According to Walker, a customer intelligence consulting firm, by 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator for B2B. This customer-centric focus has resulted in 72% of businesses reporting that their top priority is improving the customer experience, according to Forrester. To accomplish this goal, companies must determine the most efficient, yet affordable, way to give their customer care processes a boost.
To ensure high levels of customer satisfaction, companies must provide stellar customer service anytime, anywhere, and through any touch point. Recognizing that continuously adding quality agents simply does not add up financially, more and more companies are turning to technology in order to scale quality support.
We’ve compiled a short list of innovative customer service technologies developed by talented companies that are dedicated to helping enterprises improve their customer experience at scale and successfully compete in today’s ever-changing business environment.
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Casengo is a cloud-based customer support software platform that enables companies to provide customer service through social networks, email or chat. Using both conventional and emerging communication channels, Casengo integrates Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp into the customer service platform. The platform allows for real-time conversation, regardless of channel type, via a unique Hybrid Messaging Timeline. The Netherlands-based Casengo also offers features such as Workflow management tools and unlimited Inboxes.
Customers appreciate: Being provided with a smooth experience across multiple channels.
Contact Centers appreciate: “We got our customer support sorted the day we started using Casengo to manage emails and social media posts.”
Founded in 2005, Coveo is a provider of predictive search technologies, with integrated plug-ins for Salesforce.com, Sitecore, Google Apps for Work, Atlassian, JIRA, Office 365, YouTube, Lithium, Jive, Dropbox, and more. Its intelligent knowledge base/self-service platform is powered by artificial intelligence, unified search, rich analytics, and machine learning. The Canadian-based Coveo increases self-service success and case deflection by making search core to the self-service experience. Using machine learning, Coveo recommends content based on what others have found helpful before. Content becomes easily accessible to customers so they find what they’re looking for regardless of where the content resides within the organization.
Customers appreciate: The ability to resolve issues on their own by easily finding the specific answer they are searching for.
Contact Centers appreciate: “We needed something that would enable us to give new agents the opportunity to search and find the fragmented pieces of information they need, which might exist across multiple systems, to answer that customer question the first time. We wanted something simple to use, that would give people a single interface.”
Canadian-based Enchant is a 3-in-1 embeddable messenger app that enables customers to search the knowledge base, start a chat or send an email. Fully customizable, Enchant includes features such as unlimited Help Desk Inboxes, smart folders that update in real time, multiple knowledge base sites with their own set of articles, multiple messengers in a single account with each pointing to a different team or configured for a different website.
Customers appreciate: Faster, personalized customer support.
Contact Centers appreciate:Enchant enables better collaboration of support teams making sure nothing falls through the cracks. “Enchant is full of well thought out features, saving us time and stress. It just doesn’t get better than this.”
Founded in 2001, Fonolo’s cloud-based call center solutions provide companies with visual dialing and virtual queuing services. Using cloud-based call-backs or allowing callers to click on a visual phone menu via the company’s website or mobile application, Fonolo connects them to the relevant agent while eliminating traditional hold times. The solution is compatible with all major call center infrastructure vendors (Avaya, Genesys, Cisco, etc.) and cloud-based call center offerings.
Customers appreciate: Valuing their time by eliminating unnecessary hold times.
Contact Centers appreciate: “Hold times are unavoidable…but Fonolo allows us to offer a positive customer experience, every time.”
Founded in 2000 and headquartered in Norway, Questback Customer Touchpoint provides enterprises with a comprehensive view by automatically collecting process-driven customer feedback at key customer interaction points across multiple channels. Real-time dashboards identify trends and “hot alerts” for high-impact issues. Questback has more than 5,000 global customers – including Volvo, Ernst & Young, Coca-Cola, Microsoft and Bosch.
Customers appreciate: The feeling that their feedback is important and acted upon.
Contact Centers appreciate: “Business benefits have included increased engagement, authentic feedback and insight, over 40% reduced costs, rich input into strategic projects and, most importantly, cultural change.”
Lithium is a social platform that enables companies to efficiently manage and prioritize social campaigns and responses. With Lithium’s SMMS, companies can support high volumes of customer conversations, with inbound message filtering, routing, tagging and 6-level prioritization. Customers include brands like Microsoft, HP, Sephora, Virgin and Barclaycard, as well as other customers in more than 34 countries. Lithium is a privately held company headquartered in San Francisco, and was named a Leader in The Forrester Wave: Social Media Management Solutions, Q2 2017.
Customers appreciate: Frictionless customer service through peer-to-peer support, self-service and social care.
Contact Centers appreciate: “We give customers the opportunity to use the channel that they best prefer, and in the process, we direct volume away from the call center and reduce queues and wait times.
Nanorep is a provider of self-service, virtual customer assistants, and smart bot solutions for customer service. The solution offers touch-points for the Web, mobile, and messaging channels, Natural Language Interaction (NLI ), Knowledge Management for customers and employees, in-context escalation to live agents, and comprehensive analytics. Founded in 2009 with headquarters in Israel, Nanorep has been implemented by more than 200 enterprises across the globe, and was recognized in the 2017 UK National Innovation Awards.
Customers appreciate: The personalized and intuitive customer self-service
Contact Centers appreciate: “Nanorep accurately replies to our customer inquiries, from pre-sale questions about products and policies to order tracking and shipments. Within a couple of months, we reduced our support overheard by 80% while significantly improving our agents’ response time. We have also seen an uplift in almost all of our success metrics along the customer journey.”
Founded in 2015 and based in the US and Moldova, Retently helps businesses understand and interact with their customers using Net Promoter Score® (NPS®), a customer satisfaction metric and an alternative to traditional loyalty surveys. The NPS survey asks just one-question “How likely are you to recommend our product or service to a friend or colleague?” The customers answer on a scale from 0 to 10 and are further categorized into three segments: Promoters, Passives and Detractors. The score is calculated by subtracting the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters. Retently’s reporting tool enables organizations to analyze their data and act on the received customer feedback.
Customers appreciate: The fact that their opinion counts and companies care enough to contact them.
Contact Centers appreciate: “Retently was incredibly simple and intuitive to use, easy to set up. I’ve used other Net Promoter services and to be honest they have not quite have the same kind of polish or intuitive way of navigate in them.”
Servicefriend provides customer service hybrid bot technology that offers enterprises the scalability of a bot with the intelligence, comprehension, and empathy of a human. Using an algorithm that analyzes customer intent, the bot and its customized persona is always the front-end, ensuring that every communication receives the same branded and consistent experience. With its AI resources, the bots can initiate a switch to a human agent at any point.
Customers appreciate: Not having their time wasted by chatting with a bot that can’t understand or help them
Contact Centers appreciate: “Messenger, integrated with Servicefriend’s hybrid bot technology, has helped us deliver wonderful customer experiences, more so than our other customer channels.”
Founded in 2015, TechSee is a technology and technical support company that specializes in visual technology and augmented reality. Using screen-based technology that allows agents to see the customer’s physical environment via their smartphone, TechSee quickly turns any audio call into an interactive, visual multimedia call. TechSee’s technology combines AI with deep machine learning, proprietary algorithms, and Big Data to deliver a scalable cognitive system that becomes smarter with every customer support interaction.
Customers appreciate: The ability to quickly and easily show the agent the issue, without lengthy verbal explanations, and being clearly shown how to resolve the issue on their own
Contact Centers appreciate: “TechSee empowers our agents to provide a more effective and efficient service and a better customer experience to our clients. By offering intuitive, visual support, both call center performance and customer satisfaction have improved significantly.”
Started in 2013 by the founders of Applian Technologies, Zingtree is a privately-held US-based company that enables enterprises to ensure their web site visitors receive answers quickly. The software allows users to build interactive decision trees, troubleshooters, phone scripts, process guides, diagnostic systems and more. Customers answer questions in a simple Q&A format, which in many cases leads to a problem solution. If a problem can’t be solved, support technicians get a full history of the Zingtree session via email or Zendesk ticket, eliminating a lot of back-and-forth. In addition, Product Managers can access reports to help design better products and support documents.
Customers appreciate: On-demand, interactive self-help in a simple question and answer style format.
Contact Centers appreciate: “This type of automation allows (our agents)…extended availability to deal with complex conditions with less time stressed.”
These innovative companies address the most burning issues in customer service contact centers and provide much-needed solutions to improve the customer experience.
From automation and chatbots, to visualisation and omni-channel experiences, these technologies empower customer service operations and customer care agents to deliver consistently better service at scale…. boosting both customer loyalty and the enterprise’s bottom line.