Facebook messenger as a part of your process

Facebook messenger

as a part of your process

The number one reason companies use for why they cannot prioritise Facebook Messenger is that they do not have the time. This is where CEC comes in! When there is technology like this you really don’t have an excuse why you cannot use Facebook Messenger. The value of is exceeds the downsides. By incorporating it into CEC process you can create a process that makes an omni channel strategy possible without the extra work.

Maybe you want to use Facebook Messenger as the chat option on your website? Now you can do that, since Facebook created a Messenger plugin. This way you can use the chat function as your one and only on multiple places. This way it seems like you are available everywhere and you are still able to include it into your queueing system in CEC. It will also seem like you are very up to date on trends. Think what a great addition Facebook Messenger will be to your process. Best part of it is how you can create a processes that lets you skip the hassle of multiple tools and channels. That’s the charm with an omni channel platform (read more here and here).

CEC Process Thanks To API:s

Facebook Messenger is one of those social media platforms that has a very open API (Application Programming Interface). That means that the code behind Messenger allows other software to communicate and send data to Messenger. A social media platform which is on the other side of the spectrum is Instagram. That is why you can’t find a marketing platform that also includes Instagram. The developers for Instagram has obviously chosen to keep Instagram a bit more exclusive. If you want to post pictures you have to use the platform. Thanks to API:s, integrations and synchronisations has made it way easier to build a manageable process. This is how the CEC process becomes as flexible as it is.

Do you still not see why you should incorporate Facebook Messenger into your CEC process? Contact us and we probably can convince you! Do you have a question about Facebook Messenger or would like to discuss something with me? Then feel free to email at: anna.itzel@connectel.se.

Anna Itzel - marketing manager at connectel


choice architecture

Choice Architecture; The Strategic Importance of Choice In Customer Service

Choice architecture

The strategic importance of choice in customer service

Have you ever thought of a Customer Service Manager as a Choice Architect? Or any other decision maker in a customer service? The thought definitely changes my way of looking at the importance of the role. After reading this blog post, about Choice Architecture, your view of the role probably will change as well. At least it will if you understand the strategic aspect of the role.

I keep thinking about how things work, and why things happen around us. This has led me to the second Nobel Prize winning principle. You can read about the other Nobel Prize winning principle here. This time I would be surprised if you hadn’t heard of it, since it became such a buzzword last year. The same year as it won the Nobel Prize. I’m talking about nudging.

I read the book written by the Nobel Prize winners Thaler and Sunstein about their research. Here is a description of the concept nudging. While nudging itself it very interesting I specifically got stuck on the concept of choice architecture. Which I introduced to you in the beginning of this blog post.

The choice architecture of a customer service

If you look at how you build a customer service, you are faced with choices you have to make. One of those choices is something I have introduced before. Whether you should choose an omni channel or multi-channel strategy, or maybe you will only offer customer support by phone.

The choice you make will end up being the choice architecture for your customer when they want to get in touch with you. The way you communicate to your customer about the choices they have when they need your support. Right here is where nudging could play a role. The more complicated this architecture is the harder it will be for your customer to solve their problems.

decisions-choice-architect-e1528363354895

Problematic choice architecture

I have a good example of a complicated architecture. Not long ago I had to help my mother because she was having problems with Adobe Reader. She had two accounts, one paid for and one free trial. The free version was causing problems for the paid version. I assumed it would be easy to contact their customer service. It ended up taking me more than ten minutes to find anything useful at all. The problem with their architecture was that they had hidden the main customer service options behind a confusing and complicated FAQ. So even I got stuck in a loop in their FAQ, trying to find a chat or phone number to get some actual help.

The sad thing is that this is not the first time I see a company hide their customer service. Having an FAQ or a “customer community” as the first option is becoming to common. I’ve realized how much this breaks my connection to a company because it’s so obvious that they do not actually want to help you.

Good choice architecture

But choice architecture of a customer service can actually present all options in a clear way. While still gearing customers away from the phone. Imagine on the customer service part of your website having everything clear. But by using graphical or typographic tricks highlight the channels you prefer they will choose. Maybe make some options easier for them to use without hiding behind the easy FAQ. Another option could be to write out an estimate of queue times for your different channels. Let the customer choose themselves.

The common critique for nudging is that it’s manipulation, that it assumes that people don’t know what’s best for them. But communication will always be flawed. By using nudge marketing maybe you, who should know your customer, can gear them into channels that they probably will make them happier in the end.

Anna Itzel - marketing manager at connectel
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remote customer service thanks to cloud technology

The Remote Customer Service; Thanks To Cloud Technology

The Remote Customer Service;

Thanks To Cloud Technology

We live in a society where the old school office is something people are working to get away from. People have realised that the focus on an office does not mean we are more productive or better at teamwork. If you do not want your customer support to be tied to one specifik location, then this is the blog post for you. This blog post will discuss how the Connectel platform can make that happen. A remote customer service feels cool. We know how you can make it happen in a function that doesn’t feel easy to do remotely.

You log in to the given CEC website and you have everything you need in front of you. Everything will be gathered in one place. The great thing with the CEC system is that you don’t really need to gather all the agents in the same place. If you are using WebRTC, then all you need is your computer and a pair of headphones. With agents spread out geographically this is how you can set up a remote customer service.

We see more of this set up in the industry than ever. Especially with the increase in, for example, health care support apps. The owner of an web shop or a digital company that has a few employees spread out geographically could also find use for a system set up like this. When you are running a small company you often need to wear many hats. Maybe even you as the owner needs to handle customer support. So while it might seem difficult, a remote customer support is doable and something we will see more of in the future.

A remote customer support might even be beneficial if you think of some of the tech trends we see today. If you as a customer made a video call, would you rather see a boring office in the background? Or maybe it could create a better connection if the agent was sitting at a café or outside? Another benefit is the money your department would save if you didn’t have a large, stiff office that can fit all the agents. The truth is that 60-80% of the customer service budget goes to dealing with agents.

But I think the main benefit to a remote customer service is that you will have happier agents. The environment agents have to deal with is usually stressful and high pressure. If you have a calm surrounding then you are better able to focus on your customer’s needs.

But now I’m asking you, could you consider having a remote customer service? 

Connectel – the perfect remote customer service platform

You can of course create a customer support that is just as good as the traditional one. The omni channel strategy is equally easy to create, and you can read about that strategy here. You can connect many well known systems, like CRM systems or ticket management systems to CEC. You have support systems, like our brand new speech analytics functionality and our scripting tool. Integrating everything you can do with CEC into your process means that you almost do not need your team leader. But if you would need to contact him or her, then we have a chatting tool in the platform for co-workers.

When you buy the platform it’s empty, but you can shape it into something unique for what you need. We at Connectel will always be here to help you figure out what you want and need. We have a lot of ideas about setups and you know your business. If you could build the perfect customer service, no matter how complicated it seems, how would you do it?

Anna Itzel - marketing manager at connectel
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mechanism design theory in customer service

Mechanism Design Theory In Customer Service

Mechanism Design Theory

In Customer Service

Mechanism design theory won the Nobel Prize 2007. In this blog post we will introduce the theory that affects the customer service environment on a daily basis.

In this blog post I’m going to attempt to do something I haven’t seen anywhere else. Something that I’m simply exited and inspired by. While researching for inspiration for blog posts, I realised that every customer service blog writes about the same things. If I want to read about how AI is going to affect customer service, there are at least ten posts. Which is not really a bad thing, AI is an interesting topic. The problem is just that none of these blogs delivers anything new or really interesting.

That is why I am going to attempt to do something a bit deeper in this blog post. I will apply a Nobel prize winning economic principle to the customer service environment. Principles that you probably have seen, but you haven’t realised that there is something more scientific going on here. While I can at least think of three principles that are interesting to discuss, we will focus on Mechanism Design Theory in this blog post. Mechanism design is one of the main branches of economic research (together with game theory, decision theory and general equilibrium theory).

The reason why this is a bit of a gamble is because usually in this principle, the example has to do with auctions and the relationship between seller and buyer. Or in general a market. But if you look at how they are using the example you can see how it can also be applied to what happens in a call center or customer service.

Mechanism design looks at how different types of rules have different consequences. So, it’s the same relationship as between how the dependent variable (consequence) reacts to the independent variable (rules). What Mechanism design says is that because of information asymmetry (gap in knowledge), you need rules or mechanisms that can try to overcome that. For example, if you look at the market, you have buyers with a set of incentives and sellers with completely other incentives. So, they have different information about the value of the transaction.

Applied to customer service

Apply this thinking to the customer service environment and you will see something similar going on. Your customer service is hoping to take as few calls as possible (like that would ever happen), and your customer has problems they need to solve. You have two parties that have their own self-interest, and each have their own private information about their preferences.

The real strength of Mechanism design is how it can make markets more powerful. So maybe applying mechanisms to a customer service environment can optimise productivity? According to the Nobel prize winner Eric Maskin, you start with the goals you have and then you reverse engineer your way back to what mechanisms that can achieve those goals. What Mechanism design does is to tell you what combination of mechanism is most likely to work best. While Mechanism design is much more scientific and mathematical, my guess would be to utilise all appropriate technology in an aligned process and gather your whole process in one system like our solution.  That shouldn’t be impossible right? 😉

I really think applying the holistic approach of omni channel (explain here) can be a key strategy here. Even if the strategy is scary to a lot of people. By giving good service on all channels, the pressure will decrease on the voice channel.

Anna Itzel - marketing manager at connectel
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The Power of Facebook Messenger

The power of facebook messenger

We expect B2C companies to use Facebook Messenger. Don’t we also expect the company to answer straight away? Like if we were chatting with our friends on Facebook. Did you know that today 63% of us use a messaging app(*)? Also, that 53% of us are more likely to buy from a company that we can reach on a messaging app? In this blog post we will talk about Facebook Messenger and how much potential it’s future has. There will also be two more posts about Facebook Messenger this week.

How was the statistics on your last email marketing campaign? They were probably not very good. Well some companies, e.g. Sephora, have realised that to reach your target group you need to find channels that are not established yet. If you want to stand out from your competitors you need to do the same.

Facebook Messenger – The Next Big Marketing Channel

The features and functionalities of Messenger increase every year. At the Facebook F8 event in May (2018) a couple really exiting features was introduced. Remember these are up and coming and are not available just yet.

First feature is still only in a closed beta version but it’s potential is very exiting! We’re talking about the camera effect, augmented reality. The possibility here is to let customers “try on” products virtually before they buy them. Companies like car manufacturer KIA, beauty store Sephora and sports brand Nike are included in this beta. Read more in this article.

The other big introduction was Messenger MDavid Marcus, Facebooks Vice President, described Messenger M as something that will make interactions that never were possible before, possible. According to him it will make the world smaller. Maybe you have guessed what it is? It’s a translation feature! So soon you will be able to talk to customers who doesn’t speak the same language as you in the app.

But some fairly established features of Facebook Messenger so far is the sending documents, video chatting, the integration of a paying service (like Paypal) and chatbots. They are working on their own fintech feature in Messenger though. This feature will mean that you don’t even have to use Paypal but can send payments easier than ever directly in Messenger. So far it’s only available in a few countries, like the US.

Facebook Messenger is changing all of the time. Who knows how much it will grow in the next couple of years! As David Marcus says in his keynote from the F8 conference in May, it still feels like Messenger is early in it’s development. Exciting!

Anna Itzel - marketing manager at connectel
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Build Behavioral Personas

Build Behavioral Personas

Using Customer Service Data

This blogpost is about how you can use customer service data to create behavioural personas. Just less than five years ago we would only build our marketing personas based on stereotypes. The assumptions that a woman have specific interests, and someone with a high income spend their money in this way. We have since then become smarter and realised that the market doesn’t work like that. We now realise the only thing we can rely on is behaviour. 

Behavioural data is more reliable than opinion, I have said it in earlier blog posts. When your company does the traditional market research they will probably only gather data that is less reliable. We soon have a day when a company doesn’t need to make manual market research. All the data they need is already there in the IT systems and processes. You already are tracking traffic to your website and conversion. Probably, how many you reach and engagement on social media. In your customer service you might for example track returned items and categories of issues.

 

Build behavioural personas with analytics

But you can take it a step further. We at Connectel have developed a speech analytics product with huge potential. To be able to extract valuable data from your conversations with customers could relieve your marketing department from assignments which gives them time to do something more valuable. Instead of relying on surveys that only 10-20 % of your customer base will answer now we can gather data and display it in real-time. Read more about the flaws with market research here.

Instead of sending out Customer Satisfaction questions you can with the help of speech analytics detect whether the customer seem happy or not. Together with data from the rest of the platform you can once and for all understand what channel your customer prefers. You can understand during what times of the day they tend to use what channel. With the help of speech analytics, we can catch all questions a customer is asking during a call, and text analytics can find the same information in emails and chat conversations. These examples are only scratching the surface of what we can do with the different analytics you will have available if you are using the CEC solution.

Get in touch with me if you have questions about the CEC solution or our analytical products.

Anna Itzel - marketing manager at connectel
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Webchat - Your Website's Golden Star

Webchat

Your website's golden star

Despite not being a new communication channel webchat is just as hot today for business support as it has been for private communication for decades. We see an increase in its importance if your customers are more likely to visit your website on a mobile device. But in general, your customer is expecting to be able to chat with you. You should also value this channel more than you already do. It gives you the opportunity to be there for your customer in that crucial decision-making moment. That moment when they are ready to buy. Things can still go wrong in this moment. I mean how many companies haven’t experienced abandoned shopping carts?

Some companies report increase in revenue if your customer interacts with your chat function. I see one problem with how companies are handling this feature though. I, as a customer expect the webchat to be active when I’m on your website. That is more likely to be during the evening. The whole thing with a webchat is that I expect immediate answers. If I don’t get an answer within five minutes, then I will abandon the chat and then you as a company has lost an opportunity. I am not okay with you handling chat like it was a channel that can be treated like email or social media.

Webchat Software

Some questions that I might ask might be very basic. Basic enough for you to be able to implement a chatbot during the hours when no agent is available. To implement a chatbot successfully there will be a lot of work that needs to be done to feed the bot with data. We at Connectel are for example working with speech analytics and text analytics to feed our customers’ chatbots.

I have in earlier blog posts about Facebook Messenger described how their version of a webchat can be handled. I also described some exciting new additions to their software. Read those blog posts here:

Webchat summary

Do you see the value? To summarize here are the three reasons why you should use a webchat on your website:

  • It could increase your revenue
  • It will make customer service easier and quicker
  • It will leave your customer with a great impression

Do you want to read more about webchat? Read here what Neil Patel thinks about chat’s potential for marketing. Are you interested in how we can create a process where webchat becomes the golden star of your websiteContact me through email here. 

Anna Itzel - marketing manager at connectel
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Go for omnichannel instead of multichannel - even if there is a lack of time

Go for omnichannel instead of multichannel

Even if there is a lack of time

“We cannot set aside employees’ time just to handle facebook chat. “

“Omnichannel takes more time, which we don’t have! “

Ever heard these reasons for why not to embrace the omnichannel strategy, or any others like these? The idea of omnichannel tends to make a lot of companies uncomfortable. At the same time the “omnichannel experts” keeps saying that omnichannel is what today’s market is expecting.

“Your customer wants it!”

The tagline almost screams at you.

Not every company is hesitant to embrace omnichannel, e.g. Virgin media and Disney, have been raised to the skies for the excellent omnichannel approach. For large American companies omnichannel comes naturally. They have a relationship to customer service that you do not see in Europe.

But what about all those companies that does not have the deep pockets? American or European, it doesn’t matter. Is it only for elitist companies or can (or should) perhaps the masses of companies embrace the approach that is here to stay?

We can perhaps find the answer in the definition of what omnichannel vs multichannel is.

What is omnichannel and multichannel?

Omni comes from the Latin word omnis and means all or every, and multi obviously means many. While many professionals try to differentiate between multi and omni they are in the foundation the same, they just take it to different levels.

That means that omnichannel is a multichannel strategy.

Only, instead of separating channels like you do in multichannel where it’s hard to share information across the channel limits, in omnichannel everything is intertwined. Omnichannel can therefore be visualized with a spiderweb where the customer is the center of everything.

The key here is to remove the focus from the tickets many traditional multichannel systems create. You instead want to focus on the individual and their pain points and problems. By getting more context through omnichannel you are able to give the customer better support.

3 Reasons why omnichannel is better

  1. It moves the focus from tickets in your system onto your customer, the real individual. Which creates happier customers!
  2. It changes your perspective and makes it possible for you to handle changes in technology better. Your mindset will go from reactive to proactive which is exactly what you need to make better investments in technology.
  3. It gives you more, and better information about your customers. With that information you will know better who to target as well as you will know what problems what customer groups are having. If you take action based on that information you can expect saved money and time in the end.

Is it worth it?

It’s always comes to resource allocation in the discussions of whether to go omnichannel or not. To someone who doesn’t understand how a well-executed omnichannel strategy looks like it might seem like more time and money than it’s worth. If your strategy uses the best tools and systems on the market, then you can be sure that you will instead save time and money.

Omnichannel is a strategy that have a high return on the investment.

Connectel is a omnichannel solution. By saying that I am telling you that with our help you can make that previously explained situation a reality. By partnering up with us you can get a high return on your investment.

We can help you limit the number of systems you use. We can also help you save time and money.

Anna Itzel - marketing manager at connectel
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