The weight social media has on brand affinity and customer satisfaction is constantly growing. Today 84% of consumers expect companies to respond within 24 hours after posting on social media, while 72% of Twitter complaints expect a response within an hour. But what does this mean for the future of customer service? Well, it’s been said that social customer care is actually the new business marketing. We are in an age where customer service has the potential to go viral, which means there is a lot more at stake for brands. Therefore, businesses must remain on the pulse of new innovations to ensure consistency and quality. Continue reading
Tag Archives: chatbots
Every year we read about what promises to be the hottest contact center trends. This list can, all too often, be endless. As important as it is to try new things, especially in an industry that relies so heavily on the customer experience, it’s just as important to prioritize those strategies. The call center landscape is more complex than ever, and wasting time on trends that don’t benefit you will only lead to failure. Continue reading →
The IVR experience (“press 1 for this… press 2 for that…”) has long been part of the contact center. Although it serves an important purpose, it is universally detested. Many people see chatbots as a natural replacement for the core functions of the IVR.
Sorry, but I’m afraid this is going to be one of those “rain on the parade” posts. First, it’s not clear when or to what extent that will happen. Second, most of the aspects of IVRs that make them hated are likely to translate directly to chatbot form.
Ok, let’s face it; the age of robots is now. As businesses automate their sales and support teams, chatbots and other AI programs are becoming increasingly popular. So, if you’ve been living under a ROCK and need a refresher, please allow me to explain chatbots in layman’s terms. A chatbot is a computer program that automates certain tasks by chatting with customers through a conversational interface, like Facebook. Chatbots give brands from any industry the ability to engage with customers on a personal level. It’s actually super cool.
With apps struggling to get downloads and bots being cheaper and quicker to make, many executives are saying that bots are poised to take over apps! It seems that some of the big brands are catching on, and as consumers get familiar with communicating this way they will start to expect it from more companies.
To give you some examples, here are 5 known brands using chatbots through Facebook’s messaging platform. Continue reading →
Messaging platforms are fast becoming the most desired method of communication among consumers and businesses thanks to rising comfort levels with virtual assistants and chatbots. In the last year alone, the amount of time spent on mobile messaging apps (Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp) grew by a whopping 394%, surpassing social networks (Facebook page, Twitter). However, as the chat-for-commerce space matures, the unwritten partnership between businesses and messaging platforms raises some serious questions.
In our Google Hangout on Thursday, July 20th at 2PM ET/11AM PT, we ask chat experts Tobias Goebel (Aspect), Max Ball (RingCentral), Dan Miller (OpusResearch), Thomas Howe (Ten Digit Communications), and our very own Shai Berger, about the impact messaging platforms will have on the future of communications in the call center. We’ll also discuss the newcomer, Apple, and if they will dominate the space.
Facebook, Twitter and other messaging platforms have been battling fiercely to become the de facto channel for business-to-consumer chat. Capturing that title brings with it a powerful position that can be used to influence buying patterns, collect key data, and serve targeted ads.
Earlier this month, Apple jumped into the fray by announcing that iMessage will become a business communication platform. This is possibly the most significant development of the year in “conversational commerce”. As a customer service channel, chat has distinct advantages: it lowers cost for companies by allowing agents to juggle multiple conversations, it makes automated responses easy to blend in (aka bots), and, perhaps most importantly, it is the preferred style of communication for younger consumers. Continue reading →
The impact of AI on the call center is a red hot topic these days. Unfortunately, a TON of the writing out there is not helpful and sometimes even misleading. I’m not just talking about sloppy blogs, either. Some of the worst offenders are top publications. (I’m going to take the high road and not link to any here.)
A big part of the problem is the confusing interplay between the “AI”, “chat”, and “bot” topics. All three rose to prominence – each for separate, valid reasons – contemporaneously and all three suffer from imprecise definitions. Adding to the confusion, are companies putting out vague marketing and product announcements that are sometimes a tossed salad of buzz words.
All this gets thrown into the cognitive meat grinder and what comes out is something like: “Soon Call Centers Won’t Need Agents!” Clearly there’s a lot of messy thinking, but it can be hard to figure out where the break-down is happening. I will share with you two guiding principles that help me cut through the noise. Hopefully you find them helpful too.
At the I/O Conference this week, Google unveiled major improvements to its Google Home voice-based assistant. This is, of course, their response to Amazon Echo, which has proven to be a mega-hit consumer device. They also recently announced the availability of the Google Assistant on iPhone, taking aim at Siri’s growing popularity. Amazon, for its part, just gave Echo a major upgrade, by adding both camera and display options. Apple is rumoured to be preparing an “at home” embodiment of Siri. So, this is shaping up to be a heated horse race.
If these “meta-assistants” continue their growth in popularity, are they going to become a dominant interface for customer service? If so, what communication channels will they displace? And how will the corporate owners of these platforms, who already wield unprecedented power, influence the way customer service is done?
Continue reading →
Which social channels do you turn to for customer support? Twitter? Facebook? Maybe even a direct message on Instagram? Over the years, social media has taken a minimalist approach to B2C support. But despite its architecture, social media remains a hot spot for customer service. In recent years, Twitter has undoubtedly become a key player; 80% of customer service requests on social media happen here, and the cost per resolution is 1/6th that of resolving through a call center. Additionally, Bain & Company found that when companies use social media to actively engage customers on service-related issues, those customers will spend 20% to 40% more on average with that company.
As other social platforms catch up to the customer service game, time is of the essence to perfect your social support strategy.
Here are 5 things to keep in mind when handling customer support on social media: Continue reading →
What’s driving the enormous interest in chat bots right now? A year after Facebook’s launch of its bot platform (which TechCunch called “the new app store”) it now has 33,000 bots. Competing platforms have high numbers too: 19,000 for Kik and 10,000 for Line.
Most impressive – to me, at least – is the number of companies that have invested in bots as a new channel for customer service. This early adoption is uncharacteristic. I certainly applaud the willingness to experiment with an unproven new channel. But I’m puzzled by the eagerness, especially compared to the slow uptake we saw with social media, chat and other channels by the same companies. Have they learned from those experiences and decided to be more aggressive this time? Or is something else going on? Continue reading →