How to Increase Contactless Engagement


We introduce you to contactless engagement before analysing how it is being used to improve customer experience.

What Is Contactless Engagement?

Contactless engagement is a term that is used when a customer engages with a company without having to talk to or come into contact with anyone else.

There are many classic examples of this already out there, including:

  • IVR self-service and voicebots
  • Website FAQs / Customer-facing knowledge bases
  • Online chatbots
  • Self-checkouts in stores
  • Promotional video content

You may look at this list and assume that “contactless engagement” is just a fancy word for self-service. But contactless engagement extends beyond self-service.

Contactless engagement innovations also help to draw customers in, to entice them into buying your product. In fact, they are often the first step in the customer journey.

For example, video advertisement is a classic example of engaging with a customer without interacting with them one-to-one.

New Innovations to Increase Contactless Engagement

Customers are getting used to classic contactless engagement techniques.

Some are now the norm, while others – like certain chatbots – are just being tuned out, causing companies to look for new contactless engagement innovations that add value to the customer experience.

Here are ten ways to re-engage your customer base through the latest contactless engagement innovations.

1. Remote Asset Monitoring

Let’s start with an example that has the potential to have a big impact on contact centres.

Remote asset monitoring uses technology that is placed inside certain electronical products to track whether or not it needs repairing. This can be used to great effect in white goods.

By detecting a need for repair, the machine can potentially send an alert to the contact centre, informing them that something is wrong.

The customer therefore has no need to get in touch with the contact centre. The contact centre can then alert them to the issue via a proactive message and suggest next steps, without the need for a conversation.

This technology uses the Internet of Things (IoT). This brings lots of potential for further types of contactless engagement innovations too.

2. Augmented Reality

Augmented reality allows people to superimpose objects, sound and text over real-life scenes.

For contact centres, there are quite straightforward uses of augmented reality, such as superimposing “pointers” over buttons that customers need to press while in self-service.

Another more complex use of augmented reality would be to have a contact centre advisor join the customer on video when they are setting up a product, and giving them instructions using augmented reality tools to show them what to do.

With the smartphone now being the customer’s channel of choice, using these devices to engage with them through augmented reality has the potential to be a powerful tool.

With the smartphone now being the customer’s channel of choice, using these devices to engage with them through augmented reality has the potential to be a powerful tool.

This extends well beyond the contact centre, with Kendra Scott recently introducing a shopping feature that allows customers to try on earrings without having to touch them.

3. Streamlining Security

Many contact centres have long used biometrics systems to speed up the security process, but they are now being used to enhance other parts of the customer journey.

Biometrics systems that use facial recognition can be used for scenarios where a customer needs to identify themselves during a physical experience.

Airports are a classic example of where this customer engagement innovation can work best.

Airports are a classic example of where this customer engagement innovation can work best.

In fact, many airports are already using facial recognition systems as part of their border control. This is when you have to scan your passport while looking at a camera. If there is a match, you can pass through an automatic gate.

Yet, as more and more smartphones include built-in facial recognition, just think how this customer engagement innovation could simplify your contact centre identification and verification (ID&V) processes.

4. Navigation

Some contact centres have been using voicebots on their IVR to understand the customer’s query and direct them through to the best placed advisor.

This can work well, but there are lots of simpler ways to improve navigation, to help customers find the answers that they are looking for and reduce the chances of them needing to contact the call centre.

A thumbnail photo of Martin Hill Wilson

Martin Hill-Wilson

The obvious place to look first is at your website. Consider ideas like:

  • Responsive Navigation – This ensures that your website appears as you would like, no matter the device or size of the screen.
  • Fat Footers – Use the footer of your website as a back-up place for customers to find what they are looking for, as it is often the last port of call before the customer gets fed up and calls the contact centre.
  • Breadcrumbs – Use highlights on your menus to indicate to a customer where they are on your site to leave no room for confusion. These are known as “breadcrumbs”.

With all of this in place, you can then look more into bolder ways to innovate the contactless experience, as many brands are currently doing.

“When it comes to John Lewis, their main attraction is arguably their in-store experience. So, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the company turned to video to recreate that,” says Martin Hill-Wilson, Founder of Brainfood Consulting

5. Automating Bill Payments

Another new contactless engagement innovation that revolves around the use of Alexa is the ability to automate electricity, gas, water and other bills through the Amazon shopping app.

When opening up the shopping app, users can simply ask Alexa: “Alexa, pay my gas bill”, for example.

If they have paid their gas company bill in the past through the Amazon shopping app, they will be taken to a bill page that contains details of pre-fetched bills.

They can then pay off their latest bill with three taps. Simple.

6. Contactless Return Process

Simple innovations that take the effort out of the returns process are a great way to manage the danger of customer contact.

To avoid contact, organizations will make sure customers know exactly what they are buying to reduce the possibility of a return being made.

Then, clearly signpost your returns policy on your website, making sure it is written in simple terms with obvious timeframes being provided.

Finally, take all of the effort out of returning the product by including packaging to send the product back with the correct address already on it.

Not only does this take steps out of the customer journey, but it eliminates the need for customers to contact you to find out where they need to return something, how they should do it, etc.

If you find that returns is one of your biggest call drivers, this contactless engagement example could potentially save your contact centre lots of money.

7. How-to Videos

Video tutorials that explain how to do something are a simple but effective way to engage with customers without them needing to contact you.

Yet the benefits of “how to” videos extend well beyond the contact centre.

Not only do they provide another way to answer your most frequently asked questions, but you can add personality to your video and forge a greater connection with your customers.

These videos will also help you to give customers some upfront assurance that the product/service is easy to use and is right for them.

For more innovative examples across contact centres and customer experience, read our articles:

Author: Robyn Coppell

Published On: 18th Aug 2021 - Last modified: 18th Mar 2024
Read more about - Call Centre Management, , , , ,

Follow Us on LinkedIn

Recommended Articles

The contact centre podcast cover art for Peter Massey's discussion on 'how can we increase customer engagement by doing less?'
Podcast: How can We Increase Customer Engagement by Doing Less
Contact icons on squares in front of lights
Digital Customer Engagement: 4 Signs You Are on the Right Track
A picture of a an agent shouting ideas through a megaphone
Customer Engagement Strategy
A drawing of a smile face on a post it note
How to Measure Employee Engagement