Tag: knowledge base

28 Nov 2017

It’s Officially the Holidays! Are You Ready to Support the Retail Madness?

On Black Friday alone, shoppers spent about $5 billion online, and these numbers skyrocketed on Cyber Monday, with consumers spending about $6.6 billion online. The holidays are in full swing, meaning crazy deals and even crazier shopper expectations — and retailers must ensure their websites are equipped with the right technologies and resources to handle the chaos now and throughout the holiday season.

Here are the three biggest customer experience issues retailers might run into this December — and tips for how they can use artificial intelligence technologies to get ahead of these challenges to ensure they’re spreading holiday cheer, not leaving their customers with a grinch-like experience.

Don’t leave customers in the cold — Providing consistent support across every touchpoint

Today’s shoppers are engaging with retailers across a variety of touchpoints — from browsing a mobile app to seeing the newest products on Instagram to actually trying out items in-store. Therefore, brands must ensure they’re implementing the right tools that make support accessible and consistent across every touchpoint.

Take, for example, a shopper who completed a purchase through a retailer’s mobile application. A couple of days later, she might come across a Facebook post displaying the product she bought, prompting her to go looking for an update on the status of her order — and forcing her to rummage through email or log back into her account on the mobile app.  AI-driven chatbots on the Facebook platform can instead, access the customer history and provide the most up-to-date alert on the shipment and expected arrival date. This removes the need to flip between different channels, therefore mitigating customer frustration and making for a happy holiday shopping experience.

Don’t let the chaos take control — Ensuring support processes are efficient

One of the biggest issues customers face during the holidays is difficulty in getting answers to questions. Whether they want more information about a specific product or upcoming promotion, finding the answers to these simple, yet important questions can be a frustrating task. And waiting on hold for a representative can make customers feel like their issues don’t matter to a brand.

Chatbot technology solves this major issue, especially during the holidays where retailers face a high volume of questions from shoppers. With a knowledge base of information on retailer policies, products and promotions, as well as natural language processing capabilities that help them understand the context of almost any customer situation, bots create a strong channel for customers to self-serve and find fast answers to their quick questions.

Don’t forget to create a connection — Personalization is the best present

There’s nothing worse than feeling unappreciated. The holiday season is all about being grateful and spreading cheer. This is why it’s important that retailers create connections with the shoppers, who are the lifeblood of their business.

Personalization is a term that is often thrown around in the retail space today, but it’s so much more than just offering recommendations on products to buy. To create a truly tailored shopping experience, retailers must ensure they have the right technologies in place to really get to know each customer and their preferences. Using this detailed information will allow them to provide a tailored engagement every time they come to a brand’s website or connect with one of their CX team members. Take for example, a customer who always pays extra for expedited shipping on their orders. Should something go wrong with a specific package and they speak with a customer service representative, the agent can understand this preference (and the customer’s loyalty to the brand) and improve the situation by offering free expedited shipping on their next five orders.

This holiday season, retailers won’t wow customers by just providing killer deals and discounts — the key to success — even beyond the holidays — will be in creating a strong customer experience by recognizing shopper needs and providing the right tools to keep shoppers happy and loyal.

20 Nov 2017

Holiday Travel Chaos – Are Airline Support Teams Prepared to Handle the Rush?

Last year, more than 6 million Americans took airplanes for their end-of-year holiday trips. With such high volumes of passengers and inevitable winter weather issues, it’s not a matter of if something will go wrong during the holidays, it’s a question of when.

To prepare for the holiday chaos and deliver a stellar travel experience through wind, sleet and snow, airlines must have a strong support strategy in place. This includes gaining a comprehensive understanding of the issues of holidays past, implementing smart technology that provides customers with fast and accurate information, and empowering live representatives to handle the complex situations the holidays inevitably bring.

Ghosts of Holidays Past

Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it — the old saying rings especially true when it comes to customer service. Before the holiday madness begins, it is essential that customer service teams know what the most common issues and most asked questions associate with past crises, and ensure they are prepared to answer them this time around.

A comprehensive and centralized knowledge management system can help track which questions are more likely to be asked during the holiday season. For example, customers may be more likely to ask about rental car options if a flight is cancelled on Christmas Eve because they are less willing to wait for a later flight and miss out on family memories. Travel companies can tap into their historical data to prepare their digital channels and customer support teams to handle these unique situations and make sure customers get the answers they need, fast. Being caught off guard by a customer question is not the kind of holiday surprise CX teams want, and this is something they can curtail with the implementation of smart knowledge management tools.

Get Smart with AI — The Gift that Keeps on Giving

With so many people traveling during the holiday season, customer service agents are tasked with resolving thousands of questions — many of which are repetitive and may take less than a minute to answer. The problem is that these simpler questions quickly pile up and take time away from customers who are dealing with complex situations. This is why a lot of travel companies are looking to chatbot technology.

Equipped with natural language processing (NLP), modern chatbots can understand context and provide quick and accurate answers to customer queries. For the traveler looking to confirm a gate change or even start the process of rebooking a flight, chatbots create a convenient channel that can quickly and effectively resolve these issues. During the holidays, time is of the essence in these situations and chatbots help cut out much of the waiting on hold, ensuring a customer’s needs are efficiently taken care of.

When the Human Touch is Needed

Although chatbots can resolve many customer questions, sometimes situations call for escalating to a live agent. Even in these situations, chatbots play a critical role, recognizing when a situation requires the human touch and seamlessly transitioning the customer to the right agent to address their specific needs. This ensures that customers are not bounced from representative to representative looking for the right person to resolve their issue.

Furthermore, implementing chatbots as an internal tool provide agents with a wellspring of customer information to better do their jobs. Acting as a resource, chatbots give live reps the information they need to provide a highly personalized experience and ensure customers don’t have to repeat information or re-explain their problem when they are transferred. Ultimately, this mitigates any customer frustration and makes them feel like their issues are truly being heard.

Holiday travel can be extremely stressful — with passengers wanting nothing more than to get to their destination and airlines trying their best to support them. Travel companies will need to improve their CX strategy with smart technology like chatbots to ease the stress of both customers and employees, and therefore ensure everyone is home for the holidays.

23 Jun 2016
7 Things You Need for a Successful Customer-Centric Strategy

7 Things You Need for a Successful Customer-Centric Strategy

It’s easy to talk about customer-centricity, but in today’s transparency obsessed marketplace, it’s going to take a lot more than that to convince your customers that you are in it for them. Your customers today are savvy and connected – and they know the difference between genuine commitment and hopping on a bandwagon.

In 2016 in order to convince your customers that they are your very first priority, you have to actually make them your first priority. To help your brand navigate the waters of building and maintaining the right approach with your customers, here are seven tips to get you pointed in the right direction and develop a strategy that puts your customers front and center.

 

Building Your Customer Centric Strategy

  1. Establish a true dedication and conviction to become a customer-centered brand

    Don’t assume your brand can change overnight. As much as you already know that the key to creating loyal customers who come back for more is letting them know that they are your focus, you have an uphill battle ahead to undo all your past strategies and methodologies.

    This is why you need to establish a true commitment to becoming a customer-centric brand from the get-go. So many brands jump on the customer-first bandwagon only to fall right off because of lack of dedication. So now at the very beginning, solidify your company-wide commitment to becoming a customer-first brand.

  2. Get your employees engaged and excited about implementing a customer-centric model

    “You only design the Customer Experience; your team delivers it” – Colin Shaw, Beyond Philosophy

    Your team of front-facing and internal employees can either be your biggest asset when it comes to your new approach or they can run it into the ground. But just how do you get your employees on board with this new model for the organization?

    By giving your employees the proper tools and training and through lots of communication.

    Be sure to give them the proper access to your current knowledge base so they have the right answers on hand at all times. Make it easy for them to follow each customer’s journey with the help of the knowledge base as well. Provide training on how to deal with all sorts of customers, from the delighted ones to the ones mid-freak out and make sure they can access assistance from higher ups as soon as they need it.

    Communication is essential at this stage as well. Explain why a customer-centered model is beneficial to the whole organization, and let them know that their input is valued (and really value their input!). Encourage them to become active partners and to put their own “stamp” on their interactions with customer, while never veering from your newly set strategy.

  3. Set your sights on excellence

    Now get ready to set some goals. We aren’t looking at KPIs and revenue markers here, but rather goals pertaining to personal and departmental excellence that will help keep your customer centric strategy on path.

    Having a strong goal of excellence provides direction for the future and lets you know how far you have come. Through that ever-important skill of communicating with your teams, figure out what your collective “best” is, and then set your barometer one notch higher.

  4. Use technology to understand who your customers are and what they really want from you.

    Today, we engage in a constant stream of conversation with customers, from well before they purchase to well beyond. And whether it’s through your website, your mobile platform or your social media pages, all of these touchpoints can actually be incredible sources of information if you know how to cull the data therein. Overlooking all that data would be a huge waste but aligning all the data from your fragmented platforms is really quite a nightmare without the proper resources.

    Harnessing the information from your digital touch points into one main knowledge base can provide huge insights into just who your customers are and what they want from you. Use it to track trends on an individual level and segment your customers into groups, for further information on where they are in your brand’s buying cycle and their habits and preferences, even before they know it.

  5. Listen to the voice of your customer

    Now that you are (hopefully!) gathering meaningful customer insights, it’s time to extrapolate the meaning and actualize the messages. According to Digitalistmag.com, lots of companies collect insight via digital knowledge bases and then essentially ditch that data in favor of setting up easy to implement promotions and giveaways. This runs completely contradictory to what the data they collect says but they do it anyway because they assume it’s correct.

    As long as you’ve got meaningful data, read it, understand it, look for patterns, get to know your customers in a meaningful way and delight them using insights from that data.

  6. Your customer centric strategy should empower your customers by providing an avenue for feedback

    Listening to what your data is telling you is one part of the equation. The other part simply involves just asking your customers what they feel.

    How do you do that?

    By giving them ways to provide feedback. This could be accomplished by short, polite surveys or by simply asking at the bottom of a page “Was this information helpful?” or though on -page product ratings and reviews.

    We all know that Amazon excels at creating and executing their customer strategy. They combine analytics with surveys and non-intrusive questions like “was this answer helpful” to create an experience that tells the customer that they are the “prime” priority. Regarding Amazon’s incredible success with implementing a customer-centric strategy, myfeedback.com notes “Feedback is placed directly on the product’s page and users are provided with multiples ways to parse the information to their liking.”

  7. Be accessible, be accountable

    Perhaps the most critical aspect of taking on a customer-centric strategy is being there, in the moment, with full attention, ready to drop everything and take responsibility. So be there and be ready to take responsibility for whatever may come, the good the bad and the ugly. At the end of the day, if your brand is really committed to developing and sticking to this strategy, chances are, you’ll be hearing a lot more of the good anyway.

Your customers deserve an experience that puts them front and center, and if they don’t get it from you, they’ll head elsewhere. Before they jump ship, change your course and give them what they want. The time to realign and start designing your customer centric strategy is now.

24 Oct 2013
Increase Sales With Your Customer Service Analytics

Increase Sales With Your Customer Service Analytics

Thirty years ago, the roles of marketing and sales departments were separate and clearly defined. Marketers, for example, would create a roadside billboard or newspaper advertisement to generate interest in a product or service. The people who would become interested would then go to or call the store, and then salespeople would take over from there.

Of course, the problem with this old-fashioned paradigm was that there was a lack of concrete, precise data on what exact marketing and sales techniques and tactics generally lead to sales. Today, however, a near-infinite amount of data is available as more and more marketing and sales activities move to online mediums including websites, social-media networks, and mobile devices. All of this data is relevant to both sales and marketing, so the two departments need to work together – it is no longer a one-way street.

Web Analytics – General Insights on Your Audience

In such an environment, the correct use of web analytics in numerous contexts is crucial to business success. Here are just a few examples of the questions that analytics can answer to inform future marketing and sales strategies:

  • What online channels are sending website visitors that tend to convert the most?
  • How are mobile-device users engaging with our website?
  • What types of activity on what social-media networks brings the most website visits?
  • Which website pages have what conversion rates, bounce rates, and other metrics?
  • Which calls-to-action, online forms, and landing pages tend to deliver the greatest number of users?

Online Customer Service Analytics – Insights on Users Needs

Now, nanorep brings also customer service into the web analytics game. nanorep’s solution provides deep, comprehensive insights into knowledge bases and how your visitors or customers interact with the information and messages on your website. Our customers can analyze and use the data to improve the customer service experience and optimize their online marketing by constantly improving messages and information.

Most-Popular Questions

What are the most popular questions asked on your website? Once you know the answer, you can train your service team to address those topics and also adjust your website information and knowledge base to recognize and answer such queries. If the existing sales materials and product pages do not cover those topics, then you can also consider whether to revise them.

Most popular questions asked by customers

Customer Intelligence and Trends

By seeing the overall trend in customer inquiries over time, companies recognize changes in product interest and gain valuable business intelligence. If more questions are asked about a given item at a particular time of year, the sales and marketing departments might want increase their efforts to promote that product at that time. If people start to ask when a piece of software will be updated or released for a certain computer or mobile operating system, then the company may want to add that functionality. These are just two examples.

Real Customer Feedback

Website visitors have the ability to provide feedback on the answers provided by the knowledge base. If an answer is not precise or comprehensive enough, then the feedback will let you know to improve the answer accordingly. Such functionality is a way to improve both the quality of your knowledge base and your customer service in general. In addition, the level of feedback is another insight into the customers themselves. If a particular question and answer generates a lot of feedback and discussion, then that topic is likely of great interest to potential buyers. Marketing and sales can incorporate this knowledge into their work.

Most satisfying answers

Conversion Rates

Certain issues – whether a shirt is available in a certain color or whether a piece of software can be used on both Macs and PCs, for example – can make or break a sale. nanorep shows which questions lead to conversions and/or sales, so the marketing and sales teams can see what specific issues should be addressed in their general  work as well.

Questions that lead to conversion

Unanswered Questions

nanorep tells business what questions need answers to be added in the knowledge base and which queries cause customers to escalate to (expensive!) live agents. This information tells companies when to take actions that will improve efficiency and increase agent productivity by using them for only high-value interactions.

Questions with no answers in the knowledge base

With nanorep, customer analytics brings more value and insights for the marketing and sales departments, as well as to the customer service & support teams. Providing all three departments with valuable business intelligence allows them to make better decisions within the scope of each department and increase performance. Working together with those insights can bring an even higher value to the entire company, by optimizing processes which lead to higher revenues.

28 Aug 2013
How to Maximize Customer Service with a Knowledge Base

How to Maximize Customer Service with a Knowledge Base

In today’s digital world, your online business’ success is dependent on the customer experience you are delivering and your knowledge base is a key to providing great customer experience. Customers expect to get the right information at the right time without having to wait for a reply or even pick up the phone and speak to someone. Customers today want to be able to find information themselves and search for answers and get immediate answers.

In order to provide an efficient self-service option for your customers you must have an effective knowledge base that delivers the right information instantly and that is easy to access and use. That would not only provide your customers with great customer experience and service but would also allow you to more cost effectively manage and scale your customer support. Sounds great, right? But in order to successfully provide self-service customer support tools you should make sure your solution includes those four important elements.

Accessibility

So having an effective knowledge base can dramatically lift your site’s customer experience and generated revenue. But it wouldn’t provide much value unless your customers actually use it, would it? Therefore, your knowledge base should be easily accessed and intuitive to use.

First, you should wrap it in an engaging and inviting package that lets your customers know that they can search for information or answers here. Second, offering this self-service tool which provides easy access to your knowledge base on every page of your website means that more customers can get immediate answers and don’t have to click away from their current page to find the information they are after. This could be even more crucial when you have an eCommerce website. In that case, your customers will go to your product pages where they expect to get the most relevant and accurate information for the specific product they are looking at without having to wait for live help. So each product page should have a knowledge base that pertains specifically to that product and allows self-service.

Ease of finding information

After you got the customer to interact and use your knowledge base, it is extremely important that the way to finding their desired information is quick and easy. As mentioned above, the knowledge base answers should be provided immediately which means automatically and without any need for direct, human interaction as it usually means waiting for response.

Allowing customers to ask questions in their own free-text words and even native language is a must for increasing usability and usage rate. But this has no value if the knowledge base does not bring back the relevant answers. The search algorithm should be extremely accurate and automatically provide a few possible answers when a question is asked. An “auto-suggest” feature is another great practice to help accuracy and have people quickly find exactly what they are looking for.

Being proactive to making it easy on the customer is recommended. A great way to do it is by providing frequently asked questions by other customers. The emphasis here is on providing relevant and segmented lists to let’s say; different products, or categories such as shipping, payment, etc. This allows finding answers for most popular questions without even having to spend time on asking or searching for them and also eliminates confusion which is one of the major reasons to abandonment and dissatisfaction.

So we discussed above a few things to help us humans find information within our knowledge base but let us not forget that we also want that search engines will be able to find our knowledge base content and drive traffic to our website. That is why we should also make sure that our knowledge base is visible to search engines and built in a search engine friendly way.

Use of rich media

Comprehensive answers frequently need to cite references and include media such as images and videos. A short video might be the best way to show a person how to use a product. In a different case, an image could be sued to demonstrate something and a link is definitely the easiest way to direct your customers to a certain part of the website. The value of rich media within your knowledge base is great. Your answers should incorporate any needed media or links so the customer can easily understand what you are trying to show or say.

In some cases, the right answer should be in a form of a flow which is based on options your customer chooses and as result provides the next step answer. Don’t forget to learn how your knowledge base can support those, especially if you are a service provider or need to provide support for consumer electronics products for example.

Easy to manage and grow the KB

The bigger knowledge base gets the better customer service you should provide. The problem however, in most cases is building your knowledge base and being able to manage it once it gets really big. Be sure you are able to import your existing knowledge base and FAQ items. One of the main purposes of having self-service knowledge base is automating a portion of your customer service and reducing the support costs. So it defeats the purpose if managing and adding content to your knowledge base take a lot of time and resources.

Therefore, even though your knowledge base should be sophisticated, maintenance should be as simple as possible. To increase efficiency your system should be able to learn new questions and answers from your other customer service channels. Connect the knowledge base to your multi-channel ticketing software and customer service widgets to allow customers to ask and suggest new questions. Then, automatically add the question and the answer to the knowledge base once it was answered by a human so that from now on your knowledge base provides that answer automatically.

Include an easy-to-use dashboard with management options including the abilities to add, delete, approve, and edit knowledge-base content as well as segment and categorize as appropriate.

The importance of responsive customer service with an effective and efficient knowledge base is one of the major influencers on customer experience and has a great impact on purchasing decision as well. But without the proper implementation and capabilities, the benefits will be lost.