Wednesday, October 8, 2014

3 Reasons Why Smartphone Brands Need a Virtual Customer Assistant (like Siri) for Customer Support

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Happy Wednesday all! I wanted to first start off with a side note. noHold has decided to write a weekly blog (as opposed to daily), to make sure we are providing our audience with the most relevant and compelling content. Thanks for your continued support! 

In light of customer service week, I wanted to share some thoughts on why one of the World's most recognized consumer electronics companies, Apple, and brands alike, could benefit from having a Virtual Customer Assistant (VCA) for support. 

Siri, Google Now, and Cortana are some of the most well known Virtual Personal Assistants (VPA) used today. Smartphone users typically ask their VPA for directions, reviews, funny questions, and a host of other things. While these companies utilizes VPAs for users to answer personal questions, it's about time they used a VCA (similar to Siri or Cortana) for customer support. Here are three reasons why.  

#1: Apple's melt down after the release of their first update to iOS 8 is not a secret. According to an article from Computer World, "Apple today [Sept. 24] released, then quickly pulled, its first update for iOS 8 after customers flooded its support forum with reports that their iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Smartphones could no longer connect to a cellular network." Increase in customer support and service questions surrounding new software updates, and new versions are a common challenge for many companies. While it may not have been able to fix the problem in this instance, it would be able to give assurance to users that the problem is being addressed and maybe even offer some sort of condolence for the inconvenience, such as a coupon, or free song download. This way, customer satisfaction is never compromised, even in the face of technical difficulties. 

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#2: What about the U2 debacle that occurred at the end of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus announcement? Many iPhone users were upset that the U2 album automatically downloaded into their iTunes, and wanted to figure out how to delete it. With the bad backlash from their marketing tactic, a VCA could have provided a solution to tens of thousands of users without costing the company big bucks to answer the phones/ emails. 

#3: Lastly, one of the leading analyst firms is predicting that companies need to start leveraging digital technologies to create a more engaging customer experience. They believe that more enterprises are exploring self-service through a VCA to reduce the volume of calls to the contact center, thus reducing support costs. Not only will a VCA reduce support costs, it can also help improve customer satisfaction in the process. 

In this age of technology, it is apparent that self-service is quickly becoming the users' preferred channel for support. Top brands, and small businesses alike need to adapt their strategies accordingly before they get left behind. 

How are you celebrating your customers this week...and daily? Is your company using digital technology to improve the customer experience? Do you agree that Smartphone vendors should leverage a VCA for customer support? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.