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How “Order on Behalf of” (OOBO) Can Grow Sales and Improve Customer Service

“Order on behalf of” (OOBO) solution kits for commerce and service help agents place orders for customers who need it in the buy moment. OOBOs keep support teams better informed, and help them upsell, increase shopper engagement, and alleviate abandoned carts.

a person on a phone headset sitting at a laptop
Not everyone is able to or comfortable enough to order online. “Order on behalf of” (OOBO) solution kits turn commerce teams and service agents into sales teams. [LaylaBird / Getty Images]

Some scenarios can make it difficult to deliver exceptional customer satisfaction. If a customer lacks internet access, or if they accidentally order the wrong item, this often prompts frustration, panic, and a call to customer support. Leaders must ensure that service agents can provide the same level of service and personalization as customers receive from automated digital workflows. “Order on behalf of” (OOBO) solution kits empower agents to take the driver seat during support calls and create seamless experiences — even in circumstances typically fraught with friction. Even better: OOBO often results in opportunities to cross- and upsell.

What is “order on behalf of” (OOBO)?

While chat features and easy access to service agents can help customers get product information quickly, OOBO in your customer support arsenal leaves no sale to chance. Instead of simply answering a customer’s questions and hoping they’ll complete their own order, OOBO gives your support team the power to close the sale.

OOBO in your customer support arsenal leaves no sale to chance. Instead of simply answering a customer’s questions and hoping they’ll complete their own order, OOBO gives your support team the power to close the sale.

Contact with customer support is a key moment in the customer journey — and one of the most common. OOBO solutions provide commerce and service teams with out-of-the-box technology to create integrated, continuous experiences for customers when they reach out for help. A service agent’s ability to finish the checkout process on behalf of a customer saves time, ensures a completed purchase, and provides a memorable level of care. 

Even better: OOBO doesn’t require customers to create a profile on your site; it can even be used to purchase on behalf of a guest. Since guests are more likely to be first-time purchasers, this seamless experience helps you win major brand loyalty points with new customers.

Service agents can cross-sell and upsell with OOBO

Let’s say a customer reaches out to your support team after accidentally purchasing a two-person tent when they meant to order one that fits four. With OOBO, an agent can adjust the order and offer related products for the customer’s upcoming camping trip. With a 360-degree view of the customer, the agent can see their order history and knows they recently purchased a propane stove. After checking to make sure it was delivered on time, the agent can seamlessly offer to add a few cans of propane to their order.

Decrease abandoned shopping cart rates

The nightmare of every commerce exec is this: Two-thirds of potential ecommerce purchases are abandoned in carts, according to the Baymard Institute.

Agents closing deals are particularly relevant for high-consideration purchases such as electronics or home appliances (or other complex products or high-ticket items). Shoppers may have questions beyond the specifications listed on a retailer’s website. They may be confused about which model, accessories, or additional items they need.

A service agent’s ability to finish the checkout process on behalf of a customer saves time, ensures a completed purchase, and provides a memorable level of care.

Consider a customer shopping online for a dishwasher. Questions — such as whether the appliance has a quick wash cycle — can prompt a call or online chat with support. A service agent equipped with OOBO can provide more than just an answer. If the product specs match the customer’s needs, the agent can add the item to the cart (along with other items necessary for installation) and complete the entire checkout process. OOBO helps service agents proactively address customer needs and increase completed purchases.

Increase shopper engagement with OOBO

Turning high-touch service calls into positive experiences requires finesse, but it pays off — 91% of customers said they’re more likely to make another purchase after a great service experience. 

But what sends customer engagement into free fall? The “swivel chair” scenario of waiting on hold as your call gets transferred from agent to agent, re-explaining yourself to different representatives along the way. OOBO eliminates the swivel chair experience by syncing with Commerce CloudService Cloud and/or Order Management. Agents have a complete view of each customer’s profile and order history, and they can place orders on their behalf. Instead of transferred calls that create a disjointed experience, one agent has all the data and tools they need to easily manage customer requests.

Agents have a complete view of each customer’s profile and order history. Instead of transferred calls that create a disjointed experience, one agent has all the data and tools they need to easily manage customer requests.

Customer support calls shape a consumer’s perception of a brand; creating a stellar experience can turn a first-time customer into a loyal fan. According to the State of the Connected Customer report, a whopping 84% of customers said the experience a brand provides is just as important as its products, yet more than half of consumers said that companies fall short of their expectations. Brands need to bridge the gap between expectations and reality. One critical solution that’s often overlooked are Order on Behalf of a Customer (OOBO) solution kits, a leg up to help smooth customer perception, speed up service, and create seamless experiences.

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