Published on May 4th, 2017 | by Guest


Be Your Customers’ Virtual Assistant

In the 21st century, immediate gratification sells. If a customer has a question or problem, an immediate response, that solves the problem can make the difference between keeping or losing that customer. Although it may seem unwieldy for a startup or small business to provide 24/7 customer service, virtual assistant apps make it an affordable reality.

The Problem

Businesses lose customers and sales, and hurt their brands, by utilizing outdated technologies like e-mail assistance or phone trees. Today’s customers want an immediate answer that solves the problem. They have neither time nor patience to hang on the line pushing 1 then 4 then 7 to reach the appropriate option, only to find it redirects them to the company website or provides a recorded message that no operator is available. When a customer has a product question while shopping online or experiences delivery issues, they want the question answered or the problem solved immediately. Most businesses can’t afford staffing a 24/7 call center nor do they provide call center staff with the latitude to problem solve. Lack of immediacy and unresolved customer issues lead to customer attrition to competitors.

The Solution

Modern technology provides the answer. While a business should provide live customer service at least during regular business hours, it should also provide a virtual assistant bot as a 24/7 customer service option. By leveraging an application that provides automated customer communications, businesses can provide 24 hour, 7 day a week automated assistance to their customers.

Benefits of Virtual Assist Bots

The best virtual assist applications do more than send automated responses, but that’s a huge benefit. The plethora of brand building benefits include:

  • cross channel support,
  • push notifications,
  • in-app messaging,
  • automated emails,
  • an app inbox,
  • wide broadcast capability,
  • one-on-one personalized contact,
  • automated personalized campaigns,
  • customized message delivery with triggers,
  • drip campaigns,
  • milestone assistance,
  • calendar views to help you manage frequency.

What do those words mean to you, a small business owner? You’re probably already familiar with cross channel support since you probably use more than one channel in everyday life, perhaps Twitter, Instagram, and e-mail. Users of any social media app know push notification simply means a message from the app to your mobile device that a trigger has been met, for instance, someone followed you or liked your status. Let’s look at something that can help build brand loyalty and increase sales – customized message delivery with triggers.

Kevin Payne, vice president of global demand generation & field marketing for [24]7 Inc., tells a great story illustrating how customized message delivery with triggers could solve problems efficiently. Payne stills subscribes to his city’s daily newspaper. One rainy morning, the paper arrived to wet to read and he tried to get a fresh copy delivered the same day. The newspaper only offered an e-mail option or an automated telephone line. Payne chose e-mail and never received a replacement issue because the newspaper didn’t regularly staff its customer service e-mail. A week passed before he even received a response. If the newspaper used a chatbot programmed with automatic responses for the customer and automatic notifications for delivery personnel, he could have clicked on a link that read “Delivery Issues,” stated the problem, and had the chatbot reply with an automated response that apologized for the problem and provided an efficient time span for re-delivery. The same bot would send an automated message to newspaper delivery including Payne’s name, address, and that he needed the paper re-delivered. Rather than hurting their brand, the newspaper could have built customer loyalty by providing an automated problem solving solution.

Why Virtual Assists Help Business

Customers just want problems solved – immediately. No one enjoys clicking multiple options on a phone or a website. No one enjoys having to explain a problem repeatedly to a customer service representative who does not understand their language. No one enjoys being unable to understand the CSR’s response due to a poor phone connection, heavy accent, or language barrier. What people do enjoy is fast, helpful service that fixes their problem.

A recent [24]7 Inc. survey revealed that digital chat tops consumer communication preferences for customer service. One in five survey respondents said that having a problem solved increases their brand loyalty. Virtual assistants or chatbots can address the user fluently in their native language. Artificial intelligence provides today’s companies with technology to address customer needs via robot. Real-time interaction decrease customer frustration. It also reduces the likelihood that the customer shares their frustration on social media. That’s doubly important because the public turns to social media to determine from whom to buy, says Content Fac.

It’s likely that as a small business, you don’t have a team of marketing and communications experts on staff. That’s okay because the best virtual assistant apps provide templates for standard message types and allow custom message creation. Look for an app that provides detailed FAQs or step-by-step guides leading you through the data entry process. Set aside time to learn the software and enter the data needed. You’ll save time and customers by providing an automated problem solving solution for you

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