The Customer Is The Channel

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We've launched a D2C branded automated assistant, capable of serving customers across conversational channels

[Las Vegas, NV] GroceryShop 2018 is underway with industry leaders taking the stage to address shared challenges and opportunities relating to the evolution of how consumers shop for products ranging from food and beverage to health, beauty, personal care, household and pet supplies.

groceryshop_2018

 

Our CEO, Fang Cheng, took the stage this morning to announce the General Availability release of our CCA platform's direct to

consumer capabilities to a full house of intrigued attendees. 

 

Our Customer Care Automation platform revolutionizes how D2C brands solve the challenges of scaling customer care, building a direct relationship with the customer and leveraging data to drive growth. Our platform uses AI, a single customer profile, and smart integrations to create engaging, real-time moments that give customers the service they want, an experience they love, and more reasons to shop online again.

 

Offering a branded, automated assistant across channels that shoppers use most frequently, the platform uses a contextual understanding of needs based on purchasing behavior, order status, customer care history, and unique preferences.

 

Our branded assistant offers a range of services across the customer journey, including post-purchase assistance, re-ordering, and subscription help. It also drives additional engagement through reminders, contextual recommendations, and more. Additionally, using our platform’s understanding of the customer and open APIs, brands can easily deploy differentiating and unique value-added services to drive further engagement and strengthen loyalty. Services such as product selection assistance, in-store stock check, automated on-site live chat, real-time answers to product questions, and comprehensive loyalty program service can be added to the automated assistant's capabilities, with no fixed limitations on the services created.

Digital Disruption has come to the Grocery Industry

With our platform’s D2C capabilities, brands can now offer real-time assistance with the convenience customers want, without sacrificing margin. In the battle for loyalty, brands can benefit from the incredibly rich and broad customer data that is used not only to power the automated assistant, but can be integrated into existing systems including CRM and marketing automation platforms, providing a far richer and real-time understanding of customer behavior, and the ability to take immediate actions according to their individual preferences and experiences.


Key benefits of deploying an automated assistant using our platform include:

  • Providing real-time automated customer care with a broad range of services across channels customers prefer including SMS, Facebook Messenger, Website Chat, Twitter, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant
  • Ability to provide value-added services such as product selection, assistance, and educational content
  • Turn customer interactions, profile information, preferences into structured data with dozens of data points that can be used in real-time across a brand’s technology ecosystem
  • Offer best-in-class customer experiences in order-tracking, exchange/return, upsell, subscription assistance
  • Able to answer common questions from customers 24/7, with the convenience of voice, chat or text
  • Built and proven at enterprise retail scale – platform handles demand spikes flawlessly
  • Open APIs offer integration into existing systems to enhance customer experience and make real-time data available

Many leading brands are already using our platform to push the boundaries of AI-automated customer care. Across cosmetics, consumer goods, fashion, homewares, footwear and electronics, leaders are positioning their brands on the forefront of customer experience by deploying Linc’s customer care automation platform; driving exceptional results with boosts in customer engagement and lifetime value, data enrichment, increased conversions, and customer care cost savings.


“As the competition for customers’ attention and engagement heats up, D2C brands are working hard to build stronger customer relationships, nurture loyalty, and leverage customer data,” said Fang Cheng, CEO.

“Linc’s Customer Care Automation platform is architected for real-time decision making using unified customer data from different interaction channels, and a deep comprehension of interaction context. Using the platform’s direct-to-consumer capabilities, Linc’d brands can provide exceptional customer care across the whole customer journey, create more loyal customers and bring far more rich customer data into their business.”


About the Presentation: Fang spoke as part of the “Disruptive Startups Enabling New Customer Experiences”. In this talk, Cheng shared a brief overview of the different solutions powered by Customer Care Automation with a focus on the hidden challenges that the industry needs to solve to achieve effective automation of the majority of every-day direct-to-consumer service needs.

Missed the presentation? Watch it here.

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Designing a Customer Experience Strategy for Conversational Commerce

When you master conversational commerce, you’ll deliver experiences that make your customers feel as if you hired a personal assistant to help each of them.  There are several key strategies, smart brands need to think about as they go about creating their conversational commerce strategy. Don’t Forget The Data If conversational commerce is the new paradigm of customer experience, data is the engine that drives all those delightful interactions across touchpoints. Your customers are creating data every time they click, swipe, and like --it’s up to you to find it, analyze it and use it to inform customer engagement. Nordstrom, for example, uses sensors and Wi-Fi to track who comes to the store, wherein the store they shop, and how long they stay. They also incentivize their Nordstrom’s credit card and rewards program to gather data about their clients. Target is also known for its data-collecting. The mega-retailer assigns every customer a Guest ID number, which is linked to their credit card, name, or email address. This Guest ID number becomes a repository of info on a shopper’s past Target purchases and any demographic information the company has collected about them and/or bought from a third-party source. Target’s data is so accurate and fine-grained that they were even able to determine a teenage shopper was pregnant (and send her the appropriate mailer filled with baby items) long before her father ever knew. Collecting relevant data, analyzing it and using your learnings to inform which conversational channels make sense for your brand and what types of experiences your particular customers seek to have on them is the foundation of your conversational commerce efforts. Focus On The Highest-Value Activities Put your energy toward meaningful services that customers already care about. Look at service-oriented features, such as notification capability and on-demand service and support capabilities, to guide the customer journey. Don’t just focus on the “Checkout.” The main benefit of service-oriented conversational channel offerings is the ability to organically drive usage into new channels. For example, a customer might place an order on your website and learn that she can subscribe to order status updates through Facebook Messenger. What she sees as taking advantage of a perk will benefit you by encouraging her toward a channel where your chatbot can take over. ChatBots are best for organic conversations with common use cases, but also provide a sense of personalization and convenience for the shopper. Customer service should be your core use for this technology to start. Be Prepared For Bot-to-Human Handoffs The great thing about a conversation handled over text or Messenger is that the customer doesn’t have to know when they might be switching from a bot to a human. Bot design in the future will focus on what they can do, knowing what they can’t do, and designing a bridge to employee assistance that feels seamless to the customer. It’s not just the customer that will be helped by the bot, but the employee. It will provide faster information and better analytics in real time, perhaps then parsing information to pass on to the consumer. The most important aspect of innovation is convenience for the shopper. They should never have to explain their request twice. Start Simple and Grow to Brand Management You can start with bots as a single voice in the chorus of messages from your brand. The long term will have bots as representatives of your entire brand, managing relationships with your customers. You can start conversational commerce, however, with just a single entry point. You can get your customers used to interacting with you on the same channels they use to chat with their friends. You can piggyback on the culture of quick and informal communication, but be ready to meet their expectations for highly personal and meaningful results. If your bot can’t meet that expectation, your customer could walk away disappointed or annoyed. As the technology improves, and it is, even as we write this, you’ll be able to put more and more of your brand management in the hands of the bots. Authentication Giving your bot a way to confirm the customer’s identity is key to a truly intelligent communication that can leverage data from across your other channels. If this isn’t done right, your bot will see each customer as a stranger, negating the opportunity to provide personalized service. Focus On Concepts Rather Than Solutions Your customers might be on Kik today but head over to Facebook Messenger tomorrow. Focusing on the concepts of conversational commerce rather than today’s hottest medium will help you keep your sanity and provide an agile approach that can be applied to meet your customers wherever they migrate. Try not to get bogged down with the details of how to build for one particular channel, and look instead to use-cases. You can learn more about conversational commerce and engaging your customers at every touchpoint by exploring Linc’s platform and solutions pages. Or take a look at how leading brands like Lamps Plus, JustFab.com and others are using automated conversational commerce strategies in their businesses today, in our resources page.