Nowadays customers interact on many channels and expect a a great experience on each. It has to be fun and satisfying for the international customer base to engage with the company’s brand. The work of support agents has to be made easy and efficient. The systems deployed must effortlessly rise to the business needs.

Going mobile is the current trend driven partly by Social Customer Care favored by millennials. This requires a very flexible SaaS architecture. Information flow and presentation needs to be optimized for the respective channels. For example, for mobile the system needs a minimalistic UI. Hit lists must be very short and have to highlight key information. Automatic dialog systems have to support the most common chat applications. The system needs to tolerate typos and terse social media style language. Some customer might want to use voice instead of typing. Answers have to be short and precise and link to further information.

Know your Customers and Meet their Needs

Companies collect a lot of customer data. Still, customers often have to repeat everything over and over again. Instead, good customer support could sometimes even preempt issues if they would know the customer. Leveraging data stored in ERP systems and having the communication history at hand are key. For new customers social media mining or analyzing peer groups can make the customer known without bothering him with thousands of questions.

Deliver a Personal, Satisfying Self-service Experience

For most people being able to use their mother tongue is a prerequisite for a personal experience. Or simply the only way to communicate efficiently. This requires a localized UI, but also being able to access knowledge using the customers language. Ideally also answers are provided in the customers’ language, at least in a machine translated quality. FAQs should be translated in human quality.

Allow Customers to Share Ideas and Solve Issues

E-commerce wants to benefit from the sharing economy, too. And it should. Often the customers themselves are the best support agents. Companies therefore need to provide an Open Knowledge Base which can be expanded by customers. Giving kudos to contributors or implementing some sort of gamification is often incentive enough for the customer’s efforts. Most customers, though, will use their mother tongue for writing knowledge articles. Thus articles in many languages have to be revised for publication. They need to be retrievable by cross-language search through the Multilingual Knowledge System. Their content has to be machine translated into the customer’s language. Some companies want to translate every article in human revised quality into their corporate language. Articles need to be categorized. Text Analytics can extract invaluable insights.

Support your Agents Optimally

Customers can embarrass support agents, because by simple googling they often know more about the issue than the agents themselves. Therefore, the agents need the same cross-language access to the knowledge base as the customers. In addition they need to have access to the communication history and customer data from the ERP systems. A social media dashboard provides further information about the customer, about their colleagues, friends, or family members and their communication history. For known problems template answers, translated in all languages, should be available.

Don’t miss next week’s post for a proposed solution…


Gudrun is co-founder of Coreon GmbH and a Chief Strategy Officer. She brings the team a passionately innovative and strategic mindset, entrepreneurial spirit, and a long term experience in marketing to global corporates, organisations and institutions.