It is said that a successful product is a reflection of who we are. Usually, our unique perspective is what leads to the initial discovery. As the product acquires feedback, our willingness to respond is what drives innovation.
We can have better UI and UX experiences using web chat and enhanced conversations.
Time and time again, I see technology products on the right foot before deteriorating as companies push them to scale.
Internet is now mature enough, so it is important to stop using emoticons to finally experience it. Few companies can repeat the innovation process originally discovered with their successful flagship products – not to mention improving existing products.
Today, in the world of technology, I see two significant trends:
1) As product companies evolve, the distance between product developers and their customers is widening.
2) As consulting firms evolve, the time between an engagement and an introductory conversation with a technical expert increases.
Regardless of the chosen process (sales, engagement management and business development), companies generally place highly empathic people at the forefront of customer communication. As a by-product, technicians, who are most likely to help, are moved further. The situation is even more complicated as most products for mature businesses require consultants and suppliers.
Technology reminds me of the (real) physics formula contained in:
time * speed = distance
Equal increase in time and total distance => constant speed => zero acceleration => decrease in the rate of innovation => possible stagnation.
This complex physics formula seems to be our technological puzzle.
But what if there was a way to create a business that would have turned the entire process upside down? And if people who end up proposing solutions are at the forefront of the customer journey?
On the question of "time".
As an experienced individual contributor, I have completed the loop. Previously, I took care of many support requests using written communication with my sense of situational awareness. It was stressful and not something I would share with best practices. However, over time, I learned to use a set of products in the form of an auxiliary machine.
This thinker and assistant of the machine:
- Monitors my communication.
- Detects problems that I may not be fully aware of as a writer.
- Produces personalized ideas on how to improve.
In a way, I learned to supplement my low emotional IQ with an electronic version of a coach who, privately, advises me on all matters relating to my communication. As a by-product, I avoided many unsuccessful speeches and major misunderstandings with customers.
It simply means that rather than focusing on creating a company that isolates technicians in a bubble, we can finally create an organization that gives them full ownership of the customer journey simply by providing better information about the how they (we) communicate.
On the question of "distance".
Basically, I advocate for a change to bring communication back to people, far from meaningless tools and bad user experiences. Since the beginning of the Internet, we have been developing user experiences composed of input forms and checkboxes.
As the functionality of the Web grew, web designers learned how to create "smart user feeds," such as checkboxes and options not visible on one page. Although nothing is displayed, the process works to a certain extent, but it is a weak solution to a communication problem.
Somewhere there is a solution and that it is a functional web page or a real person, these "intelligent user streams" add distance.
Would a "discussion box" not serve its audience better if the client could explain his question and receive a solution? Wanting to be able to define a problem and receive an answer or solution is not a new idea. Live Customer Support is fully integrated with our website.
And yet, there are only a few companies that can properly program their chatbots:
* American Express
* maybe some others
Almost everywhere else, customer support via chat is a problem of scale. This evokes in me the same feeling as when I call AT & T.
The reason why my experience with the aforementioned companies is different is not easily transferable. For some reason, these companies can endow their customer support with highly technical and empathic people. This accomplishment of the companies is remarkable considering their scale.
What are the solutions:
Increased emotional intelligence
When companies integrate artificial intelligence (natural language understanding) into their online communication experiences, it is possible to stop using emoticons. Do not use emoticons is precisely what companies such as Upwork (eLance + oDesk) and Guy Gamzu Fiverr to do today.
There is no need to look for the complexity of the future. Our language already has all the necessary wealth to express emotions and empathy within our written communication. In summary, it all boils down to this: how can software help people, especially technicians, to effectively transmit this wealth?
The 19th century saw the invention of the Employee Share Ownership Plan, which allowed us to build vast empires and societies. If only we could get this information on AI, the 20th century will see greater individual ownership of the customer relationship. It will be a century of smaller and more efficient businesses, truly owning the results of their work.