As use of messaging for customer service steadily increases, businesses are adapting their infrastructure to meet customers at their points of need. This digitization of customer care involves a variety of changes, including cloud assessments, infrastructure improvements, change management, and integration and scaling of new technologies.
In 2017, we began a project for a local company that had recently been having issues with customer experience on their messaging platform.
Due to a lack of cohesion across their infrastructure, they were struggling to serve customers consistently in chat. They had begun reaching out to customers using messaging but lacked the infrastructure to properly handle the inbound responses, which sometimes contained sensitive data. Other issues included dropped messages, an overloaded customer care team, and an overall lack of satisfaction with their customer service experience.
Our plan was to assess the client’s architecture, implement best practices, and use industry-leading technologies, leveraging microservices to refine their system and accommodate their changing needs. Specifically, we wanted to make their infrastructure more scalable and their processes more agile. We also planned to improve customer satisfaction by increasing continuity of the user experience.
Using our architecture expertise and systems integration knowledge, we began by analyzing the situation, then demonstrating our proof of concept. Our team consisted of cloud architecture experts and Java developers who had done similar projects for other clients; they were familiar with how to manage large volumes of streaming data with the latest technology.
Following a successful proof of concept with just a few team members, our client expanded the scope of our original undertaking by adding new work and feature enhancements. As the months continued, our team and its relationship with the client grew.
About a year into our work together, the client had an urgent opportunity to integrate Apple Business Chat (ABC), a tool for businesses to interact directly with their customers via iOS-integrated chat. This aligned well with our plans to expand the client’s customer service capabilities, so we were happy to be trusted by our client and awarded the work.
We decided to tackle the project in two ways: implement asynchronous smart agents to handle simple requests and improve the back-end architecture to allow agents to respond better to more complicated queries. The project was a team effort; we were able to work closely with the client’s app development team to secure proper authentication protocols. In just six weeks, we completed one of the first ABC implementations ever done.
To continue to improve customer experiences, we implemented artificial intelligence and machine learning tools. Using natural language processing (NPL), we predict customer needs based on the first message. We developed the first customer facing, real-time model leveraging AI and created a ML model to predict customer status (current or prospective). All of these processes are aimed at getting the customer to the right agent, to resolve questions faster and more effectively.
Happy customers and faster problem resolution is a win for everyone
Thanks in part to our efforts in partnership with the entire program team, customer experience for this client has greatly improved. Consumers can now contact our client’s customer care agents directly using messaging channels, social channels, Apple Business Chat, and more. Asynchronous smart agents now handle simple requests, decreasing the time needed for customers to get the information they want. Data visibility has also improved, since customer care agents can see a conversation history for each customer across these various channels. Agents can address needs faster and work with five to six customers at once, saving time and money for everyone. The improved experience has led to an increase in customer acquisition and retention, and customer satisfaction (CSAT) scores have improved.
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Liz Gillette is a director of Digital Transformation at Logic20/20. She is responsible for overseeing complex engagements, ensuring delivery excellence focusing on best practices and standards, and growing talent within the technology organization.