Consumers are turning—in high numbers—towards innovative companies that are making it easier and more convenient for them to live, conduct business and make purchases. These companies are risk takers, trend setters… trailblazers in their industries. What does that mean for the companies who settle into the comfort of routine? Falling behind in the technology that can make doing business with your company easy and fast means being outshined, out-numbered and, in many cases, out of business.
Staying ahead of the curve with the implementation of new technologies to improve your products and services seems to be especially important when talking about the Millennial Generation. The most forward-thinking companies earn the business of this younger demographic—the ones that will be fueling the economy for the next 50 years. Referring to Generation Y, SmartCompany columnist Patrick Stafford writes,"Another major thing they want is the ability to shop alone. They want to go it alone, don't want store assistance, many don't even want to have someone real talk to them in a call centre. But if businesses give them these tools, they will earn the loyalty of Gen Y." On the Y consumer, demo dirt Executive Editor Galia Myron writes, “Just as personal communication is changing, so are business relationships. The best way for companies to reach this valuable demographic is to speak the same digital language,” she advises. “Don’t give Gen Y moms an 800 number to call. They won’t. They prefer to check online—more and more from their phones than a desktop computer.”
Today’s consumers would rather pay a bill via mobile web on their way to an appointment or hop on the computer at work and buy a pair of shoes. It shouldn’t be insulting that your customers would rather complete a task online vs. in your storefront; this shift in channel preference can actually be a good thing for your bottom-line if you implement the right systems that aim for maximum consumer coverage, accessibility and efficiency.
As creators of conversational Intelligent Virtual Assistants (IVAs), we have aided enterprise companies in their quest to provide a more personalized web self-service experience for over 10 years. Because IVAs live on our clients' websites, consumers are able to interact with them on their own time, on their channel of choice and in their own natural language.
So, when re-evaluating self-service strategy, make necessary changes in response to what your customers are telling you they need and want, and if what they want is a more intuitive self-service experience, I hope that you’ll consider putting an Intelligent Virtual Assistant to work for your company.