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Curated by @tomcoshow and transcosmos OmniConnect's team
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OCT 19 2017
Apologies for not posting last week - there are a lot of great articles this week, so let's jump right in!
In this article with Google, Keith Weed, the CMO of Unilever talks about their initiatives to “have a billion one-to-one relationships” and what that means to him. While he is focused on marketing, and also shares examples of 3 campaigns that he sees as having engaged customers successfully, this is all too relevant in customer service. While it is important to focus on the big picture (ie. service levels like percentage of calls answered within 20 seconds or less, average hold time, etc.), it is also crucial to focus on each customer interaction and if it is a good, efficient experience for the customers. They don’t want to feel like one of a billion, but rather feel like agents are focused on their problem specifically.
As greater indication that complex industries are adapting to new technologies, Moneyfarm, an online financial advisor of sorts, recently acquired Earnest for an undisclosed sum. This acquihire has Moneyfarm bringing on the Earnest team, and uses their artificial intelligence tools to improve their onboarding process, and get better access to consumer data to make improved, personalized recommendations. This goes to show that a well-built bot can really elevate your customer experience. Want to try a basic one out?
In combining Augmented Reality (AR) and chatbots, this article claims that chatbots connected to the new Microsoft HoloLens will be able to better help guide workers into making better decisions. In this case, chatbots will be able to show users different data points to help guide their decision. This supportive use case is actually somewhat similar to how some chatbots are being used now. While many consumers connect chatbots to front-end support (being the initial point of contact to talk to customers), it can also be used in the back-end to recommend responses to customers, thereby reducing the need for agents to type out each response manually. Connected with sentiment analysis to gauge the satisfaction of the customer, this can make sure customers have the best, most-efficient experience possible.
Facebook is providing companies to better utilizing the chat channel through retargeting messages – messages to get users to re-engage with a conversation that they had dropped with a brand. According to the Head of Performance Marketing at American Eagle Outfitters, the hope is to move from the “softer sell” and drive actual sales. This is a great way to reach customers who have messaged your bot in the past, but for some reason or another, stopped the conversation. A wonderful tool for companies, but as always, it runs significant risk of being abused by companies that spam your inbox with too many messages.
Facebook’s VP of Messaging, David Marcus wants to not only replace default texting tools as the messaging channel for consumers, he wants to get rid of 1-800 numbers as well. He believes that if enough entry points can be created to make interacting with brands through chat possible, it will make customer experience significantly better. Facebook Messenger is also free to use, although for scalable, enterprise-grade experiences, we find that additional tools are often required to connect with Messenger. As someone in the forefront of customer support, we recognize the greater need for OmniChannel presences, particularly chat support. In our opinion however, to completely get rid of calls still seems more of a longer term possibility. Hybridized chatbots that can connect to live agents are absolutely fantastic on Facebook though!
Despite most companies’ supposed focus on customer service, too many customers are still turning away from businesses due to poor support. This articles cites an Accenture Strategy report that finds 61% of customers worldwide walking away from business due to poor support, and 81% of those feeling like the company could have done something to retain them. Connected by the fact that once customers leave, they rarely return, and that it typically costs 4-10 times more to attract new customers than retain old ones, it shows that businesses still aren’t meeting customers halfway, despite everyone’s claims of being “customer-centric”. Is your business really customer-focused? Click here for tips on how to have great customer focus, and sign up to get the first 5 chapters of CustomerUp: A Customer Focus Fable sent to your inbox!