A/B testing, or split or bucket testing, is not a new concept. Marketers have been using this method to compare two versions of everything from direct mailers and newspaper ads to landing and web pages for decades in order to determine which vehicle performs better when it comes to converting customers. "Anyone who markets direct to consumers has historically been fascinated with testing," says Michael Puccinelli, CEO and co-founder of SingleComm, which provides technology solutions for contact centers. "Whether it’s getting the phones to ring or getting people to your website, testing has always been a requirement."
Considering the fickleness of customer loyalty, increasing demands for Omni-channel support, and the pressure to deliver an amazing customer experience, today A/B testing is more important than ever. "Contact centers can be better prepared to face today’s customer experience challenges by understanding not only what works, but also why," Puccinelli says. Just as a marketer would use testing to tweak website copy, contact centers can test agent scripts in order to determine what customers best respond to. "The more you test and tweak, the more effective your contact center will be," Puccinelli says.
As important as it is, testing has historically been a complex, time-consuming and costly endeavor. SingleComm is changing that with Omni-channel tools like its dynamic script builder that reduces script development time by putting contact center managers – rather than developers – in control of the process. Now contact centers and marketers can test messaging across multiple channels, including live agent scripts, chat boxes, IVR’s and more. "With one tool, you can do all of those," Puccinelli says. "This eliminates the development time that has plagued testing. Gone are the days of 4-6 weeks lead time."
Perhaps even more beneficial is the tool’s ability to provide real time data and allow for real time adjustments. "Part of the real-time testing is your ability to control the script/flow and cart in real-time to affect change instantly," Puccinelli says. For example, if it appears one script is performing significantly better than another during testing, changes can be made to help further understand the reasons and make in-the-moment tweaks. Or, based on real-time data, a marketer can make on-the-fly changes to offers and presentations, all from a simple user interface. Furthermore, contact centers can schedule tests so a new script can take over when for example, a promotion has ended or new products become available.
"We make it possible for call centers to do a lot of testing in a short period of time with certainty about the test and the environment," Puccinelli says. In turn, businesses have a deeper understanding of what customers are responding to in order to provide better customer experience and increased sales. "We have clients who have realized more than 15 percent improvement in sales," Puccinelli says. "You can’t put a price tag on that kind of performance."
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