Tag: customer experience

15 Nov 2017

Ditching the Script: Why CX teams need to personalize interactions

Consumers in 2017 have heightened standards for customer service and support.  When they log onto a brand’s website — especially if they regularly do business with that company — they expect the experience to be personal to them.  They expect their interests to be known, their needs anticipated and that the shopping experience will be as intuitive as possible.  During a time where every advertisement we see on social media and every recommended product on Amazon is tailored to our individual interests, customer support interactions must follow suit.

A recent survey found that shoppers appreciate agents who empathize, act quickly, and drop the script.  Meaning they want to talk to someone who is really listening to them and understands what they are trying to accomplish.  Not one who is simply following an “if this, then that” flow-chart.  The challenge for customer service agents is how to take  the time to provide personalized and empathetic support, while still ensuring customer interactions are fast and efficient. To strike this balance, artificial intelligence is helping brands align their CX teams to meet these new standards for customer support, both as external tools and internal resources.

External chatbots understand each shopper’s situation and provide contextual answers, fast

Chatbots are no longer just a buzzword — they are a viable customer service channel that can provide accurate and efficient support.  The technology can be implemented across critical touchpoints — from a website to a mobile app and even on a Facebook page — to ensure customer can get consistent support wherever, whenever.

The reason chatbots are so game-changing is the innovative technologies embedded within them. Specifically, with AI and natural-language processing capabilities these tools have the unique ability to go beyond a scripted, FAQ-like interaction, and actually understand the context of shoppers’ situations and provide relevant, accurate and tailored answers.

Internal AI tools help live reps provide personalized and consistent support

The same virtual assistant tools that brands use to resolve customer problems can also be implemented internally as a resource for live customer service reps. With vast knowledge management systems and the ability to dig into individual customer’s history (previous interactions, purchases, returns, etc.) customer service agents can leverage AI to ensure they have all the insights needed to effectively solve customer problems. Not only does this allow them to tailor the support experience by having the customer’s full history at their fingertips, but it also mitigates frustration by not forcing the customer to repeat information that they’ve shared via other channels.

Customer service interactions in our hyper-digital world need to be personalized — and brands that still train their technology tools and representatives to follow scripted conversations are destined for failure. With the growth of AI-driven virtual assistants, brands can provide highly-tailored engagements that keep customers satisfied and shopping.

09 Nov 2017

Using AI to Help Customers Avoid Information Overload

Ever feel overwhelmed when you go onto a retailer’s website or mobile app? Today’s ecommerce experiences put massive amounts of information at shoppers’ fingertips — but oftentimes this influx of data can be harmful to the customer experience.

Navigating all the available information on a website can be both frustrating and create a roadblock for consumers shopping for a particular item or looking for a specific answer. Luckily, artificial intelligence technologies are helping solve this problem, empowering shoppers to cut through noise and quickly find the right information without having to comb through all the text. Here’s how AI-driven chatbots can help minimize information overload, making for seamless, intuitive customer experiences:

Getting to the root of customer needs

A big issue customers face when interacting with brands online is the feeling that their issues and needs aren’t accurately understood. With so much information now available, customers can be forced to search for answers on their own — taking extra time and effort to find relevant information that impacts their demands.

Chatbots help to mitigate this qualm. Equipped with cutting-edge natural language processing (NLP) capabilities, these tools have the ability to dig down into customer issues and truly understand the intent behind their queries to, in turn, provide the most relevant and accurate response and/or escalate the customer to the best resource. Ultimately, this not only ensures customers questions are accurately answered, but gives them the feeling that their issues and situations are being heard.

Pinpointing where online support falls short — and fixing it, fast

With AI, brands can monitor how their customer experience strategy is actually performing and whether they’re efficiently supporting customers. Embedded within chatbots, retailers have the back-end capabilities to pinpoint repeated semantic clusters of phrasings, and understand where their support isn’t accurate or helpful to customers. From there, they alert CX managers to these problems and prompts them to address them by adding more information.

Another key part of this equation is the ability to quickly update all of the company’s knowledge across every platform the chatbot exists on — be it social media, a mobile app or website. This multi-pronged integration ensures the company’s channels offer consistent support no matter where a shopper is looking for answers.

Personalizing the experience

Personalization is a major buzzword in today’s hyper-digital retail space. But the fact of the matter is that tailoring the customer experience is a valuable way minimize information overload for customers.

In the customer service realm, chatbots can ensure customers get information that is most relevant to their particular situation. Specifically, by allowing the chatbot to dig into a specific customer’s profile on the retailer’s website, they can understand previous interactions or purchases and ensure they are providing insight that aligns with these historical insights. Understanding an individual customer’s needs is crucial to providing a seamless and supportive digital experience.

Today’s retailers are tasked with not only having the most interactive ecommerce experiences, but they’re expected to present information in a way that is valuable for their specific customers. Leveraging AI technologies, retailers can ensure their digital properties minimize information overload and provide a top-notch shopping experience.

27 Jul 2017
End User Summit to Improve Customer Experience

Nanorep’s First Annual End User Summit was a Productive, Exciting Learning Experience for Us All

On July 6th in London Nanorep held its first ‘End User Summit’ for our customers at WeWork Paddington. The structure of the event was built to allow for our customers to create a personal connection with us as a partner and more importantly to engage with each other.

In all, Nanorep had twelve attendees across six brands. All of these brand representatives had travelled from across the UK to make it to London for the afternoon representing Digital learning, Customer Service, Operations and Customer Experience.

The event ran as an afternoon session and covered our Product Road Map, a Customer Panel Session with Simon Johnson and Matthew Rawlings from RBS Digital Learning team and finally an insight into ‘Building a Customer Service Bot’.

A Product of our Efforts

Lior Bachar- Nanorep’s Head of Product- provided a guided look at our Product plans, especially showcasing a new User Flow feature that illustrates what steps a customer takes when asking a question through Nanorep. This helps our partners understand the customer journey and where processes potentially need improvement or how a customers’ query may affect other departments. Lior then provided a more complete picture of the current marketplace, illustrating Nanorep’s true position as thought leaders ahead of the curve with better customer service through AI-enabled developments in conversational capabilities.

RBS Shared Their Wisdom – from the Sandbox to Sound Advice

RBS have been a Nanorep customer since September 2016. Amongst other deployments, they currently use Nanorep as an internal knowledge management platform, ‘MyKnowledge’, for their contact centre agents. Using Nanorep’s NLP engine has enabled these front-line agents to find answers to customer queries that much quicker. Simon Johnson and Matthew Rawlings, who manage the ‘My Knowledge’ team at RBS, were the members for the Panel Discussion.

RBS have 15,000 agents in branch and telephony plus an additional 15,000 agents across the UK and India, comprising a total of 30,000 agents. The current traffic they experience within the ‘MyKnowledge’ environment is 2.5M Pageviews per week and they receive approximately 650k to 700k questions per month. They wanted to demonstrate how their frontline colleagues who help their customers minimise the level of effort required for issue resolution.

Having access to a sandbox to use before going live, and testing and ‘playing around’ with the solution really helped them receive a good understanding of the solution and build a critical mass of content. It also helped in term of focusing on areas in bite size chunks and training. Furthermore, the Nanorep Management console’s use of labelling to find content offered a far simpler, more straightforward process, freeing up time for management to help the content team optimise the type of content they create. Nanorep has freed up time for the ‘MyKnowledge’ team to teach the agents to become more conversational and changing the users behaviour, they anticipate this being a long term process.

Nanorep ‘contact forms’ are starting to be assigned and used by product teams and marketing which previously acted in silos, they now work in a more agile fashion. The Voices dashboard within Nanorep allows RBS to now evidence and confirm customer feedback. Increased efficiencies are allowing them to focus on other areas of customer experience. They envision contribution from other departments such as legal and finance becoming content contributors to the articles being created within Nanorep in the future. The user-friendly nature of the Nanorep platform was a massive plus point as well, and they emphasized a 6-week implementation process as compared to a 9 month one with their previous internal system.

Going around the Table Instead of Going Around in Circles

Following the stimulating sessions about the future of the product and the ways in which current deployments can help with improvements today, the group then split up for round-table sessions. The participants were arranged in groups of 3 and 4 for a half an hour round table session to help stimulate thoughts on KPIs, strategy, interdepartmental knowledge sharing, best practices, and future product requests. It was a great, hands-on opportunity for customers from different areas of the country to reflect on their systems and learn from each other, getting fresh perspectives and points of view for practical upgrades on their own use.

Building Better Practices by Also Building a Community

The evening ended with a beer and an opportunity for participants to share contact details and connect on an ongoing basis. While our relationships with our customers are always important to us, this event was for us an exciting opportunity to reconnect with a group of them together and witness the interactions they were able to have with each other. As proponents of cultivating the best customer experience for end-users, we abide by the customer-first mind-set and a customer-centric policy, and this event was a wonderful opportunity to put our philosophy into practice. This year’s first-ever end user meetup was by all measurements a success, and while it was an inaugural event, it has proven to be a worthy one that we hope to continue to facilitate and expand as we scale and grow.

Questions about the event? Contact me!

15 Jun 2017

Don’t Miss Nanorep’s Webinar on How AI Transforms Customer Service, Featuring Guest Principal Analyst Ian Jacobs

I have seen the interest grow in adoption of AI. It is no longer a question of whether there is urgency in implementing a project to leverage intelligent technology, but instead a question of how. Beyond this, though, I have seen that many companies get thrown off once they make a decision to invest. What do I do? How do I do it? With which tool? Why is this not intuitive!??

Studies shown that the customer experience is a crucial factor in consumers’ decisions of where to bring, and keep, their business. it’s also clear that Artificial Intelligence can be harnessed to facilitate customer service, but companies struggle in the step of implementing an intelligent solution in a way that doesn’t leave them drained of energy and resources. What starts as a smart decision to use technology to take support to the next level often leaves customer service professionals frustrated and fatigued by long, complex projects.

Like many of your peers, you might be wondering what you can do with AI to help your brand improve the customer experience now – without jumping through hoops or feeling frustrated and overwhelmed. How do you get the competitive edge you need while using the solution to actually improve not just your customer service but also your product, processes, and practices themselves?

We’re excited to let you know that this Tuesday, June 20th at 9 am PST, I will be joined by Forrester Principal Analyst Ian Jacobs to talk about trends and give you tangible tips on such topics as:

  • The need for a seamless customer service experience
  • How chat bots and virtual agents allow you to value your customers’ time while prioritizing high-value queries
  • The ways in which self-service gives the power to the consumer to help himself while giving you analytics and ammunition for optimization

AI has become a necessary component of a successful customer experience strategy, and we hope to help attendees understand the correlation between rising investments in AI and trends in the modern customer experience, empowering them to then apply this to real action in their own organizations. Register even if you think you may not be able to join on the day, register – we will send a recording!

Event Title: Nanorep-sponsored Webinar - Strategies to Use AI to Transform your Customer Service

I will be joined by Guest Speaker Ian Jacobs, Principal Analyst for application development and delivery, Forrester Research

Date and Time: Tuesday, June 20th, 9 am PST

The event is free and open to the public, and you can register HERE.

Hope to see you there!

01 Jun 2017
intelligent self service goes beyond expectations of call center deflection

Why Intelligent Self-Service is So Much More than a Cost-Saving Solution

High up on the list in every article about digital self-service is how much money it will save you as a business. Some say it will cut costs on hiring staff for low-level tasks, by streamlining and automating services. Others focus on around-the-clock hours for sales, or even reducing ticket inquiries altogether and improving customer retention and therefore profits. Bottom line? For many companies, it appears to be well and truly all about the dollars and cents.

But what if I told you that the financial incentives for intelligent self-service should not in fact be the primary reasons on your list of reasons to opt in?

Unparalleled Insights

A study by Demandbase has recently looked into how AI can improve the customer experience. 60% believe that AI gives better insights into accounts, 56% believe it offers more detailed analysis of campaigns, and 53% say AI can help with identifying prospective customers.

The sheer amount of data that can be taken in through self-service is one of the most powerful weapons in your arsenal. With the help of intelligent analytics, this data can be turned into actionable insights. The success rate is impressive, with results proving between “2-6x the improvement in marketing funnel conversion rate.”

Scaling your Brand Presence

Your brand is not just the colors and font on your company logo. It’s about how you interact with your customers and the image of your business to the outside world.

Whether visitors are browsing your website, downloading your mobile app, or getting in touch with customer service-one strong brand presence is essential. Intelligent-self-service can give one unified voice to your support channels, as well as helping you maintain the important elements of your branding, whatever those values might be. If your company is known for transparency, self-service can track the questions coming in, identify trends and pre-empt more inquiries by providing the answers on your website. If the tone of your business is light-hearted and whimsical, your support bots can mirror this style while going beyond tone to increase efficiency and efficacy.

The more customers engage with online channels and social media to reach out to retailers and businesses, the better a company’s ‘always on’ service has to be. If you’re not there when a customer is calling, they will quickly move on. Digital self-service is effortlessly scalable to meet your business needs, whether that’s at 1pm on your website, or at 3am on Facebook.

Maintain Optimum Quality Support

Sure, digital self-service can reduce the load on human staff. It’s true that it allows your employees to focus on more intricate tasks and feel greater job satisfaction in what they do, and it streamlines and automates repetitive or simple processes. But it’s so much more than that, too.

The support given to customers is guaranteed, not just in terms of round-the-clock service, but also the quality of the interactions themselves. With the help of a centralized knowledge base, answers are immediate and accurate across all channels. Wherever your customer reaches out from, support can answer queries from delivery and product information to opening hours and prices, and if the customer can log in, support has their order history and account information on hand and can take personalized and specialized answers even further. Customer service capabilities are boosted exponentially, and in situations wherein the query warrants human contact, the conversation is simply escalated accordingly.

Intelligent Self-Service: A Requirement in the Digital Age

Having an eye on the financial prize will always be necessary to make a success of your business, and if you’re looking for monetary reasons to adopt a self-service solution, you’ll find plenty. But equally high up on my list of business essentials is a strong and scalable brand presence, actionable analytics for success, and unparalleled customer service quality. Intelligent self-service is not a luxury intended to boost your profits, it’s a must-have to stay relevant in 2017 and beyond.

18 May 2017
connecting telecom customers for better customer experience

Can Reading Your Customers’ Minds Give the Telecoms Industry a Boost?

Did you know that in 2016, Telecoms was the industry in the U.K. to receive the second largest amount of complaints? The unhappy customers in the UK numbered 6.9 million, coming in second only to the retail industry.

The times, they are a’changing. Reuters have recently voiced that “the industry’s predictable, decades-old business model based on selling data packages by the millions is running out of steam.” Customers are expecting more from telecommunications companies, but many providers aren’t up to the challenge.

How businesses respond to these changing expectations will ultimately be what sorts the wheat from the chaff. 79% of customers say they would be reluctant to return to a company who had poorly dealt with a previous complaint, proving that customer service really is king.

The Future is Smart

One theme which came up again and again at this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona was transforming data into knowledge. The Chief Data Officer of Spanish telecoms giant, Telefonica commented at the conference, “we want to transform data into knowledge and place it into our consumers hands so that they are able to know, decide, and act, and so that they can make the most of their relationship.”

This call to customer autonomy over service and support is the future of analytics. By using an analytics system which strives to find the unique voice of the customer, businesses throughout the Telecoms industry can see at a glance what their customers want. The next natural step is to then provide them the tools to find the answers for themselves. Every interaction you have with your visitors can be stored in the knowledgebase, empowering your staff to give more accurate and informative responses. Where necessary, the business can manage website and marketing content better so that your customers have the knowledge they need at their fingertips.

A smart in-journey widget such as the one used by Vodafone UK can be one great way to help the customer journey progress from beginning to end. With minimal impact on back-end services, widgets can still revolutionize your customer experience. They can and should be seamlessly omni-channel, allowing customers to begin a conversation on mobile, and move to desktop or app without any frustration.

How May I Help You?

You’d have to be hiding under a rock to have missed the arrival of the virtual assistants. They are on every platform, in every pocket, and available from every device. If you aren’t thinking about them in relation to your own telecoms business-you should be. Of course, the technology is reliant on its Natural Language Processing abilities. It makes sense that Telecoms.com has vouched for the rise of Automatic Speech Recognition as one of its 9 trends to look out for in 2017.

While there is an ongoing debate about whether text or talk will come out on top as the customers most natural way of getting answers, intelligent virtual assistant capabilities are essential in giving your users what they want, and minimizing their complaints. Telecoms.com agree however, that to realize the potential of ASR in virtual assistants, “it needs to be combined with other AI technologies, such as natural language processing and deep machine learning.”

As we all interact with chatbots and virtual assistants regularly, whether it’s using Siri and Alexa or enjoying ‘conversational commerce’ with messenger bots, it’s not hard to see the truth of this ourselves. We want our AI to be smart, sure. But we also want it to be easy to use, personable, and even proactive. Take smart keyboard bot Xploree. This mobile personal assistant gauges user intent and makes suggestions and recommendations based on how they use messenger, music or gaming apps.

From Xploree to the new rollout of Google Assistant, there’s plenty of evidence that bots for the telecoms industry can vary dramatically, from answering questions and providing information, to completing tasks and automating processes. Self-learning allows support bots to adapt to context, or to changing dynamics with a customer.

Giving the Customer What They Want

By linking information gleaned with smart widgets and virtual assistants with robust analytics, your knowledgebase not only learns in real-time from every interaction, but creates a source of knowledge for the whole company. What was previously the domain of the IT department, is now far more agile and works to break down silos within any Telecoms company.

Your customers insist on being heard, and their approval and loyalty can only be maintained if you have a grasp on what they are thinking and feeling. Far more than an extra 500MB of data, powerful analytics and cutting edge virtual assistance will go a long way towards ensuring you master the ultimate customer experience.

11 May 2017
cx in digital age

What is Customer Experience?

According to Forrester Research, customer experience (CX) is “how customers perceive interactions with your company.” They believe that customers need to see your brand as “useful, usable and enjoyable.”

If we break this down, it’s immediately apparent that this isn’t the same as customer service. While customer service might start and end with a conversation between staff and consumer, (whether that’s in store, online or by support channel) consumer experience encompasses everything about the customer journey, from how usable your website is, how useful the offers are which arrive in a customer’s email inbox, and how enjoyable your mobile experience might be. In short, it touches on every feeling your customer has when they deal with your company. This means it’s not just those in customer-facing roles who need to consider CX. It’s everyone, from support, to marketing, to IT and beyond.

Improving the Customers’ Experience- Digitally

Historically, customer interactions with a business were face to face in-store, but now, more than 51% of shopping is completed online and smartphone revenue is set to overtake desktop to make up 70% of all online shopping.

This means that your digital customer experience needs to be front and center when it comes to making your company a success. And as shown by a recent study by Accenture, over 90% of businesses agree. But in a climate where less than 25% of companies are succeeding, what are the digital steps to a flawless CX?

Using Artificial Intelligence for a Superior Consumer Experience

Your website is the face of your business, and the content is your first impression. If customers can’t find what they need, they look to you for answers, no matter the time of day or night. You would never leave your bricks-and-mortar store unmanned during opening hours, but many businesses don’t realise that there’s no sign to flip to “closed” on a website.

Chatbots are a smart way to give your business an around-the-clock, ‘always-on’ persona, ensuring your visitors are never left with no one to help them. Automatically scalable at peak times, and supporting human staff by answering low level queries, they are a hassle-free solution to provide superior CX.

Empowered with Natural Language Processing, chatbots can judge the context of the conversations they have with your customers, providing answers directly from your information architecture. Rather than a frustrated customer who couldn’t get the help they need, who will quickly go elsewhere, your customers experience has just been enhanced, improving their loyalty to your brand.

Seamless Multichannel Customer Experience

The perception that your consumers have of your company will be affected by everything, including word-of-mouth and others’ consumer experience. With this in mind, it’s more integral than ever that businesses work to build a positive customer journey on all the channels available to them. More than ever in 2017, that includes social media and mobile.

A mobile phone has become a true ‘second screen’ for consumers, with the average adult spending 87 hours per month browsing on their smartphone. More than 90% of customers support their buying journey with their smartphone, including for research purposes, reviews, or price comparisons.

But this doesn’t mean that mobile marketing alone is enough, leaving desktop in the past. The vast majority of US customers are not ‘desktop only’ or ‘mobile only’ but heavily multi-platform. Your information needs to be seamless from your desktop site to your app and mobile website too. Customers can easily get frustrated if they are faced with inconsistent information or need to start a journey from scratch when moving from one to the other.

what is multi-channel customer experience

*image source: http://www.smartinsights.com/mobile-marketing/mobile-marketing-analytics/mobile-marketing-statistics/

Social media is an entirely different method of enhancing customer experience. Experts suggest you think of it less like a megaphone, where you could advertise special offers and services, and more like a telephone, encouraging two-way communication between your business and customer.

Increasingly, customers are turning to Facebook and Twitter to voice complaints, ask for information, and express interest in a brand. By creating a digital customer experience where you have the same information and support available on social media as on your website and app, your customer experience never falls short.

What is Customer Experience without Personalization?

It might sound obvious, but knowing what your customers want is integral to your business and its ultimate CX. The best way to do this is with cold hard facts, letting your data do the hard work for you.

Chief Marketing Officer Katy Keim of Lithium Technologies elaborates here on what business can do with the right data. “We can pinpoint the specific actions, behaviors and interests of the people we want to engage. By having this essential knowledge in our back pocket, we are in a better position to relate to our customers’ wants, needs and expectations and, as a result, are better able to serve them.”

Keeping track of every interaction on all channels helps your business identify trends and personalize the customer experience accordingly. Analytics allows your support reps and customer experience managers to identify the unique voice of the customer, creating pre-emptive content which solves commonly asked questions, or troubleshooting errors before they escalate. Reports help you track progress, measure success, and manage goals and expectations for your company. This is digital customer service experience laid out in preparation before your visitors even land on your home page.

Approaching your role as a customer experience manager means far more than simply working on the service customers receive directly from your staff. As Forrester said, it starts and ends with the perception you create of your brand within each and every consumer interaction. From everyday movement between channels, to out of hours browsing online, and all the while creating personalized content which delights your customers, inspiring true brand loyalty.

06 Apr 2017
holistic digital self-service solution for customer satisfaction

5 Ways to Take Action and Impress Tomorrow’s Consumers, Today

Broadly speaking, we know that people are more heavily reliant on technology than ever before, both in their personal lives and in how they shop. But which technology is relevant and successful, and what is simply window dressing?

A recent study by Apadmi has given retailers and business owners a glimpse into what consumers really want. Take a look at the following five elements of technology which the study revealed your customers consider essential.

Holistic Solution

Computer weekly reports from the results of the study that “almost half of shoppers want retailers to implement technology that will make it easier for them to use their mobile devices in-store.” From click -and -collect to mobile checkout and order ahead, having a solution that works across all devices for both consumers and staff and makes the most of each is essential.

Your intelligent self-service can and should include touch-points for the Web, mobile devices and messaging channels, and include knowledge management for both customers and employees to get answers at a moment’s interaction. Because comprehensive analytics are used, it can be self-learning, including escalation to live agents when the context calls for it, and best-in-class NLI (Natural Language Interactions).

Broad Analytics

“As shoppers continue to embrace mobile e-commerce and retail apps, the in-store experience needs to remain relevant and incorporate the benefits that can be achieved through shopping online,” ascertains the study.
Relevance is something which is coming up time and time again in what customers want to see. It’s no surprise that it was reflected here too. In fact, 75% of customers continue to participate in loyalty programs and affiliate themselves with your brand due to the relevance of offers and rewards. In order to provide relevance, you need to know what your customers want. And the only sure-fire way to get inside the mind of the customer is with analytics.

Analytics can track your self-service adoption to make sure you’re getting the results you need. Additionally, they can measure the quality of responses that your agents and AI are giving as well as building a picture of the visitor intent behind the questions. The business can see at a glance the voice of the customer, putting them in a perfect place to understand and optimize accordingly.

Unique White Box AI Technology

The study also uncovered that “one in five consumers wants retailers to implement technologies that will make their shopping experience more personal.” But personal doesn’t necessarily mean personnel.
The personal touch is much more than simply speaking to a human staff member. In fact, in a world where Gartner are predicting 85% of interaction with an enterprise will be without human contact by 2020,it is not a pre-requisite at all.

AI technology has come so far that when you choose Nanorep you are choosing proprietary technologies which include Contextual Answers™ and Natural Language Understanding. Customers talking to your AI enjoy personalized conversations with all the information about their order history at their fingertips. Accurate answers and in-context guidance give the personal touch with an added side of efficiency and ease.

User control

But the way customers shop has only changed so far. “It is important to consumers that this technology is used alongside a traditional store experience as opposed to replacing it, with many consumers still preferring to check-out with a person.”

For businesses, this can be a complicated balance to find. Deployed successfully, your intelligent self-service should complement your human staff, making their lives easier and allowing them to leave repetitive or low level tasks considered as done.

Nanorep makes this seamless, with a second-to-none guided, visual User Experience. Your customer service or customer experience departments can control, maintain and optimize the solution alone, with all the tools they need to manage their own unique business and staff needs, and no IT support necessary.

Fast Deployment

Apadmi realize they are not asking for any small feat from today’s businesses, but the consequences seem steep if a company chooses to ignore these new realities. “While it will be challenging for retailers to meet the demands of tech-savvy shoppers, it’s important that they get on-board to retain customer loyalty.”

The clock is ticking, and customers aren’t interested in waiting for a complicated system to be put in place. Not when your competitors are already there and waiting.

In order to succeed at intelligent self-service, you need to choose a company with a proven track-record of deploying solutions in weeks rather than months. A solution which minimizes the Professional Services needed, providing immediate results.

70% of customers expect a company website to have an effective self-service solution for their needs. Finding that balance between AI and human staff, creating opportunities for growth with broad analytics, and ensuring a fully holistic solution with fast deployment should be top of your list of requirements when choosing your own.

23 Mar 2017
success factors for bots to add value to customer service

Key Success Factors for Bots that Add Value to your Customer Service

What are the Key Success Factors of a Messaging Bot?

The Age of the Customer is upon us, and with it, the sources of power for businesses have changed. Your own power as a company now comes from engaging with empowered customers, making the key contenders in this decade businesses like Facebook and Apple who have always encompassed the connection to customer experience within their brand. Moving out of the Age of Information, previous leaders such as Amazon and Google are left to diversify and create business transformation to stay relevant and competitive. The advances that we see in technology and the projections for the future are all focused on making a better customer experience, and creating the ideal environment for engagement.

The journey of mobile apps has been quick and impressive, with apps taking mobile from web browsers through to an entirely mobile-native experience. Mobile apps now truly make the most of smartphones capabilities, including elements such as real time notifications, click-to-call functionality or GPS tracking. There’s hardly a situation where a consumer can’t make use of Apple’s well known tagline, “There’s an App for that!”

But across platforms, the app stores are crowded, and each app has varied success with providing a user experience and an interface which makes sense universally and creates satisfied customers. Apps take time and sometimes money to download, they take up valuable space on your mobile phone, and crucially-are often only relevant once a month or even less.

Enter Bots. Messaging Bots are accessed via our favorite messaging platform which we are comfortable chatting on and used to using. They need no additional download, and we don’t need to get used to a new interface to benefit from them. They take up no more room on our devices, and can be interacted with in the same way we might chat with our friends. At first glance, they certainly sound like the perfect solution. But if you’re thinking about integrating them into your customer service strategy in the Age of the Customer, here’s what you need to know:

Simplicity is Key

Using a bot needs to be simpler than any other channels available to satisfy the customer’s need. If you can simply send off a line of text and get the answer you’re looking for about opening hours or product price, that’s efficient and likely to encourage customer engagement. But if your Bot relies on scripted answers and can’t use context to fill in gaps or get the query answered the first time around, your consumers might well wish they had simply picked up the phone.

While intelligent Bots are fantastic for answering short questions (How much is next day shipping?) or ordering a repeat purchase (My usual order of 10 sleeves of Nespresso pods, please), longer text conversations exemplifying more convoluted needs might be better supported by other channels. Consider encouraging your customers to engage via Bot and then complete the more complex elements of their queries or transactions via app, phone, or web browser. This way Bots fit seamlessly into your omni-channel strategy.

The sophistication of Nanorep’s virtual customer assistant enables the bot to have continuous conversations and understand natural language, but even so sometimes the system realizes that the customer is better served by being rerouted to another channel. In these cases, our solution is able to transfer the customer to a human-assisted channel or another touchpoint, even to act as a meta-bot and task other bots with a specific function, like transferring funds or completing a purchase.

While the future will likely see us self-serving completely through full-service Bots with astonishing capabilities, the current landscape requires smart use of a rules engine with which businesses can determine how to route which kinds of queries and customer needs to which channel.

It’s Essential to go Across Messaging Platforms and Connect all Touchpoints

Messaging platforms have now surpassed social media in terms of monthly active usage. The vast majority of smartphone users chat via messaging platforms daily, and most of those use more than one. If Bots are really going to make customers lives easier, the business and developers need to utilize cross-messaging platform tools so that the user can find the answers they need without feeling frustrated or elongating how long the process takes.

A single centralized database means that all interactions can be found quickly and easily, no matter what channel they were initiated on originally. Customers don’t need to try to figure out whether they had a conversation via email, on Facebook or Whatsapp or Slack, or from their mobile, whatever the content they’re remembering, it can be accessed by both customers and staff alike from any channel and across all messaging platforms.

Think about how much extra time is spent managing and maintaining apps for multiple platforms such as iOS and Android. The last thing you need is to be doing the same thing for your Bots across messaging platforms. You need to ensure that all channels can access one centralized database.

Expectations Must be Met

Consider what service you’re trying to provide with your Bot. Is your bot single-action, like a Bot which provides opening hours for a store, or can schedule a meeting? While these are useful, they need to be marketed correctly so that users know what to expect. If a Bot asked “Can I help you with anything?” and its ability is limited to one or two tasks or key pieces of information, the customer is likely to end up disappointed. Consider using language like “Would you like to schedule a meeting?” which manages expectations from the outset. A disappointed customer is not likely to try again.

You need to strike a balance between providing a full-service Bot which meets the customers’ expectations (perhaps from using your app or website in the past) and the time it will take you to market, create and manage your offering. Your Bot can and should represent your business, so take the time to think about what that means. Rather than a Bot that does one thing, for example tells customers their order status, aim to offer a good-sized portion of the ideal, (everything your business does) and plan to implement more in the future.

One good way to manage user expectations is to create ways to measure and track user intent at every stage of their journey with your business. As VentureBeat advise, “This may take more than the simple automated responses that a lower-tech bot can provide and may require a messaging platform that is integrated with customer records and leverages powerful automation, analytics, and integrations.”

Routing You to the Right Channel to meet your Needs Has Inherent Value

Bots continue to solve many of the most frustrating customer problems, such as lengthy wait times, or providing quick answers to simple questions on a familiar and omni-channel platform. But they can’t solve everything, and they aren’t meant to.

While businesses should be making the most of Bots to engage with customers and find success in the Age of the Customer, this also includes knowing when to channel consumers elsewhere. Perhaps you’re being faced with customer frustration or anger, or a complex issue which needs human support or clearance. At first glance it might feel like the Bot has failed. On the contrary. Using Bots here can be another type of win for this kind of digital support. Imagine your Bot seamlessly inviting a human member of staff into the conversation who has all the information on hand to solve the issue, or getting the customer on the phone with the right agent who has the perfect skills for this situation. You’re creating a happy and satisfied customer.

When Intelligently Planned and Executed, Bots are Key to Successful Self-Service

Bots are an exciting new way to engage and chat with your customers and solve many of the problems which apps have fallen prey to in recent years. Knowing what you want to create, managing customer expectations, and ensuring you provide a simple cross-messaging, omni-channel experience are the key elements to consider for success.

16 Mar 2017
self-service lessons from fast food

Can I Take Your Order? What We Can Learn from Fast Food Digital Self-Service

Gartner predicts that by 2020, 85% of a customer’s interaction with a company will be without human contact. And this isn’t just online. As well as McDonalds, the latest restaurant business to jump on the self-service bandwagon is Wendy’s, with the announcement of 1,000 kiosks arriving by the end of the year to a store near you.

CIO David Trimm says one strong reason behind this investment is simply to “enhance the customer experience.” But how does this work, exactly?

Putting the Customer First

Sometimes, the best customer service can mean getting out of your customer’s way and letting them control their own experience. We’re all familiar with the frustration of ordering your favorite fast food exactly how you like it, only to find out once you take the first bite that they didn’t listen to your pickle aversion (or worse, take seriously your food allergy).

Professors from Cornell and Mississippi State found that self-service options increase the accuracy of transactions. More automation means less chance for error, and more confidence from the customer that they are going to get what they want.

Self-service also gives more opportunities for inclusion and accessibility. A good example for Wendy’s might be a deaf person being able to order their burger and Frosty confidently and efficiently in a noisy, busy store for the first time. Online, self-service helps not just those who might struggle in-store, but also opens up around-the-clock hours and can give visitors the opportunity to access information from anywhere, in multiple languages, with increased relevance to visitor’s specific needs and easy access to the answers they currently seek.

Giving the Customer What They Want

Customers can benefit from being given the knowledge they crave as well as the french fries. Kiosk technology has the potential to give nutritional information, calorie intake, and even some background on the preparation and sourcing of the ingredients. When customers have questions, they want answers they can trust and rely on. Studies have shown that we trust technology more than humans, perhaps because in our day-to-day life we turn to computers and smart phones to give us accurate and efficient answers.

The same is true in any customer-facing business. Customers love the ease of online shopping, and enjoy using the same technology to get answers as they do to make purchases. Rather than pick up the phone, in a survey of 3,000 consumers, 91% would use a single online knowledge base if it were tailored to their needs and easily available.

It’s easy to see that giving your customers a way to take control of their experience, alongside all the knowledge they could ask for, is far from limited to the fast food industry.

Happy Staff, Happy Customers

But it’s not just the customers who are putting the happy into ‘happy meal’ in this scenario. Staff working alongside this new technology have a lot to smile about. Shorter lines and fewer queries mean that they are less busy during peak times. This gives them the opportunity to engage with the customer in a friendlier way than a simple “would you like fries with that?” In many cases, staff are also reallocated or promoted to jobs with more responsibility. Seeing a surge in customers and sales, companies have been shown to hire more staff in the long run, to keep up with the surge in business.

The same is true across the self-service industry. Companies that successfully implement digital self-service are helping their staff by facilitating their work and giving their jobs more depth, and arming them with the right tools and background knowledge. Low-level queries could be handled by support bots, the same way your website might take orders while you sleep overnight, ready for you to fulfil come 9am. The bot can be the line cook, getting all the ingredients ready for the agent to then take over with finesse, better prepared. Like a burger and fries, it’s the perfect partnership. While you could have one without the other, why would you?

Keeping Track of Your Bottom Line

It’s hard to ignore that if customers and staff are both satisfied, your overall experience is looking pretty good. But what’s happening behind the scenes? Self-service can also help you improve your entire business model with the help of data. Just like on your company website, the information you collect on each interaction by kiosk can drive actionable analytics to increase profits and make smart changes.

While it might seem like you’re not going to get much information from how many burgers were ordered on any particular day of the week, think deeper. Which meals did customers abandon after seeing the price tag? What customization options created a bottleneck? Can you increase sales by having ‘add on’ side dishes or drinks at checkout? The possibilities could be endless.

Digital self-service can use Voice of the Customer analytics to give you a tangible overview of what questions are being asked and when. As this updates in real time, you can spot trends and modify content, or empower staff accordingly.

Self-service moving into the fast food arena is just one more example of how the technology is becoming integral in creating happy and motivated staff and satisfied customers. So if you’re not making the most of self-service for your company, you’d better start playing “ketchup.”