Four Trends That Will Change Customer Outreach Forever
VoiceSage always has its eye on the future. To this end, let’s look at the four really vital tech developments that will be dominating the way you engage with customers – and the way you’ll work with our technology.
Fancy A Chat?
Chatbots are becoming not just more common, but increasingly useful. What we mean is the use of automated front ends that appear totally human, but are really machine learning algorithms. Those algorithms are powered invisibly at the back end by supercomputer-level processing engines – a combination that makes them incredibly attractive for brands to use. At a slowly increasing pace, organisations are able to supplement their internal contact centre teams with this form of software. Why? When you have systems that track your behaviour, know your previous purchases (not necessarily on the site you’re on) and can offer to do useful, timesaving things for you, then that is a highly appealing customer engagement tool.
Expect to start adding in chatbot-powered customer contact. Think about the possibility of automating and improving responses, saving cost by moving agents to higher value calls, achieving a much higher level of control of your messaging and tracking of your service history – and on a 24×7 basis as chatbots don’t need tea breaks, take holidays, or need any training.
Look for this in VoiceSage in 2017.
Create Your Own Business Rules
This isn’t new news, but is something that is coming more to the fore. It’s the idea of being empowered by tech to set up your workflows by setting up simple (but highly effective) Boolean rules. Our customers like, ‘IF the customer’s call terminates, THEN switch seamlessly to an alternative medium like text or OTT.’ The keywords capitalised are the condition and the response you need, and are more formally known as IF-THEN statements.
The point of IF-THEN rules like that telephone one is that with VoiceSage it’s incredibly easy to setup and maintain business rules for automating, routing and capturing calls and messages, at volume and in ways that can flex as suits your specific business needs.
Look out for this in VoiceSage in 2017.
AI As A Gateway For Omnichannel
What happens if the thousandth customer that sends in a text uses the word ‘disappointed’? Or ‘unhappy’? Or ‘vulnerable’? Alarm bells would go off, if you saw that text in time. But the problem is that in today’s digital, fast-track world with enormous volumes of data to contend with, you won’t necessarily.
This is where practical AI (artificial intelligence) will help. You’ll soon be setting up sentiment analysis triggers that will let your system scan for keywords and phrases like this (it’s a version of the business rule, but carried out in a far more sophisticated way). So if such a text or an email comes in, you will have responses that can kick in immediately, like a transfer to a certain team, or a switch to a voice call with a trained agent trained, or to a new medium.
We see this as the real glue of omnichannel. It’s going to mean that almost no matter what comes in, you’re going to be able to work with it, at big data scale, and in a high quality way. So think about AI systems that monitor customer input across a whole campaign or in real-time around an event or promotion – allowing it to spot patterns of customer reaction, or the use of certain words over and over that it can respond to in a convincing way.
There are some really valuable possibilities around the automation of more complex messages for customers and integrating messaging across your marketing stack to deliver a consistent, tight and rich customer experience.
Look for this in VoiceSage in late 2017.
On The Horizon: IoT
A little bit further out is the Internet of Things (IoT) or the Internet of Everything. I won’t say too much as it’s still in development for not just us but the vast majority of the market. All I’ll say now is to offer a suggestive metaphor: from the cloud to a fog.
What do I mean by this? The cloud we all know is in the sky, services that are great but a little removed from us. With the fog, the connectivity is immersive, with devices on your body, in your room, on the train, in the street, your home, etc. What’s coming next for paying for things in the fog will make this a lot more interesting for brands (check out this resource), especially around the idea of ‘the Tangle’.
Look for this in VoiceSage. Probably in early 2018, but be assured it’s something (especially in connection with micropayments) we are tracking closely.
Why not open the dialogue with the VoiceSage team to explore these exciting new technologies. Before then, can I wish you a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!
Matthew Weil is Head of Product for VoiceSage