We are thrilled to announce that our Virtual Product Advisors team are the winners in the VIC/TAS 2023 Auscontact Excellence Awards and national finalists for the Customer Experience Initiative of the Year – Digital Transformation category.
The Auscontact National Excellence Awards are the most prestigious industry event in Australia recognising and celebrating excellence in customer service, contact centres, customer experience, and employee experience. With both individual, and organisation award categories, the award program highlights the exceptional outcomes being delivered within the contact centre industry.
By leveraging CPM’s contact centre capability, customer service experience and in-store advisors’ knowledge and experience, we created the Microsoft Virtual Product Advisors (VPA) program – a live, one-on-one online customer support service. Available seven days a week, 12 hours a day, VPAs are located in our Melbourne contact centre in a bespoke ‘dark store’ designed and built specifically for online use.
Andrew Potter, Group Managing Director, says: “Our Virtual Product Advisors team have been recognised for the highest standards of commitment to innovation and customer service excellence that our contact centre and retail marketing programs have achieved.”
How CPM’s Virtual Product Advisors enhance the customer experience
Making online shopping more human:
Virtual Product Advisors bridge the gap between the in-store and online customer experience; the face-to-face vs the virtual experience. VPAs virtually connect with customers to assist them along their online shopping journey, offering a personalised one-on-one shopping experience customers normally receive in a physical store.
The Virtual Product Advisors concept is applicable across a range of industries where one-on-one customer interactions are important. While VPAs can be a single-source for a business’ customer interactions, ideally they complement in-store representatives to provide a full omnichannel customer service offering that is scalable, tailored to their requirements, and can readily extend beyond normal retail working hours.
A new and innovative customer contact channel:
Virtual Product Advisors represent a shift away from the traditional online customer support channels (e.g., webchat, chatbot) – a video-powered live chat (one-way video, two-way audio) incorporating the feel of an in-store experience available seven days a week.
According to Swinburne University and CPM’s State of CX in Australia research report, the proportion of consumers preferring to use human assisted channels rather than self-service channels for difficult queries has been increasing since 2016, with more consumers than ever preferring to speak to a real person on the phone (80%) or via live chat (50%) in 2022.
Delivered online customers an experience not offered by any competitive retailer:
CPM worked alongside Microsoft to become the first consumer electronics brand to work with a retailer to offer website-based VPAs in Australia. By simply clicking through to the website’s video-powered live chat, customers Australia-wide receive real-time expert advice and the opportunity to see products demonstrated via live video conversations from our ‘dark store’.
“Additionally, Virtual Product Advisors provide value to brands and retailers as we can offer a new tailored and scalable service that can expand their reach into Australian consumers, ultimately yielding improved customer experience,” added Andrew Potter.