Strengthening the customer experience is one of the key advantages to using real-time and historical information within contextual communications. Today, both B2C and B2B customers have high expectations for customer experience communication, and they want the service to be prompt and personally tailored. For example, access to previous inquiries on a company website will give a contact center agent insight into the customer, allowing him to make that client's experience more personalized, and allowing the customer to avoid reiterating her contact information or pain points when calling or messaging customer support.
Accessing historical data via cloud integrations enhances customer interaction. Communication APIs can be developed to enable contextual communications. There are numerous use cases for real-time and historical information in customer communication. Here are a few examples of how you can use them to create a higher-quality and more personalized customer experience:
Customer Experience Communication in Retail
As customers have become more comfortable shopping online, they have moved from buying general, impersonal goods — such as romance novels or classic rock CDs — to more personalized purchase decisions with far more options, such as clothes or makeup. It used to be that stores could depend on these customers doing basic research online and then go to the brick-and-mortar store to complete the transaction, but this is no longer a given.
Some stores now offer their best customers the ability to know before the general public when new and fashionable outfits and hot shades of lipstick or blush are available. For example, one luxury department store uses both real-time and historical information in its in-app chat to better reach its customers. The store offers access to personal shoppers for the app's early adopters, as having downloaded the retailer's mobile shopping app demonstrates that these customers are engaged.
Agile enterprises can quickly develop their own apps using both a chat and a voice API on a cloud platform-as-a-service to enable contextual communications for their customers.
Personal shoppers can check a customer's purchase history to gain a sense of their style, and when new items that fit their tastes become available, they can send their customers digital images for review. A third-party chat API behind the application allows the personal shopper to send these images to the customer in real time. Previous customer chats are saved, so the personal shopper can see if this particular offer has been made previously and ensure that current offers make sense when examining earlier discussions. The app can also use a cloud integration with a back-end CRM system to access additional customer purchase history information to better inform the goods the customer is offered in the future.
In-flight Customer Experience Communication
No use case for real-time and historical information in customer experience communication can surpass that of the airline industry. With many travelers going to their destinations via connecting flights at hub-and-spoke airports, timeliness between different legs of the journey is critical. If there are delays or cancellations, travelers expect to be informed quickly and have issues resolved expeditiously.
When a traveler lands at the airport and receives an in-app message that her connecting flight has been delayed, she can immediately click on a link in the message to place a voice call to the airline customer contact center to find out her options. On the other end of the line, the context of the conversation will be displayed to the customer service agent so she will immediately know that this traveler is mid-journey and her flight has been delayed. The agent will receive this information through real-time communications and won't need the traveler to describe the situation.
By already having all the information available to solve the flight delay, the agent can vastly improve the experience for the traveler and even gain brand goodwill in return for proactive service recovery.
Similarly, service-intensive agile enterprises can quickly develop their own apps using both a chat and a voice API on a cloud-platform-as-a-service to enable contextual communications for their customers.
E-commerce with Real-time and Historical Information
The world of e-commerce has long been fraught with customer experience and transaction fraud problems, but new solutions have been developed that ensure improved customer experience while keeping account information safe. An e-commerce enterprise can require a name and phone number from any new customer that can be matched against phone records; all it takes is a phone number insights API to see if it the number on file is associated with the given name. If the shopper needs to confirm their identity at checkout, the enterprise can send a real-time communications message — either through SMS for mobile or text-to-speech for landlines — to the phone number with a one-time password for the customer to confirm that she has possession of the phone linked to the account.
The e-commerce enterprise can further improve the customer experience by matching the name on file for the phone against any credit or debit card used to make purchases. This use of cloud integration with historical information in phone number databases through a number insight API reduces fraud risk and spares consumers with stolen identities the inconvenience of challenging unauthorized charges.
If you'd like to find out more or just try out our customer experience communication on for size, contact a Vonage Business representative.