Echos, Beacons, Apps and Bots

'Listen, Understand, Act' encapsulates ServiceTick’s approach to making the most of customer feedback. Opening up to the voice of the customer or employee means making the listening process as frictionless as possible, regardless of which channel your customer chooses. ServiceTick already gathers feedback via IVR, email, SMS and web; in this blog we take a look at how we are expanding our offer to include new communications channels.

The Amazon Echo - Amazon’s ‘Echo’ connected speaker launched in the UK in October last year on the back of a wildly successful debut in its US home market. Although official sales figures aren’t published, we believe Amazon are believed to have sold more than 8 million units, putting the Alexa AI assistant in a large number of homes across the US, UK and Germany. The Echo - and the smaller, cheaper Echo Dot - are voice enabled devices that offer basic voice-prompted services such as music playback, daily briefing, shopping and to-do list management.

Functionality can be expanded via ‘Skills’ and this is what we have exploited to transform the 'Echo' into an always-on feedback device in kitchens, living rooms or communal areas in the workplace. This makes it ideal for spontaneous feedback on brands or as an audio suggestions box f or company staff. Just like an IVR, SMS or web survey Alexa provides the ability to send feedback directly into the ServiceTick console. The feedback skill can ask number or text based question, using Amazon’s speech to text service to record responses which can then be analysed within the ServiceTick system. Click here to see how it works

Mobile Apps - For a growing number of customers, a company’s mobile app is the primary (if not only) method of interaction. (Atom Bank and 'B' from Clydesdale Bank are early examples of app-only banking). To get feedback on the service you need to be able to survey directly within the app. ServiceTick is creating a drop-in SDK (Software Development Kit) for mobile platforms that will allow clients to collect survey responses directly in-app, whether the user’s device is online or offline at the time. Specifically optimised for the mobile experience, surveys may be triggered at any point during the user’s app journey. Feedback will be used to create a better understanding of both the app itself and the service or brand.

Bluetooth beacons - ServiceTick is also exploring the use of Bluetooth beacons to drive location-based feedback in client applications. For companies that have both a strong app user base and a conventional ‘bricks and mortar’ presence, correlating the two has been a challenge. Beacons provide understanding of when customers visit stores. Combined with a mobile app they can also give brands the opportunity to gather feedback either immediately or at a later time (links to surveys can be stored on a mobile device). Bluetooth beacons also power the ‘Physical Web’, where Internet URLs are broadcast to compatible devices within an area determined by the broadcast power of the beacon. This technology can be used to crack a perennial problem in customer feedback - how to deliver surveys to customers at their point of transaction in a retail store or branch. With Beacons this becomes a real possibility.

Artificial intelligence - While telephony continues to underpin the majority of customer service contact, a growing number of organisations are offering interactions using web chat or social media. Customer support can be provided using a hybrid model, where aspects of the conversation are automatically provided via bots and handed off to a human operator as required. ServiceTick already delivers web-chat surveys and these can be swiftly configured for use with 'bot-based' customer service models.

If you're interested in finding out more on how to integrate new technologies into your 'Voice of the customer' programme please don't hesitate to get in touch.

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