Future of Work – Alex Tereshchenko [VIDEO]

Future of Work 2018 – Alex Tereshchenko

Much of human dialogue is not linear. We sometimes wish to accomplish too many things at once, and frequently, our memories prompt by something we’ve just said or heard, resulting in a desire to change the topic. This is normally comfortable for humans but not for bots.

My name is Alexander Tereshchenko. I’m the co-founder and head of operations of Helpware, a fast-growing American startup with the headquarters in California and with operations offices here in Kiev and also in Manila in the Philippines. My co-speaker today is Lena Svidina, the head of growth at Helpware. And Lena is in charge of training and human resources direction and strategic development in our company.

So, we are happy to welcome everybody here today, and we would like to speak about what are the most advanced trends in customer support and customer experience, but not only from customers’ perspective and also from the employees’ perspective of this.

So, let me start with an obvious statement here. We are in the era of the customers. Companies recognize that customers are writing the show. They are smarter. They are better informed. They know where to look for any information they need. They recognize that they have more options, and they’re critical about their customer experience. And they expect it to be right from the first time and every time, and if that’s not happening, they expect from companies to do their best to solve the problem quickly, and not just to make them happy but also to restore the confidence and faith in the company.

So, companies think of that as a huge burden, but the others think of it as an opportunity to get to a level where you can meet and exceed customers’ expectation in terms of their experience and win the customer and also get the good retention and loyalty of their customers.

So, let’s speak about what are top trends in customer support. The first, which is the most obvious one, is customers continue to get smarter. They’re learning what a great customer experience looks and feels like, and not just from the competitors but from anyone who they do business with. Knowing this should help set high standards to everybody who wants to have their customers happy. Assume that customers is not giving a second chance anymore. Customers know what the good service is, and they expect the companies they do business with to deliver it.

Next trend is self-service customer support rises in popularity. So, customers expect the companies they do business with to provide support in a way that is easy and convenient. Numerous studies show that customers go to the website not just to find the phone number to call and ask a question, but also to find a solution themselves and solve the problem doing on their own.

Treat each customer as an individual, and you'll earn their respect and their loyalty. Click To Tweet

So, it was already mentioned today that video plays a great game right now, so that’s in the center of everything that’s going on. So, video has become a powerful way to answer frequently asked questions. But by the way … So, how to type videos. They are now, they are popular and everybody do them. And it also serve not just the purpose to resolve the question or answer the question, but also companies use that to show what are the best use case of the product themselves. So, in this way, the video becomes a new marketing tool.

Personalization will help drive customers’ loyalty. So, across all the data that companies can collect regarding their customers … it allows companies to make their services more personalized, and the customer experience in the current situation must be personalized. The customers want the company to know them well enough to make relevant suggestions and also to get relevant marketing materials. Treat each customer as an individual, and you’ll earn their respect and their loyalty.

And the topic of today is artificial intelligence. Okay. So, artificial intelligence is obviously one of the hottest topics in the industry. And customers’ questions, at least lower-level questions, are now efficiently being handled by computers. Although AI will not replace humans, at least not in 2018, right?

So, while companies are using AI to address customers’ basic questions and requests, like a change of address of checking or checking the bank balance, it’s not quite to the level of replacing people handling high-level questions. Most companies are currently staffing the employees who spent hours previously answering some basic questions to do some more high-level and more sophisticated work to help their customers.

So, let’s talk a little bit about AI here. So, AI is computer programs that normally do work which is normally performed by humans, right? So, the good: Sometimes, AI leverages data as if it were sense-based input. Some AI programs can hear and see. So, AIs can build cars on an assembly line without any humans or they can drive self-driving cars, right? But most interestingly for customer care, an AI can be taught to devise human chat agents.

What’s that mean? Because the AI can be taught by the best customer care agents, it will give great advice. So now, when we are onboarding a new agent, it will take us less time to train them well. So, with the purpose of getting our newcomers up to speed quickly, we can employ AI solutions to make the process fast and transparent and efficient in the end.

The bad side of it: So, the majority of chatbots aren’t actually intelligent. So, most people think about chatbots as a fully automated chat interaction, [the size there 00:07:35] became 100% automation. That’s not the case. An automated mistake is no help to a frustrated customer, right? So, quite the contrary, receiving an irrelevant reply infuriates the customer. And poor experience is a major contributor to the customer [inaudible 00:07:53], making this an expensive problem.

So, the chatbots, which are built based on the decision tree logic, where the response given by the bot depends on specific keywords it finds in the user’s input. At best, according to the most recent data, bots can solve only 1/3 of the total ticket number that humans can.

So, the ugly, here: So, this is … We had a couple of examples today already in John’s presentation, but check out this slide where the bot speaks about pizza delivery. The customer wants to change the topic, but the bot just wants to talk about the delivery. So, this is an example of non-linear dialogue. The human wants to discuss toppings, and bot obviously just forced the delivery.

Much of human dialogue is not linear. We sometimes wish to accomplish too many things at once, and frequently, our memories prompt by something we’ve just said or heard, resulting in a desire to change the topic. This is normally comfortable for humans but not for bots.

So, this is where convenience comes. So, convenience is the new customer service and experience strategy. We’ve already how the convenience of using Uber disrupted the entire taxicab industry, or great example of Amazon became a great retailer by being one of the most convenient companies on the planet to do business with. Convenience is the new customer service wheel.

Okay. Next one. So, what’s important is that, as I already mentioned briefly, that AI will not only support the customer in the future but also the employee if that’s what’s important for us as a company. Let’s review the most possible use cases.

So, the machine listens to the conversation between an agent and the customer and can instantly give relevant data or information needed to respond to that particular question. That will help us to prevent spending a lot of time on finding the right customer in our system, figuring out what his history with us was, what products do they have … It just simply do everything for you and just suggest a couple of good scenarios how to handle the conversation.

And as I mentioned, the great use case for AI can be taught by the best customer care agents. So, then we can replicate the success of great individuals we have on the team and do our job better. And then when an inexperienced agent is asked a question, the AI can propose a different answers based on the ones given by the best agents, which significantly reduces the training. So, in fact, we can think about ramping up the onboarding plan and put the newcomers right in front of the customers quicker.

Okay. So, let’s speak about helper opportunity here. With all the advanced technologies and practices, at some point we’ll be able to provide a 360 degree customer support experience, sooner rather than later. So, in back office support, the possible solutions are they automate back office browsers that AI can handle, implement teams that are unique to handle more complex support tasks, and support areas of business that impact the customer journey and help our clients run their business efficiently.

In customer experience and technical support, we can integrate live chats, social channels to smarter customer experience teams. Build chatbots and knowledge-based system for self-serve and others. I think that’s something that we should expect from the changes in our company within the next three to six months. That will be basically our focus. What’s important here is training as a continuous process and also the different programs that we are going to implement in our day-to-day life.

And in fact, Lena speak more about that so we can dive deep in HR and training side of it.

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