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on 24th January 2018 / by chithra.k
The importance of synonyms, search suggestions and semantic search were discussed in the article "Search in Ecommerce: The Vital Little Details". These now are already quite commonplace and can be considered as standard features available in search. The next leap towards making search a smooth experience came with the evolution of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Intelligent Search - Current trends Thanks to Artificial Intelligence, the systems in place today are well aware of the context in which a user is accessing a page and are able to recommend or show contents based on the user context. AI is revolutionizing the experience of the online shoppers and retailers. While shoppers benefit from seamless experience, personalized recommendations and efficient support, retailers are able to capture volumes of data which can be used to drive more sales. In this article we focus on the recent AI trends that are being used by big retailers. Context-Based Personalization Using Natural Language Processing (NLP), which is one of the main fields in AI, it is now possible to bring about an interaction between a user and the website. Previously, all of the commands were run separately, but now a context-based conversion or conversational AI is getting popular. With the user’s page visit history and his interactions on various occasions, a context is created exclusively for him and is used for further communication with him. The result in improvement of this field is that now a user can place an order even via a chatbot or using voice commands. The improvement in the field of NLP has led to the emergence of chatbots, voice search, and visual search. Chatbots Bot guided commerce is the latest trend in the online retail sector. Today, with the backing of Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning, Chatbots are being used by different brands to provide customer support, recommend products and increase sales. Gartner predicts that by 2020, a person will have more conversation with bots than with their spouse. The business advantages of including chatbots in your retail site include Better customer service Create brand loyalty by providing personalized experiences to shoppers Reduced human resources and cut down customer service cost When it comes to managing thousands of one-to-one communication with consumers, retailers can use chatbots to decrease the gap between consumers and businesses. Chatbots with the ability to recommend products and learn from the interactions can help shoppers to find a product in less time. When you try to include a chatbot into your store, make sure you add a context aware chatbot. For instance, say you have an online flower delivery shop. When a customer provides you their email id/phone number and says that they would like to place an order for a bouquet of flowers, the chatbot can look up the previous orders of the shopper and can help ease the checkout process by asking questions that include" Would you like to order a hand tied bouquet of 12 yellow roses ? (Context: You had previously ordered a hand-tied bouquet of 12 yellow roses)", “Do you want this to be delivered to xxx? (Context: From your previous delivery address)”, “ Would you like to use COD? (Context: Your last payment method was COD)” etc. The chatbot can definitely reduce the time the shopper requires to purchase a bouquet rather than a non-contextual chatbot that may have more questions like, which bouquet he wants, how many roses he would like to have and what should be the delivery service, payment method etc. As per the ubisend 2017 survey conducted in UK, 1 in 5 consumers would consider purchasing goods and services from a chatbot. Checkout some e-commerce brands who have already included chatbots in their service. eBay Kip Voice Controlled E-commerce With the introduction of digital voice assistants like Alexa, Google Now, Siri and of course chatbots, the wind is blowing towards the conversational ecommerce. Once the convenience of these technologies are identified by shoppers, there is going to be a boom in conversational ecommerce. According to ‘Walker Sands 2017 Future of Retail Study’ that surveyed more than 1600 US consumers, one in 5 customers (19%) have made a voice purchase through Amazon Echo or another digital home assistant, and another third (33%) plan to do so in the next year. The best example of voice controlled e commerce today, is Amazon Alexa. Amazon claims that with its ‘2017 Holiday Season Sale’, millions of Prime members voice shopped with Alexa for gifts, Amazon devices and everyday household essentials. Echo Dot, Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote were among the most purchased items. Once the accuracy of the voice search is more precise, it is sure that the voice commerce is going to be more popular. Visual Search 2017 witnessed the emergence of VisualDiscovery tools in Pinterest. Pinterest introduced these tools claiming that it can see the world like you do. When you are out and when you see something that catches your eyes and if you don’t know how to convert this to search keywords, you can click the image using the Pinterest camera and see the item or related items as pins. You can try the lens on a dress and see the related items and you may get ideas on what other items goes along with it. You can point this to any food items and you may get interesting recipes. Source Not much later, Bing also announced their project Bing Visual Search with the tagline connect your camera to a deep search experience. Using the Bing Visual Search it is possible to get information about an item inside a picture. Say you see a home decor image and if you are interested in a particular chandelier, you can use the magnifying glass symbol and select the chandelier. Bing runs the visual search instantly and will provide you with the related items. Visual search reduces the number of steps the customer must take to purchase a product. Users don’t have to query and wait for the product they require. It also helps users who are “spearfishing” ie, who search for one specific product. More targeted results can be obtained using visual search. Slyce and Cortexica are two examples of tools that make it easier for retailers to integrate visual search into their sites. As the technology behind the visual search is being improved, let's look forward to more exciting developments from it. Using Drupal 8 and Drupal commerce 2.x, it is possible to bring fully integrated experience with the above technologies to the user. To know more about integrating the chatbot that best suits your business, get in touch with us! Ecommerce Customer Service Chatbots Personalization customer experience Leave a reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marker *
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on 09th November 2017 / by Nisha.Oommen
Can customer service be linked to all key interactions that a customer has with an organization? At what stage of the journey does the interaction happen? Is it just a one-step process? Or as research has proved does the customer have more than one key interactions before the final sales process is completed? Typically, the more valuable the service or product the more the interactions in the customer journey. A customer journey map tells the story of the customer’s experience from initial contact through the various points of engagement to purchase and all the way beyond to keeping loyalty. What it always does is identify key interactions that the customer has with the organization. The customer journey map looks at the entire spectrum of engagement. Source Typically timeline of a customer journey includes first engaging with a customer (through advertisement or in a store), purchase, using the product or service with the help of user manuals, sharing about the experience with others (in person or online) and then finishing the journey by upgrading, replacing or choosing a competitor( restarting the journey with another company). It talks about the user’s experience( sense of anticipation or frustration), motivations and triggers at each of these touchpoints. It gives a clear picture as to what is the customer’s greater motivation, what do they wish to achieve, and what are their expectations of the organization. The more touchpoints the more complicated the customer journey becomes but the map makes it more clearer. Customer Journey Map: When and Why Customer Journey maps are generally created against a specific business goal. If the map does not align with reality it cannot achieve the desired business goal. The journey maps shift a company’s perspective from inside-out to outside-in. If an organization allows internal processes and systems to drive decisions that affect customer experience, a journey map could help turn by refocusing on the thoughts, actions and emotions of customers. The advent of digital technologies in gathering and analyzing massive amounts of data captured throughout the customer journey help in making informed decisions. The use of big data and improved data analytic capabilities help ecommerce business owners and service providers have better insights into the customer buying patterns and their journey path. In turn, companies are working on redefining the customer journey path to their advantage. Customer journeys are being proactively managed by digital marketers through algorithms and data science. Effective customer journey mapping consists of four main steps: Information Gathering: Key stakeholders and collaborators are engaged and information gathered from various customer interactions. Gather existing data Interview of stakeholders Analyze and Get insights: Analyze state of the journey from the information gathered and get all possible inferences including key highlights and problem areas in the customer journey. Insights from analysis Highlights and fallouts Customer Journey: Using insights gathered from the analysis, research new narratives to depict the customer journey. Perform qualitative, primary research Educate and engage stakeholders Prescriptive Projection: Creating the framework redefining the scope and goal using the reframed journey map. Define the scope and goal Model a draft framework Zyxware Technologies has helped clients worldwide reach the full potential of their customer's purchase journey. To know more, get in touch with us! Customer Service Leave a reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marker *
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on 21st August 2017 / by niraj.ranjan
Traditionally, marketing is all about pushing the product onto the customers, sometimes by making it appealing and sometimes by sheer aggressive marketing. In both scenarios, customers have started showing a rebellious regression to such interruptive marketing methods. Ecommerce marketers quickly understood - the marketing of today, requires customers to be put on the pedestal, and it's them and their needs which have to brought under the spotlight and not necessarily the product. Ecommerce brands found this as an opportunity to explore new possibilities through the lens of their customer support team. However, trying to recklessly mold customer service as a marketing strategy, ecommerce marketers overlook the various nuances that are required to pull off a win. The basic idea that customer service is an inbound tactic, makes the entire premise different. That's why you end up with a marketing strategy crippled with mistakes. To get the most out of your customer service when used as part of marketing strategy - here are 6 mistakes you should consider avoiding: Treating Customer Service and Branding as Separate Entities Some would say that customer service might not play a crucial role during initial customer onboarding but it is the biggest reason for customers to disown your service. A shocking 54% 1of millennial stopped doing business after poor service. That is why it is important for businesses to brand their customer service. Highlight how exceptional your customer service is, and how none of your competitors are on same level. Take the example of Vodafone UK, which developed an interactive graphical representation of its network performance. This reduced network-related queries by providing easy and quick self-serve tools, which helps monitor outages and seek real-time updates within 24 hours. The result - 40%2 hike in website traffic and a 25% reduction in network-related topics posted on various forums. Gradually leading to acquiring new customers as many of them saw the long-term value of being a Vodafone customer. There are infinite ways of branding your customer service. Unlike Vodafone, if you do not have the muscle to create a new tool, simply make efforts to include brand elements in your ‘contact us page’. This is a highly cost-effective way of encouraging customers to contact you. Here’s an example of Choice Screening, which could have easily treated its contact page as just another web page. Instead, they made sure that their contact page would be the highlight of their brand offering. Source Not Picking Content Marketing Ideas Not using customer support insights as a means to fuel your content marketing engine is like having an entire gold mine and yet hoping to find a cheap gold plated watch in a heap of scrap. Encouraging collaboration between your content marketing team and customer support team can help you design a strategy tailored to your customer's needs. Creating personalized content is a difficult task, but, with an entire resource which highlights customer feedback and grievances, you gain enormous leverage. It’s as simple as creating an FAQ on issues that customers frequently inquire about. This not only infuses personalization but also reduces customer effort, which happens to be the #11 factor in building customer loyalty. An FAQ is just the tip of the iceberg, but if you wish to go creative, take a cue from the luxury fashion brand, Mulberry. To drive sales for their Cara Delevingne bag collection, an interactive quiz called Carascope was introduced. It was a set of five questions that helped in finding the right bag for the customer. By asking questions like ‘Town or country’, marketers were able to play on the bag’s functionality. The responses helped Mulberry know more about the customers, the insights helped shape their content marketing. Unique animations (visual content) were provided based on the responses, along with tailor made exclusive content from behind the scenes at the London Fashion Week. Source Skipping Angry Customers It's textbook marketing 101 - sell to those who have a higher chance of converting. No marketer in his right mind would want to address an angry customer, it's almost like a taboo. But, in a world where competition is fierce and your customer have enough and more options, is it smart to ignore your angry customers? Businesses who were brazen enough to address upset customers and were successful in satisfying their needs have been able to build a large following of loyal customers. Angry customers are essentially giving you an opportunity to fix the situation. If you capitalize on that opportunity, then you hit the jackpot. One way of dealing with angry customers is being responsive to their needs, a delay in response will only aggravate the situation. Customer service reps need to make sure that such customers need to be kept as high priority basis. To assign the task of handling infuriated customers while keeping a tab on the progress, use shared inbox. It allows customer service reps to respond in an orderly fashion. Since each team member has access to the same inbox, everyone is able to keep tabs on the situation. Customers do not have to keep repeating themselves, every time the conversation is transferred to another rep. Bottomline: The proficiency with which you are able to deal with angry customers is going to decide whether you going to end up being abandoned by customers or gain their loyalty. Take for example Nike, the international sports accessories brand decided that it will be difficult to handle angry customer complaints, due to the sheer size of its product lines. To make it easy for everyone, Nike introduced a Twitter handle @NikeSupport, which exclusively deals with customer grievances and feedbacks. This eases the logistics of handling angry customers and it is one of the many reasons why Nike is such a respected brand in the world. Forgetting The Mantra ‘First Solve, Then Sell’ Don't get greedy, by pushing to sell without listening to your customer’s concerns will get you nowhere. Instead, dig through your customer service insights, from customer needs, interest; knowledge of where customers spend time; customer habits so forth and so on. This data can be used to create buyer personas. When you know your buyer persona and the pain points they are going through - first, solve their pain points. When customers are satisfied, then based on their buying patterns, upsell or cross-sell your product/service. When you understand what a particular buyer is looking for, you may customize your sales pitch - the successful amalgamation of personalization and excellent customer service leads prospects to make purchases. Here’s an example of how you can solve a customer grievance by pitching a product as the solution. Source Keeping The Team Communication at Bay Integrating customer service as a marketing strategy cannot be successful if team communication is not open. Efforts which block free flow of communication among teams is perhaps the gravest mistake one can make since the entire basis of customer service is about providing real-time information to customers, which helps push the brand’s marketing objectives. Team communication running in silos creates knowledge gaps in your customer support system, which can hurt you in more ways than one. Let's say, you are an e-commerce company, a customer calls in your customer support team to inquire about your week long sale offers. Since team communication runs in isolation, your customer support team has no idea about the week long sale. In such a scenario, the customer support is of little or no help at all and due to insufficient clarity, customers may not go ahead with the purchase. Ignoring Competitor’s Response Time Response time is an important metric that is detrimental to the success of one’s customer service. Many spend an excruciating amount of resources and attention in improving their response time, and yet many of them fail. The reason being an absence of context for measuring the response time. Evaluating the response time based on your own previous performance will only lead you to a half-baked analysis which will essentially end up being a vanity metric. For a robust customer service, measure your response time metric in respect to your competitor's response time. Sadly. E-commerce brands are performing poorly in the domain of response time. With an average response time to handle a customer query ranging from 17 minutes to 15 hours3, it only goes to show how far the industry is away from achieving benchmark. If you need a morale boost, take a cue from Southwest Airlines. By maintaining a good response time, Southwest Airlines has become one of the largest airlines in the U.S. The table below shows Southwest Airlines has clearly set the benchmark. That's why, rather than have a response time for the sake of a vanity metric, it has become a strong competitive suite for the airline. Source Winding Up Integrating customer service as a marketing strategy requires a dynamic changes from how you conventionally conducted your marketing efforts. Envisioning these changes isn’t enough, you have to put these changes into action so you can avoid making mistakes when you put customer service at the epicenter of your marketing strategy. Reference: 1. Tamar Frumkin,” The 7 Most Important Customer Service Stats for 2017”, Blog, January 2017, Conversocial.com , Accessed August 2017. 2. Marketing Week 3.Steven MacDonald, “New Study: 41% of Companies Ignore Customer Service Emails”, Blog, June 2017, SuperOffice, Accessed August 2017. Customer Service Marketing Leave a reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marker *
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on 03rd May 2017 / by Safia.F.Mohiuddin
Customer needs are highly variable and complex on an individual level. Present-day customers are maturing at an aggregate level with greater expectations for high customer service standards. Customer service that exceeds customer expectations for increased loyalty and satisfaction is the single most important driver for any business. Personalization in terms of customer service has different angles to it: customized customer service, personalized answers to customer queries, service request fulfillment based on customer context for focused service delivery. In spite all these variances, personalization in customer service has three basic common requirements for customer engagement, which are: Creating a loyal customer base Valid data Practicality through the analytical approach Complying with the expectations related to personalized customer services means that the same quality of customer experience is available across channels. Further, businesses must incorporate inherent seamless transition among channels and availability of most relevant information in response to customer behavior for definitive success. The Mechanics and Advantages of a Loyal Customer Base in a Niche Area The idea of transitioning from economies of scale to economies of scope is significant for personalized customer service in any business. This shift in focus is drastic, steering away from a broad playing field to increasing conversion based on a limited product portfolio for a narrow customer base. Contemporary efforts are directed towards concentrating on greater customer retention for a niche segment by expanding product and service offering considerably. The approach takes advantage of the varying levels of loyalty among customers and adding to the bargain cuts down on advertising costs. However, it demands high focus and a continuous mechanism for capturing customer data and responding to customer queries to gain important customer insights. Importance of Data in Personalization of Customer Service Companies used to rely on simple strategies in the past to help create customer experiences for their limited audience which were fulfilling and personalized. Simple practices such as using customer names, making eye contact, implementing loyalty programs to offer customer service translated to personalized services. While these practices are still valid, reliance on data, using location-based service delivery, using multiple channels to offer customer service, funneled recommendations based on customer behavior and a focused approach catering to the individual needs of customers is the present day strategy for competitive enterprises. Successful companies rely on information in the form of primary client histories, service level agreements, and supplementary data to build conducive environments for thriving customer relationships. Analytical Approach to Personalization Personalization efforts are best supported by relying on public financial information, sales data, or press releases. Further, the analysis of a company’s customer base on the individual as well as aggregate level, which is supported by feedback is important for a fulfilling customer purchase experience. The analytical approach warrants greater customer loyalty through its effective customer engagement and management approaches. Therefore, to achieve measurable outcomes in personalization of customer service, companies must focus on achieving exceptional personalization in customer service, by relying on data and technology to understand customers better. Eventually, a well-rounded approach backed by strategic engagement in customer journeys is the answer for long-term profitability and customer loyalty. To know more about personalizing your customer service engagement on the web, talk to an expert. Works Cited: Kelly Koelliker, ‘The 3 C’s of Personalized Customer Service’, January 23 2015, CMS Wire, accessed April 2017 Amalia Agathou, ‘How To Personalize Customer Service: "It's Personal, It's Business" ‘ December 2010, article, The Next Web, accessed April 2017. Shep Hyken,"Personalize Customer Service To Create Amazing Customer Experiences", blog, Web, SHEPHYKEN, accessed April 2017. Personalization Customer Service Ecommerce Leave a reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marker *