1. Market Research

Customers Want Fast Answers Online, Not Waiting on a Phone Line: Virtual Assistants are Essential

  • March 2015
  • 18 pages
  • Frost & Sullivan
Report ID: 2837192

Summary

Table of Contents

Introduction

U.S. companies lose $ billion each year due to poor customer experiences; and companies around the globe suffer similar fates. It is also well documented that it costs more to win a new customer than to keep one, so the financial impact reverberates across the organization. The good news is that, while poor customer experiences can be revenue-crushing, delivering positive customer experiences can be the #1 way to differentiate a brand—even if the brand’s competitors currently have greater market share and outspend it with massive marketing budgets. In fact, by 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as a key brand differentiator.

Given the importance of using customer experience to retain existing customers, it is counterintuitive that, in the court of business opinion, seemingly everyone wants to talk about using online and mobile to sell, but few organizations are putting the same amount of energy and focus into using these channels to keep the customers they already have. The truth is that a company’s Web site and social sites are how the world sees it; and, increasingly, those views of the company occur mainly or entirely on mobile devices. How a company handles each interaction, at each touch point, with every customer and prospect, is critical.

Similarly, it seems as if everyone wants to talk about omni-channel communications. Yet, a company’s communications through those multiple channels—its Web site, marketing and advertising messages, social media, and even product materials and product manuals—are undoubtedly generating questions that the help desk and other touch points need to answer. These external channels are likely creating confusion among customers and prospects, which the company needs to address quickly. How companies manage their customer support interactions hold the key not only to customer retention but also to the opportunity to generate new revenues.

This Stratecast report will analyze:

• The things customers want from their interactions with companies today.
• The things companies are seeking from those interactions, and the systems that enable and enhance interactions.
• The role of omni-channel communications in optimizing the customer experience.
• The role of technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning in creating a winning scenario for both customers and providers.
The report will then discuss a solution that uses AI and machine learning to provide better solutions for providers, and an optimized experience for customers.

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