Latest blog posts from Synthetix
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Is this 1995 all over again?
Early adopters of the World Wide Web were primarily university-based scientific departments or physics laboratories. The world only starting paying attention in 1992 when new generations of web browsers joined the Nexus WYSIWYG HTML editor.
Who knew that Clifford Stoll – a famous US astronomer and author – would regret his dismissal of the hype around the internet and its future. Constantly evolving, today, almost 4 Billion people access the web daily. It has become such an integral part of our everyday life, that some would say we can’t live without it.
Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Agents? Bah!
Just like in 1995, this year has seen AI, and in particular Chatbots and Virtual Agents take the crown for creating hype and excitement.
Views on the maturity of this type of technology as shown in Gartner’s Hype Cycle might have many businesses wondering if they should wait to invest or not at all, especially since predictions of Virtual Agent technology’s game-changing potential have been circulating since 1995.
The truth is that text analysis and natural language processing are getting better all the time. The list of queries that can be answered, and tasks resolved without human interaction, is growing.
Automation is not coming, it’s already here.
Back to the future
Self-serving answers when they need assistance is not a new concept anymore, in fact customers expect seamless customer experiences across desktop, mobile and social channels. This is not news to businesses either and most will have incorporated - or are looking to integrate - a powerful intelligent FAQ system into their customer service/experience strategy.
So, what’s the deal with Virtual Agents?
Virtual Agents are not only upping the personalisation stakes. Virtual Agents, when deployed correctly, with a set of specific goals, can generate leads, increase sales, and grow a business in a big way, and this is only the beginning!
The question is, are you a Clifford Stoll or would you like to find out more about all this hype?
Join us for a Virtual Agent ‘Bootcamp’ – To Bot or Not
- What’s just hype around artificial intelligence and Virtual Agents. What is real and what isn’t?
- Discover how new social channels like WhatsApp and F/B messenger alter the dynamics of ‘traditional’ channels.
- Best practice to build a successful IVA deployment: The inevitable disruptive impact of chatbots and Virtual Agents but also how companies can use them to create new engagement and revenue generating opportunities.
- Workshop with similar businesses and find out how they handle the challenges and pitfalls within their current online customer service ecosystem.
Politicians, representatives of the people, aim to serve their country to prosper economically and ideologically.
Team Synthetix had the honour of meeting Sir Allen Haselhurst, our MP on Monday, 13 February. Not really knowing what to expect, he had a calm and approachable manner. He discussed with Synthetix, the challenges faced by many of the UK’s businesses, especially after the volatile events of 2016 which is set to impact greatly on the future of many businesses.
Interested in exploring the online customer service software solutions that Synthetix develops, how it enhances online customer support, and save our customers time and money we used the Utility industry as an example to explain what we do.
He was impressed that 40% of all the large UK water companies use online customer service technology from Synthetix and that 5 ranked in the top 10 for customer service in 2015-2016.
Collectively this means our utility clients have 23.62 million customers who might need assistance or answers (and that’s just utilities). We are proud to say that many of these customers’ issues will be resolved using Synthetix web self-service, live chat or dynamic web forms, and even when customers do have to speak to an agent, the Synthetix Agent Knowledge-base will assist agents to answer customer queries with confidence, regardless of the channel they use to contact their utility provider.
If Synthetix were in politics - the highest, rung of dignitaries in a country - we are convinced that our portfolio of brands would vote for our seat in Westminster. We are not just fanatical about our customers, but advocates of the creation of exceptional customer service. Imagine a nation full of happy customers – just putting it out there.
We are so proud of what we have achieved in the last 16 years. In fact, apart from the suite of online customer service tools we have developed up until now, we have been trend setters. We were pioneers of Virtual Agents as a concept, which seems strange with the industry finally catching up to the idea.
We have a personal relationship with each of our customers across a wide range of industries and we are very looking forward to the next 16 years of creating cutting-edge online customer service solutions, leaving the politics up to others.
Why not attend one of our best practice events in London to network with like-minded industry peers, hear from industry experts and workshop with some of the biggest brands in the UK?
Our next event is 26 April. Find out more here.
We would hate for you to miss out.
And just like that, the first month in 2017 is over. January sales are being replaced with cupid arrows, hearts, and messages of love. Whether you love Valentine’s Day or think the hype doesn’t justify the occasion, your customer experience strategy should swoop in and enchant customers to fall for your business every time they interact with you, regardless of channel.
Continuously nurturing relationships with your customers is crucial to growing your business.
Unlike our mixed feelings towards Valentine’s Day, most of us love the convenience of our connected world. However, we appear to have a love-hate relationship when it comes to online service.
According to Baymard, nearly 70% of shoppers will abandon their online shopping carts. Shocking until you realise that many users are window shopping, comparing prices, saving items for later or exploring gift options.
However, Forrester reports that more than 50% of customers will abandon their online shopping cart if they can’t find answers to simple queries and switch to a competitor’s website. Customers become so accustomed to doing most things online, it’s no surprise that Coleman Parkes reports that 75% of us prefer online support above any other channel. However, customers hate struggling to find accurate and consistent answers to their questions.
The Silent Treatment
Efforts to prevent potential customers from abandoning their e-commerce carts, have had many businesses implement live chat support. A study by Forrester Research found, “Many online consumers want help from a live person while they are shopping online; in fact, 44% of online consumers say that having questions answered by a live person while in the middle of an online purchase is one of the most important features a Web site can offer.”
An emarketer.com survey found that 63% were more likely to return to a website that offers live chat. The report goes on to say: “62% reported being more likely to purchase from the site again. A further 38% of respondents said they had made their purchase due to the chat session itself. All these attitudes were even more prevalent among respondents who bought online at least weekly.”
As it turns out, live chat can offer real-time support, while also adding significant benefits to the staff and bottom line of companies. It is however important to consider that live chat poses some challenges. Customers are not bound by normal working hours when looking to make an online purchase or find support. Having live chat available with no-one to answer, might do more harm than good, frustrating customers with time-wasting silence.
Multi-channel technology can assist in creating omni-channel customer experiences.
Here are some of the key trends for 2017 that predicts love from customers:
- Consistency across channels is key to a great overall experience. Trust is created when front-line staff, support staff and online channels all over the same consistent answers. Having an integrated knowledge-base across your website, contact centre and social channels
- Ease: If it’s easy to find answers, purchase, get support, customers will return.
- Mobile: We take our smartphones everywhere with us. In a study by Search Engine Watch, 67% of participants said they were more likely to make a purchase when visiting a business’s mobile-friendly site, versus 61% who said they’d most likely leave a site that wasn’t optimised for mobile.
- Personalisation: Make identity an enterprise asset. Identifying customers at every touchpoint will result in a long-term relationship.
- Virtual Agents: 24/7 customer service with a smile. A semblance of personal service, NLP artificial intelligence combined with a graphical representation, can be a powerful additional contact channel (not a replacement for human interaction). Virtual Agents can raise the online customer service effort bar. Always on, ready to offer customers who wish to self-serve answers, an engaging, appropriate, and conversational automated interaction.
In our own lives, we appreciate that we cannot expect close relationships, family relations, or a marriage to survive and flourish if we don’t put time and effort into maintaining it. A business’s relationships with its customers is no different.
Will 2017 be the start of a beautiful customer experience journey for your business?
More expert advice for engaging customers can be found on our website here.