This excitement and ease of communication on the Internet undeniably brought closer customers and companies.
True Case and Trends
Yesterday I received by post several “neon lights” to decorate a room; the package arrived with a brief guideline which was not exhaustive. My first instinct was to get on the manufacturer's website and consult the FAQ, as I wanted to know the average lifespan of these neon. Having not found my question in the FAQ, I sent an e-mail via the contact form and I received an answer before the end of the day (the answer was 8.000 hours for your information).
In the next future, I will be able to interact directly with the company via his Twitter account, for example, or via his Facebook fan page, depending on the community management tools developed by the company. In any case, the answer provided and published in the Internet by the company may be more immediate and will benefit to all other customers (thanks to the Internet publication of the answer).
This is no longer a novelty; Internet changed our habits and reflexes. In just a few clicks, we can now be in contact with the online customer care service, without having to engage ourselves in a phone call conversation. The phone call conversation is considered as the last resort because it requires a greater effort to provide than:
- Check the online FAQ from his sofa at home
- Fill out a contact form from his workplace
- Post a Tweet from its iPhone in the subway
- Send a message via social media (Facebook, customer forum, ..) at 22-23h
This ease of communication prompted the users to get in touch with the company for any question whatsoever. Personally I will not dare to pick up the phone and call during working hours to ask the average lifespan of a neon light..
New challenges for the online customer care services
The online customer care services (email and web center) will have to manage the growing number of customer requests from the Internet channel. These requests will quickly exceed the number of those actually received in the call centers, not because of an increasing dissatisfaction but because of an easier communication between customers and company, made possible by the Internet media.
One of the main challenges of the companies will be to effectively manage these new inflows: electronic messages (e-mail, comments, forum questions, tweets, chats, etc..)
By effective management, I mean, being able to develop a base of knowledge containing
- the main demands, doubts, complaints, needs expressed by customers
- and the main canned answers used to respond quickly and effectively.
The question I asked regarding the neon light is a so-called low value-added question. A low value-added question is a question which can be answered by a canned answer: "Neon Lights have an average lifespan of 8.000 hours”.
80% of all customer requests received in a contact center are low value-added requests.
With the exponential increase of the number of customer requests via the Internet, automation and/or customized-assistance for the agent (community manager) in charge of responding / analyzing these requests is now crucial for the company.
The quality of online customer care service and its costs will be closely linked to the company's ability to analyze and prioritize the customer requests and respond quickly with high relevance.
Service providers such as Inbenta, stood out on the market of the customer relationship and offers today services and software solutions allowing to:
- Create and maintain continuously base of knowledge on customers’ needs via the concept of Natural Language Processing and Semantic Analysis
- Answer effectively to these needs via self-care solutions (semantic search, dynamic faq, virtual assistant) or via e-mail solution management (assistance for answering to low value-added questions).
"Luc Truntzler" Key Account Manager Inbenta