I recently sat down with fellow Stocktoner, Andrew Moorhouse, for a chat about the current state of customer experience, and why so many brands are barking up the wrong tree when it comes to AI.
The issue with the channel of choice
The biggest takeaway was regarding something I’ve been giving a lot of thought to recently.
There’s a big trend right now towards ‘meeting the customer where they are’ and ‘channel of choice’. Essentially, that means trying to resolve your customer’s issue on the channel they contact you on, no matter what that channel is.
In Matt Dixon’s book, The Effortless Experience, it states that channel-shifting is perceived as a bad idea. However, if you can promise the user that their issue will be resolved in another channel, and if you can actually resolve the issue on the channel you suggest, then customers are typically happy to switch.
So this is what the focus should be for brands: figuring out what your customer intent taxonomy is. Andrew shared an example of a large UK bank that had 200 intents in its chatbot, 140 wrap codes in its IVR, and 400 self-service options on its website, showing that two out of three channels are doomed from the start.
Once you have your intent taxonomies, you can then work out the absolute best way for each intent to be served. If you have the solutions in place today, great. If you don’t, that’s where you should focus.
Once you have your intent taxonomy figured out, and you have the best possible solutions in place, then your job is to get the customer onto the right channel. Yes, meet your customer in their channel of choice, but, quote “triage the shit out it” so that customers end up on your channel of preference (which is also the channel that they’ll have most success with).
Sometimes, the solution will be to speak to a human. Sometimes, it’ll be an online form. Sometimes it’ll be an AI-mediated assistant.
Other takeaways from the discussion that stood out to me were:
- The value of conversational intelligence and how AI tech vendors are starting to wake up to how critical this is.
- How vendors are still selling false promises, such as promising to automate 50% of banking queries when 65% of those queries are fraud related and can’t be automated.
- How asynchronous channels don’t always work and why brands like Virgin, EasyJet and others ended up turning off their asynchronous messaging channels due to poor service.
- Why Sky turned off its chatbot and found a win by focusing on web-based self-service.
- Why most contact centre agents are ‘powerless to help’
- How focusing on good service and empowering your people can lead to a phone call to a utility company being made in the morning, and an entirely new smart meter being fitted that same afternoon.
Also, if you’re interested in getting a handle on your intent taxonomy and your ideal intent-channel mapping solution, give us a shout at VUX World.