Tag: customer support

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.

12 Mar 2014
The SEO-Enabled Support Center

The SEO-Enabled Support Center

One of the most exciting developments that have taken place here lately is the new nanoRep self-service Support Center. This is an SEO-enabled customizable & mobile optimized Support Center that allows customers easily find and search information on their own.

Simply put, this now makes it possible for your existing knowledge base and incoming customer service queries to actually boost your search engine optimization (SEO) for your website. SEO is the sum total of activities that are geared towards improving the quality, content, visibility, profitability, ranking, searchability and credibility of your online assets. It’s an all-encompassing activity that requires constant fine-tuning, research and analytics. nanoRep makes it possible for you to capitalize on all search queries in your knowledge base courtesy of the SEO-enabled customizable & mobile optimized Support Center.

How nanoRep’s SEO Enabled Support Center Works

Remember that the nanoRep knowledge base continually updates. It is an intelligent system that learns from the questions posed by customers and the answers provided by agents and then updates the knowledge base with all relevant material. This self-aware customer support system is able to efficiently and effectively update content – in a dynamic way – and it’s 100% fully mobile optimized. Here’s where things get really interesting: the Support Center adapts itself according to the popularity of search queries that are fed into the system. In other words, it understands what is most important to customers. Once you’ve published your Support Center, the Knowledge Base is continuously populated and those articles become available for searchers on leading search engines such as Yahoo, Bing and Google.

A Support Center Developed for You

Since it’s fully customizable to meet the needs of your individual business, the Support Center template can be configured according to personal requirements.

The Support Center can be easily configured to your needs and customized to your website’s look and feel. Each of the pages is completely customizable for HTML, and you can edit the pages as you see fit. Meta title, Meta descriptions, and other behind-the-scenes SEO data is automatically generated. Further, the links that are generated are all fully optimized for SEO – so you can essentially enjoy a complete SEO-Enabled Support Center in one fell swoop.

17 Feb 2014

The Nanorep Ticketing System

In the customer service world, agents are typically bogged down by all manner of repetitive questions on a daily basis. Imagine a service solution that works alongside agents, and doing the repetitive tasks for them – recognizing incoming queries, and suggesting the common reply automatically.
A sort of co-pilot that is always there, jumping in to help whenever needed.

nanoRep provides just that, a learning ticketing system that cooperates with agents to replicate what they do, reducing the load of the repetitive issues, leaving agents to deal with the new and more complicated cases.

Turning single-use agent work into reusable content

Usually, an agent’s work is a single-serving action, hence the constant repetition…
But using nanoRep, every time an agent replies to a ticket, nanoRep learns the reply, and will suggest that known reply whenever a similar ticket comes in – completely automatically.

That even works when different agents are working on the system, if John replies to a shipping question, and Beth is now handling a similar question, she will see John’s reply suggested to her to resolve the issue with 1 click, she doesn’t even need to search for it.

Generate quality contents for your Support-Center

So you are now able to handle that much more tickets, that much easier, but what if you could resolve them even before they are created?

You see, all of these answers that are learned from agent replies are collected for you, sorted by popularity and maturity, ready for you to publish them to your Support Center, or on-site nanoRep widget. When visitors or customers ask these questions online, they will get an instant response, resolving a potential ticket and making your customers happy.

Your customers get better and faster answer, and your agents are free to work on new stuff. In addition, all that new content builds your SEO and draws in more traffic.

New content builds SEO

All that new content you are now generating for free, is an SEO gold-mine. Content (and especially high quality, relevant and constantly updating content) really pack a punch for SEO ranking, and it should, as you are giving customers valuable information, providing real value.

When contents are published to your support center, nanoRep will push new and tending topics to the top, increasing visibility for customers, and also make sure search engines see your content and rank you accordingly.

Do you know what keeps agents busy?

nanoRep is not only your agent’s co-pilot, and your on-line customer’s super-fast agent. nanoRep is your trusted advisor – showing you what agents are spending time on. But instead of relying on manual tagging, nanoRep uses natural language to analyse what is being asked by your customers, proving an intelligent report of the topics your agents are handling.

You get to see the tops questions being asked, what generates the most tickets, and generally what customers are interested in.

nanoRep Intelligent Service – Ticketing System Feature Highlight

  • Automatic suggestion of answers to agents, based on the contents of the ticket
  • Real time information sharing between agents – as soon as a reply is sent it can be reused by any agent to similar inquiries.
  • Automatically generate content for your support center.
  • Build your SEO based on quality and updating content.
  • Intelligent monitoring – Learn where agents are spending their time and make adjustments based on actionable information.
  • International Translation – ticket are automatically translated to an agent’s language.
  • Advanced Queue Management – Define your departments, queues, priorities and skills.
09 Oct 2013
How nanorep is Better Than Virtual Agents

How Nanorep is Better Than Virtual Agents

Back in 2011, analyst firm CCM predicted that the use of virtual agents in customer support would increase 400% by 2014. BusinessWeek published a debate on the topic. Today, however, the incorporation of single sets of manually pre-written questions and answers is presenting problems.

As the Taylor Reach Group notes:
People are more eager to deal with virtual agents according to Harvard Business Review, we are certainly more accustomed to interacting with technology than we were in 2003. Yet the success of self serve technology is declining. So why is this happening?

… [the virtual-agent system] is still menu driven. A tight “one to a few” relationship (for each question there are only 3-4 answers the virtual agent will understand and can process). The result is often in a much lower success rate.

No manual virtual-agent system will ever “have all the answers” because humans must constantly maintain it and add questions with responses. If a large website receives 1,000 new queries each day, no customer support team will be able to keep up.

The only way to keep up with the increasing demand for instant, online answers in customer service is to use a system that constantly adds new questions and responses automatically rather than manually. So, with that in mind, I wanted to present a few reasons that show why nanorep customer support software is the future of customer service rather than traditional virtual agents.

Scalability

nanorep: Our solution easily scales to hundreds of thousands of questions and answers for any small, medium, or large website.
Virtual Agents: Setup takes months since questions and answers are manually added, managed, and incorporated in scripts, so it takes more and more time to manage online customer service as companies and websites grow.

Accuracy of Answers

nanorep: Our answer-accuracy rate is 95% because the solution learns seven things automatically: visitors’ questions; agents’ answers (before being approved and going live); the phrasing of similar questions (to be aggregated); the importance of specific terms in questions and answers; search prediction; spelling correction; and international translation.

Virtual Agents: The accuracy rate is generally not as high and the tools do not learn anything automatically.

Cost of Use

nanorep: The cost-per-answer in an learning self-service solution such as nanorep is typically very low at $0.1 and lower.

Virtual Agents:The cost to create and manage answers is higher and could be up to $1.0 per contact because of the amount of manual work needed to prepare the Q&A ahead of time.

Customer

Setup

nanorep: Setup work is needed only to customize design and behavior within the intuitive administrative dashboard. nanorep allows for the importation of existing FAQ documents. When users ask new questions and customer-support agents answer them, nanorep automatically learns the information and can provide it automatically in the future after quick human approval.

Virtual Agents: Conversations, questions, and answers must be pre-written and pre-programmed according to a certain predicted script. This is extremely time-consuming and inefficient process since it there are many different ways the conversation can go and it is hard to cover all potential questions at a certain point. So the preparation process might take a few weeks to a few months depending on the amount of scripts.

Languages Support

nanorep: Can translate questions and answers automatically so that users can find the solutions they need in their native languages regardless of the languages in which the questions and answers had been submitted.

Virtual Agents: Virtual Agents do not support automatic translation into int’l languages. But only provide robotic assistance via conversation scripts and pre-written questions and answers. So questions and answers must be separately translated in advance to all target languages.

Accessibility

nanorep: Can be located on specific pages (product pages, support page, etc.) or on every page of the website for instant, automatic, and continuous customer support until a visitor converts – or has his problem resolved or question answered.

Virtual Agents: Usually placed on the homepage or a certain landing page as it is too complex to create different conversation scripts for each page. As a result, Virtual Agents are merely used for lead-generation that routes people with serious questions to (expensive!) live agents in a way that resembles old and inefficient voice-response systems.

Summary

Virtual agents are used primarily to generate business leads. nanorep, however, takes online marketing to the next level by making customer service more efficient and cost-effective while maximizing the number of website conversions at the same time.

29 Sep 2013
The nanorep Self-Service Customer Support Innovation

The Nanorep Self-Service Customer Support Innovation

Customer service and support is a crowded space with numerous software vendors and various types of solutions. Many traditional vendors offer customer service portals on the front-end and a ticketing system in the back-end. To find answers, customers must find the link to the portal, drill down and narrow the search categories. If customers can’t find answers, eventually they are given the option to contact an agent via email. This traditional approach has many limitations:

  • Accessibility: It assumes that customers will take the time to visit the company’s support portal, and navigate through articles and categories in search for answers.
  • Deflection of support tickets is more important than customer service.
  • Customer experience on website is not taken into consideration – no intelligent engagement.
  • Q&A knowledge base is built manually – agents must add new articles in pre-defined categories
  • Solution is limited to handful of products / services.  Knowledge base can’t be created for companies with hundreds, thousands and more products.

Over the last several years, companies also adopted additional solutions such as forums, communities and virtual agents. Forums and communities help deflect support tickets, but answers are not always accurate and definitely not immediate (it may take days before and a forum or community member responds). Virtual agents on the other hand aim to deliver immediate answers and try to mimic real-conversations. However, it’s impossible to predict every scenario and therefore answers are limited. In addition, customers confuse virtual agents with chats and get irritated with the “robotic” nature of the conversation.

nanorep realized those limitations and designed a self-service customer support software that overcomes many of these limitations and provides companies with excellent customer service. nanorep provides a solution that enhances agent-productivity and increases online conversion.

At nanorep we understand that web visitors abandon sites within seconds. Therefore, immediate answers must be provided in the most convenient way. Site abandonment is even more crucial for eCommerce sites.  Consumers have choices in term of product selection and price, and therefore customer service is a major differentiator. The fast growing eCommerce market presents a new customer service challenge – assisting online visitors in real-time, reducing abandonment, and increasing online conversion rate.

Keeping visitors engaged through their purchasing process requires accurate answers per product in real-time. nanorep solves this challenge with an end-to-end customer service solution that includes a variety of Self-Service Widgets (available on every page), Self-Learning Knowledge Base, Ticketing System and advanced business analytics. Customers don’t need to navigate away to look for answers. They can ask questions thru the widget on every page, mobile and even Facebook, in their own language, just like they would ask a sales-person or an agent. nanorep virtually holds the customer’s hand at any step throughout the purchasing process and helps reduce abandonment.

For eCommerce companies with a wide variety of products, nanorep offers complete knowledge base for each and every product. The artificial intelligence behind the self-learning knowledge base of nanorep answers visitors’ questions per product in real-time and increases online conversion by 5X and more. With nanorep, each product page can include an embedded widget, allowing customers to conveniently ask questions just as if they were visiting a brick-and-mortar store.

01 Aug 2013
How to Prepare Online Customer Service for the Holidays

How to Prepare Online Customer Service for the Holidays

Did you know that Americans spent $42.3 billion online during the holidays last year – a 14% increase from 2011? And that does not even include the sales from other countries.

Clearly, the holiday season is the most-important time of the year for retailers and B2C businesse in general, but it takes months of preparation to prepare websites – and businesses as a whole – for the rush. To help you to get ready to take advantage of the opportunity, we at nanorep will be holding a free webinar soon to show e-commerce websites the best-practices in customer service and related topics for the holiday season. It’s important to start preparing now!

How to Prepare Customer Service for the Holidays

Date: Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Time: 2 p.m. ET / 11 a.m. PT (U.S. time)
With: Eyal Goldfarb, Senior Account Manager, Roy Goffer, Director of Marketing
Duration: One hour
Cost: Free

It is no secret that during the holiday season retailers experience a huge increase in traffic and demand. With online retail sales eclipsing over $1 billion in several individual days alone and the holiday season as a whole bringing around 25%- 40% of annual sales, it is no doubt that online retailers must prepare and adjust their customer service operation in advance.

Learn how you could maximize online sales during the holiday season by sustaining a high level of customer service regardless of the seasonal growth in incoming inquiries or tickets. Learn how nanorep’s smart all-in-one customer service software can help you:

  • Obtain your SLA goals without raising your support costs
  • Provide scalable customer service & support
  • Increase your customer satisfaction
  • Provide personal customer shopping experience with self-service tools
  • Automatically segment visitors based on conversation to increase live agents productivity

Don’t forget to click here to register!
We look forward to seeing you at the webinar.

11 Jul 2013
4 Tips to Improve Online Customer Service

4 Tips to Improve Online Customer Service

It’s popular to read countless articles and case studies to try to determine how your business can improve the online customer service and experience. But the best way is often to think about what you personally want whenever you visit e-commerce sites. Even though you may work for a company that sells products or services online, your own needs are usually not that much different from those of your audience – we’re all people, after all!

I realized this fact while doing some personal shopping and research recently, and I hope my own life will shed some light on how your business can incorporate quality customer service. Here are four quick tips based on my own experiences over the past few weeks.

1. Provide seamless customer service

Help should be available instantly and on every page, and visitors should be able to access a specific product’s FAQ without leaving the product page they are own. visitors should have the freedom to access a self-service customer support software, or engage with a live agent if they prefer at any time and on any page.

I was exploring some vacation websites to research some travel possibilities for my family this summer. One particular company had various pages featuring carnival cruises, ski vacations, educational tips to historical sites, and more. But none of the pages that were highlighting each option had any specific information – they had only fun pictures, trip highlights, and a button to click to spend thousands of dollars to reserve a place.

I had many specific questions on the expensive cruise, but I spent thirty minutes unsuccessfully going through the website to try to find a way to get more information or speak to someone. Eventually, I used Google to find a random customer-service page that was buried deep within the site – and it had consisted only of a generic form. All I had wanted was a way to speak with someone quickly.

As is probably not surprising, I went with a different vacation provider – and the first company had lost a few thousand dollars in potential revenue because of a single bad customer experience.

2. Carry your customer service strategy across all channels

Use an omni-channel strategy to ensure that you offer consistent customer service and customer experience on all mediums such as your website, Facebook page, mobile website or application, or in-store digital kiosk.

Once, I had booked a flight to a certain business conference in Europe. I was away from my desk and needed to look up my flight information, so I could only use my smartphone. I went to the airline’s mobile website and app, but those two channels only provided a way to research and purchase new tickets – there was no way to look up existing tickets and traveler information except to log into the main website or call their customer-service department and wait on hold.

I was out of the office and in the middle of arranging a business meeting, and I was unable to tell my contact exactly when I was arriving and leaving. Needless to say, it was very frustrating – and I will now think twice about using that airline. My expectation, of course, is that I should be able to have the full functionality of the main website on any other online channel.

3. Know your customers

Best-practices include auto-forwarding your most important buyers – such those who purchase the most and the most often – to live representatives for personal, immediate service and providing coupons that are tailored to each visitor’s browsing and purchase history.

There’s a certain local restaurant that I love, and the business has an amazing mobile app that remembers what people buy and then offers discounts on those meals. Whenever I work late and do not have time to cook dinner, I open the app and see buttons that will order and have delivered my most-purchased dishes with a single click – and one’s most-purchased dinners will also come with a 5% discount. If a certain item is not available, the app automatically calls the restaurant and a manager answers within seconds who has alternatives to suggest.

Tonight, I plan to take five seconds to order a roasted chicken-breast dinner with garlic bread and a side salad topped with tahini. It’s so easy and personalized that I order from the restaurant all the time.

4. Learn what your customers want and then adjust

Use an analytics dashboard to collect data including what product questions are asked and what questions and answers lead to the most website conversions and sales – and then adjust your online experience and customer-service operations accordingly.

Here at nanoRep, we have seen that our visitors often ask these two questions in our own self-service customer support software:

  • How much does it cost?
  • What special offers do you have?

Obviously, these queries are very important to our potential customers, so we added answers that take people directly to a pricing page and made our priding page more prominent. It is one example of a way to look at your customer service data and then adapt as necessary.

Here are two more:

  • If a certain topic arises in customer support questions frequently, then you can know to address that issue directly on your product information and promotional pages
  • If people ask whether a specific feature is available, then you should consider whether to add it to your offerings

Just as I can get customer service ideas when I look up vacation ideas, find flight information, order food, and help my own company, so can you do the same. The next time you use e-commerce websites, take a few notes on what you like and do not like about their customer service processes. You never know when you’ll find inspiration for your own business!

27 May 2013
How Responsive is Your Customer Service

How Responsive is Your Customer Service?

Imagine waiting on the telephone on hold fifteen years ago when you had called a company with a customer-service issue? Every minute felt like an hour. Remember e-mailing a company with a question, only to wait and wait for a response? Every second felt like an hour.

As the world moves faster and people use multiple digital devices at the same time, our attention spans are declining:

The trend is referred to as the evolving Digital Brain. This “new” segment is made up of both Digital Immigrants (30+ in age who are heavy computer users but did not grow up with computers) and Digital Natives (under 30 who grew up with computers). The most defining attribute of the Digital Brain is a short attention span. While measurement is somewhat subjective, the average adult attention span has declined from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8 seconds in 2012. (The average goldfish has an attention span of 9 seconds, but in all fairness, there’s not much going on in their lives.)

The short attention span in reality is the Digital Brain scanning through a barrage of information to land on what is most relevant to them personally. Some “experts” say this use of technology is changing how the brain functions with more activity witnessed in the part of the brain governing short-term memory.

As a result, people no longer have close to levels of patience that we once did. Every second now feels like an hour. We expect e-mails, instant messages, tweets, Facebook page posts, and help-desk tickets to receive responses immediately – in both personal and business contexts.

In fact, according to a recent study (PDF):

The three key elements of a great online customer service experience are getting an issue resolved quickly (82%), getting an issue resolved in a single interaction (56%) and dealing with a friendly customer service representative (45%).

To put it simply: the single, most-important need in customer service is to solve an issue quickly. Your company might have the most-knowledgeable and friendly customer support staff in the world, but it will mean little if it takes them hours to respond to a query. The potential customer will have moved on.
Here is some more interesting data from the report:

  • 93% see real-time help as beneficial – before, during or after the purchase process
  • 71% expect to be able to access help within five minutes, and 31% expect the assistance to be immediate
  • If a response is not received in the expected amount of time, 48% of shoppers will go elsewhere or abandon the purchase

In light of these statistics, it is more important than ever to use customer support tools that provide comprehensive, real-time, and immediate assistance on each page of your website and related online outlets. When website visitors see these items clearly available on your site, it increases their trust in your company and decreases the chance of shopping-cart abandonment. Everyone wins.

In fact, the study also ranked the top factors that lead to purchase abandonments:

  • Unexpected delivery costs (70%)
  • A lack of information about the product or service or delivery costs (56%)
  • Difficulties with navigating the website (46%)
  • A lack of online customer service and support and/or a difficulty with getting any online help (30%)

All of the reasons in bold above pertain to one thing: the lack of the ability to consume quality and relevant information quickly in response to any concerns and questions. If your online business or store lacks this functionality, then you are certainly missing out on many sales.

29 Jul 2012
How Great Customer Service Can Lead to More Online Revenues

Sell More Online in Your Sales Funnel

If you are a B2B or B2C company that sells products or services online, then you are probably already familiar with the best practices of tracking your online-sales efforts: creating a sales funnel and then using Google Analytics or other software to track what traffic “converts” and generates revenue.

A key element is tracking the results at each stage of the sales funnel. As Van SEO Design notes, most thought leaders have identified a five-step sales process to sell more online:

  1. Identifying the need or want
  2. Determining the requirements
  3. Evaluating options
  4. Purchasing
  5. Evaluating Decision

Here is a simple example. Say that your website sells marketing software. The five-step process would be like this:

  1. Identifying the need or want – “This software can increase my sales?”
  2. Determining the requirements – “Can my website support this software?”
  3. Evaluating options – “How is this different from other types of similar software?”
  4. Purchasing – “Here’s my company’s Visa card.”
  5. Evaluating Decision – “My sales skyrocketed!”

With a little imagination, you can see how the same process is applicable to any company that wants to sell more online. When companies examine the effectiveness of their sales funnels, they typically ask themselves questions such as the following:

  • Why are most people exiting the funnel (abandoning the purchase) at a given stage in the sales funnel?
  • Would a change in the sales text on a certain page get more people to progress in the funnel?
  • Should I change the design of the pages to decrease abandonment?

However, there is one issue that too many inbound marketers do not ask themselves: “How can I address any questions that customers have at each stage of the sales funnel?” Companies focus so much on optimizing the technical functionality of the sales process and the design of the pages that they forget that the “sales” process to sell more online – addressing customer doubts and questions quickly and effectively – still continues at each step along the way.

Here is an example of questions that customers may have during the sales process based on our marketing-software example:

  • Identifying the need or want – “How much will my sales increase?”
  • Determining the requirements – “Can this software run on both PCs and Macs?”
  • Evaluating options – “Why is this software better than (your competitor)?”
  • Purchasing – “Can I pay with American Express (or check, COD, or any other type of payment)?”

If a potential customer finds good, immediate answers to questions at any step in the sales funnel, then he or she will be much more likely to advance to the next stage – and then, in the end, make a purchase. After all, every unanswered question raises a “red flag” – a doubt in the person’s mind that may subconsciously cause him or her to leave the website without making a purchase.

Most companies who recognize this need typically have a customer-service representative available during the sales process who can answer questions via phone, support and live chat, e-mail, or ticketing-system software. However, as we have discussed previously, the customer-support salary needed for these mediums is expensive.

To reduce support costs and sell more online, the best practice is to use customer-support software with self-service support and a help desk to answer customer questions automatically via a self-learning knowledge base – whether the website visitor is in the sales funnel or anywhere else on the site.