from a business standpoint.
LiveEngage is currently only available through cloud hosting. This isn’t necessarily a problem in itself. However some businesses may be more comfortable hosting customers data on a local server. In saying that, the platform is fully GDPR compliant.
LivePerson Review: Final Verdict
So where do I stand on LivePerson? I don’t really have the space to sing its praise enough. As a full-scale chat platform, it’s one of the best I’ve used. I’d like to give a special mention to UI on the agent side. LiveEngage manages to be a fantastic traditional contact platform, while also bringing a host of new automation features to the table. This is where I think it could really add value to businesses of about any size.
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