Oct

Building 24x7x365 Customer Support and Online Sales... FOR FREE (Almost)

                                                             

We’ve all seen the numbers and they tell us that customers are more likely to make a purchase if they’re able to speak to a representative at the time of purchase. Study after study shows that if you can prevent even the smallest percentage of customer defection revenues and profitability can literally skyrocket as much as 80%. Just as important, the faster is your service the better is customer experience.

The same can be said for customer support. More than 70% of customers say that responsive customer support providing fast, courteous, relevant and contextual answers to their inquiries are the most important factors in determining the quality of customer service and the likelihood of that customer doing business with the company in the future.

As our world becomes even more “on-demand” and global, providing around the clock sales and customer support is quickly becoming a key differentiator. Customer’s desire to do business with companies on their own schedule and terms are driving financial growth and customer loyalty across all sectors and industries. Companies that neglect this “always on” requirement not only lose out, but need to find ways to be competitive.

Unfortunately, only the largest companies have the financial resources to deliver 24x7 customer support and sales operations. Still many of the largest companies can’t justify the expense of building out and staffing a 24 hour contact center. While outsourcing to a BPO is always an option, statistics show a diminishing return for outsource customer and sales support operations.

As customers continue to drive up the use of chat and social communications for customer support and sales, along with the incredible growth in Artificial Intelligence technology, smart companies on the forefront of customer service now have the ability to offer around the clock service for a large portion of their customers.

Think about this: While the average phone support call has previously been measured at almost 6 minutes, the average chat session lasts just 42 seconds, indicating that the vast majority of customer support issues are simple and only require limited information in order to leave a customer informed and satisfied with the interaction.

Today Artificial Intelligence can deliver a personalized, informed, and contextually relevant response to just about any question related to most customer inquiries. Add on the fact that AI actually “learns” as it interacts with people and information and the value to the customer and the vendor actually increases over time.  Wouldn’t we all like to have immediate service with zero wait times and fast, courteous response that immediately addresses our needs? I know I would.

Implementing Artificial Intelligence for customer service comes down to an application cost that, when amortized over the number of chat or social sessions it can handle, reduces customer support costs to as little as 10% of traditional contact center and agent expenses.

The one objection to relying on Artificial Intelligence in the contact center is the customer experience. There’s enough bad press out there about Chatbots and broken, robotic responses that are sometimes irrelevant that some customer support professionals are wary of any form or automation. My response to that is, while those were valid concerns; just take a look at Siri today vs. 2 years ago. The quality of responses has dramatically improved, as has the customer perception and usefulness.

What are your thoughts about Artificial Intelligence in the contact center? We’d love to hear from you.

Interested in reading more? Check out our other blogs:

3 Reasons Why Knowing Intent is Essential for Your Business

What is intent? It is the reason behind the sentences we say. Behind posts and messages, as they appear on social networks. For instance, the intent of the tweet ‘I am going to buy a new car soon, my old car is entirely broken’  is buying a new car. The intent of this one however ‘ Need to buy me a car, got things to do lol’ could be anything from killing time by posting randomly to impressing friends, but not buying a car.  

During the time when most customer activities online happened on search engines (e.g. Google) understanding of intent was predominantly the task of these search engines.  So when I type ‘typical menu of Chinese restaurant’ and the search engine displays the list of local Chinese restaurants clearly in this case it did not understand my intent.

Nowadays, when an ever growing part of the consumer related activities is happening on social networks the task of understanding the customer intent becomes responsibility of a business.

Here are three reasons why this task is essential:

1. Marketing is personalized. Email blasts are a thing from the past. Today to stay completive your business should be able to target individually. And that means knowing what each of your potential customers needs in real time. The best way to know this is to understand customer intent. The numerous analytical and measurement tools available today exist only because until recently we didn’t know how to capture customer intent properly.

2. Knowing intent allows efficient and timely service across your company’s departments: those interested in the product belong to marketing department, purchase intent goes to sales, unhappy customers go to customer service, and so on.

3. Knowing intent offers long-term sustainability to your business because it reduces the noise. Unlike the previous generations, when the problem was a lack of information, today’s problem is the abundance of information. Business can function efficiently and be sustainable only when a competent model of finding the right information is in place. Understanding of intent is the best model available

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Amazing Social Data for Travel Companies

                                                   

A huge number of travel related conversations is happening every day on social networks.

Based on nmodes Twitter data (averaged over 1.5 years of observations) there is

- 1 conversation every 15 minutes in which people notify that they are going to NYC;

- 1 conversation every 43 minutes in which people from the USA express intent to go to Europe;

- 1 conversation every 4 minutes with interest or intent to go on vacation;

- 1 conversation every 3 hours in which people are asking for hotel recommendations.

And this is just a tip of the iceberg.

(nmodes currently has 70+ travel-related topics and intents, and growing.)

For travel companies all these are qualified leads, potential customers, and attentive audience.

Reaching out to these potential customers results in a positive consumer experience, brand recognition, and, yes, sales!

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