Every one of us is a consumer, and we’ve all experienced both the best and worst of what companies offer when we’re in need of help. Companies that deliver effortless experiences are the brands we love and come back to repeatedly. We share them with friends and become evangelists for those companies. Not because of the thrills and frills they offer, but because they make it easy for us to make a purchase, ask a question or solve a problem. Sadly, the same is true for companies that provide terrible experiences – we tell everyone we can to avoid them, and in the age of social media, there’s no limit to how far even a single person’s disdain can travel.
What is an effortless experience? One that understands me and what I’m trying to accomplish. It’s friendly, efficient, and allows me to complete a given task without switching channels. I don’t get shuffled from person to person, and my history isn’t lost if I move from the web to a phone call or to live chat. I’m not asked to introduce myself and prove I am that person repeatedly in the same interaction.
The sad part is that large, successful companies don’t set out to deliver horrible customer experiences. It’s that they’ve built up systems and cultures – often around antiquated technology – that don’t come together in a way that makes it easy for us as consumers. But in today’s self-service economy – an age of ’instant’ where anything from a taxi to takeout can be ordered with a few swipes – maintaining archaic customer service practices will drive any business to the ground.
I wish more businesses would ask themselves, “is it difficult to be my customer?” and experience these pain points through the lens of their customer. 88 percent of consumers say they want their problems solved in one interaction, but an incredible 62 percent report it takes more than one contact to do that. And this simply shouldn’t be the case.
That’s why I recently joined 7.ai as their new Chief Marketing Officer. 7.ai provides a SaaS technology platform that enables companies to deliver those effortless experiences consumers increasingly expect. It uses data and analytics to understand and predict what a consumer is trying to do and spans all the different ways they want to engage – whether it’s via voice, or chat, or on the web or through an application on a mobile device. We are helping leading enterprises around the world in financial services, insurance, retail, travel and more deliver those amazing experiences. And it’s not just limited to customer service – we also help these companies increase revenue and understand how to grow their businesses at a lower cost while having more satisfied customers. Sound too good to be true? It isn’t. We have the data to back it up.
The opportunity for 7.ai is incredibly large – any company that has a number of customers they sell, service or bill is a potential customer. I believe that 7.ai’s solutions will change our understanding of “customer experience” as we know it, and I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of the road ahead.