We have such a range of retail customers because customer service in retail is incredibly important. 7 conducted research in Q4 2012 that revealed more than one-third of UK consumers have switched suppliers/providers as a result of bad service and three in 10 have not signed up because of the bad customer service they received initially. The survey also showed more than half of respondents (51%) felt frustrated when companies do not know who they are or what their issue is, despite having interacted with that company via another channel previously.
So customers are increasingly prepared to take action when presented with bad customer service, yet not all retailers have woken up to this, especially when it comes to the live chat ‘service’ offered on some retail websites.
Live chat as important as in-store customer service
When a customer visits a bricks and mortar store, customer service on the whole is good. Customers are treated as individuals and shop assistants wouldn’t dream of approaching all customers at exactly the same point they entered the store, offering them the same product irrespective of the customer’s intent.
Yet so many retailers continue to adopt this approach with the live chat services they offer online, not taking into account a customer’s previous interactions and individual preferences. Big data and analytics technology can predict the intent of each customer in real-time, so customer service agents know when to approach someone and what to offer, delivering better customer service and increasing the chances of a sale.
It is such analytics that is at the heart of the new 7 live chat service, 7 Assist that we launched in January this year. This is the first live chat solution that combines prediction and real-time decisioning with big data analytics. Based on 7’s powerful Predictive Experience Platform, which delivers an improved customer experience across web and mobile channels, 7 Assist drives more productive and effective customer service and sales journeys.
There has never been more data a retailer can analyse to better understand its customers and learn their intent, history and preferences. We mine every single customer interaction, then use machine learning to recognise complex patterns and refine predictions in real-time to account for the intent of individual customers. 7 Assist is already evaluating real-time models one billion times per month across its deployed client base to better anticipate and serve the needs of individual customers.
7 delivers omni-channel customer service
As a result, 7 Assist knows which individuals prefer chat as a channel, when during the journey agents should intervene, how to intervene, and what to offer. The results are continuous improvements in the customer experience metrics that matter to companies, within three months.
One of our larger retail customers has already seen some spectacular results from using 7 Assist, with a 30% lift in chat revenues in a previously optimised programme. Such improvements are typical but 7 Assist is only the latest in a series of 7 products designed to improve the customer experience across all available channels. We call this omni-channel customer service.
Omni-channel focuses on improving the complexities in customer interactions and enabling a multi-channel (online, mobile, speech, chat, store), multi-modal, and multi-device experience. The omni-channel experience is continuous, consistent, and contextually relevant. This is turn allows them to anticipate and influence the customer journey and deliver the customer service expected by consumers.
7 is able to offer omni-channel customer service via our full product suite: 7 Online powers web self-service apps and monitors visitor behaviour, detects difficulties, and leads customers step-by-step through even the most challenging journeys; 7 Speech redefines IVR by enabling speech self-service that’s conversational, intuitive and easily integrated with online and mobile channels; 7 Mobile powers apps on smart phone and tablet devices that automate customer journeys using a combination of speech and touch modalities, delivering an experience that uses speech commands and location information while adapting to the limitations of smaller screen sizes.
We believe 7 Assist and our other products have helped retailers all over the world to improve customer service, in turn helping improve brand perceptions and have a positive impact on sales revenues.
Retail customers want a seamless experience, enjoying the same levels of service whether they are on the phone, engaging online or visiting a physical store. If a retailer analyses the information it holds and uses that analysis to predict and anticipate what customers want and need, then that is a powerful customer service proposition, delivering the seamless and omni-channel experience that is so valued.
7 contact details:
Tel: +44 208 274 1247
Email: mike (at sign) 247-inc.com
(A Retail Times’ sponsored article)