Customer Expectations Reach a New High
Today, we’re witnessing a major shift in consumer expectation. Customers are demanding higher-than-ever levels of convenience and service. Why? Because that’s what they get when they shop with conglomerates like Amazon—consumers are no longer limited by time of day, and they don’t have to wait to get answers to questions, make purchases, and receive support with many large online retailers. Consumers want to do business on their own schedule without the pressure of having to speak to someone. They insist on engaging with businesses using their preferred method of contact—messaging—and receiving the same exceptional service across all channels.
People have embraced communicating via messaging applications in an unprecedented way. Traffic over messaging applications has surpassed traffic on social media sites across the globe. Communication between family members and friends is mostly taking place on popular messaging apps like SMS, Whatsapp, Line, Telegram, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, etc., replacing traditional methods such as in person or telephone calls.
The same phenomenon is manifesting itself in consumer-to-business engagement. Over 90 percent of consumers prefer to be contacted by messaging channels and to message a business for what they need.
WE’RE IN THE MIDST OF A SIGNIFICANT SHIFT IN CONSUMER BEHAVIOR, AS CUSTOMERS DEMAND HIGHER-THAN-EVER LEVELS OF CONVENIENCE AND SERVICE WHEN DOING BUSINESS.
As customer demands shift toward real time, effortless, and contextual engagement via nontraditional contact channels, businesses of all sizes must raise the bar to keep their customers engaged and satisfied. Being able to respond to customer inquiries in real time over different contact channels (like websites, mobile apps, messaging apps and social networks) requires scaling sales, marketing, and customer service operations. At the same time, the high cost of hiring, training, and retaining employees is out of reach for many businesses.
Machines to the Rescue
The advancement in conversational artificial intelligence applications and platforms (including Natural Language Processing, intent matching, machine learning, etc.) is changing the game for businesses that need to scale their operations without having to expand their HR footprint. Computer applications that understand human language and can learn how to execute tasks are the next wave of resources businesses can utilize to do work around the clock, exponentially increasing production without human involvement.
Business managers dream about hiring magical employees and miracle workers who religiously follow business discipline, never show up late, and who are always there to take care of customer requests. Well, dream no more. Virtual Customer Assistants are basically virtual employees that fulfill that dream by providing the highest level of reliability and availability at a price point that businesses of all sizes can afford.
Virtual Customer Assistants
VCA is an interactive business application that simulates natural conversation with humans in order to deliver something of value to customers who demand help effortlessly, in real time, and via contextual engagement. A VCA understands customers’ intentions and, with proper training and business knowledge, can take action on behalf of the customer to perform transactions. Designing conversation flow, tone, and character of a Virtual Customer Assistant is both technical and artistic. Equipped with clever design and proper training, VCAs can get customers to open up and reveal their opinions, feelings, and tendencies, which is invaluable for businesses in the long run. People do connect emotionally with technologies, and VCAs can provide that point of contact as a representative of your company with which customers can substantially interact!
VCAs can handle multiple channels of customer contact, such as websites, mobile apps, social networks, messaging applications, phone trees, text messages, and more to provide a consistent level of customer service. Imagine your customers receiving the same real-time support experience whether they contact you via telephone call, mobile app, or Facebook Messenger. Let’s not forget—that’s what customers expect these days.
Rising to the Occasion
Smart businesses across all industries recognize the power of this technology and are embedding VCAs in all customer engagement segments to improve customer support, increase sales, and even provide assistance to internal employees. It is remarkable how this multifaceted technology provides value both to businesses and customers. VCA usage is expanding across all business verticals, including healthcare, education, finance, hospitality, retail, service, and more. By the end of 2020, it’s predicted that 1 in every 4 customer service and support requests will be handled by virtual customer assistant technology. Moreover, 10% of all initial customer-to-business engagement will be handled by VCAs.
The Risk of Doing Nothing
Increased Investment over the past decades in business automation and digital transformation has set the stage for conversational platforms to play a key role in business operations. At the same time, modern cloud-based software applications have been designed to integrate with foreign systems. Therefore, much like human employees, VCAs can interact with business applications to obtain information, execute tasks and perform transactions.
Body of knowledge, or knowledge base, is a collection of data, information, workflows, and techniques that can be shared and used by employees or digital systems. It basically reflects what an organization does and how it does it. Organizations that store their knowledge base in an organized and shareable fashion can leverage the power of conversational platforms that tap into this body of knowledge to learn how to do work. Enriched by organizations’ knowledge base, VCAs augment human resources to optimize customer engagement and scale operations to meet today’s customer demands.
Augmentation Not Replacement
It’s important to note that the concept of VCAs and conversational platforms is not intended to replace humans or take their jobs. It’s about relieving human resources of mundane and repetitive tasks, freeing them up to use their brains and creativity to do what no machine can do.
We’re Zebyl: the Messaging Platform With the Power to Transform Businesses of All Sizes
The experts at Zebyl are passionate about helping businesses manifest their visions and become the best versions of themselves. We know what your business needs to transform sales, marketing and customer service to meet today’s customers expectations. This begins with the knowledge and modern tools to optimize your business operations and resources. Let us put you on the road to success today.